An Introduction to English Morphology: Words and Their Structure (Edinburgh Textbooks on the English Language)

By Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy

What precisely are phrases? Are they the issues that get indexed in dictionaries, or are they the elemental devices of sentence constitution? Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy explores the results of those various ways to phrases in English. He explains a few of the ways that phrases are regarding each other, and indicates how the historical past of the English language has affected be aware structure.Topics comprise: phrases, sentences and dictionaries; a notice and its elements (roots and affixes); a be aware and its kinds (inflection); a be aware and its family members (derivation); compound phrases; notice constitution; productiveness; and the old resources of English notice formation.

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The provide of stocks in it at the proportion industry. the truth that the headline can't be interpreted with out the aid of the paragraph that it introduces hardly ever issues, from the journalist’s perspective; it has served its objective if it has persuaded readers to learn on. English makes extra beneficiant use of compounding than many different eu languages do, so it truly is not often magnificent that at the least a few sorts of compounding can be officially normal and in addition hugely basic. what's extra staggering is that any such common method can be so imprecise semantically. Interpretation of recent compounds is based in perform much less on strictly linguistic regularities than on context and normal wisdom. eight. 6 Measuring productiveness: the significance of neologisms thus far, i've got mentioned numerous facets of the productiveness of derivational methods, reminiscent of -ity and -ness suffixation, with no assistance from any objectively quantifiable measurements. i have never brought any scale from zero to one, say, when it comes to which -ness may well ranking zero. nine and -ity zero. five. this can seem like a significant disorder. Any conclusions approximately formal regularity and generality, particularly, has to be roughly subjective except they're in response to figures, one might imagine. What we'd like is a comparability among the particular frequency of a procedure and its capability frequency, accurately defined. The extra heavily the ‘actual’ figure techniques the ‘potential’ figure, the extra effective the method is, in a few feel. In perform, besides the fact that, devising this kind of degree has grew to become out to be tremendous difficult. for instance, I recommended prior that -ity is officially normal while utilized to adjectives with sure suffixes resembling -ous, -ive and -able, yet differently abnormal, for instance, whilst it's connected to suffixless adjectives. This has the virtue non-existent noun corresponding to ‘richity’ could be classed as officially abnormal, however the drawback that it involves that genuine nouns equivalent to purity, sanity, oddity and severity has to be abnormal too. If we dislike this consequence, we needs to expand the variety of adjectives that count number as capability bases for -ity suffixation so 02 pages 001-152 ninety six 18/10/01 3:43 pm web page ninety six AN creation TO ENGLISH MORPHOLOGY as to incorporate a minimum of natural, sane, peculiar and serious. yet how a long way may still this extension pass? If the recent capability bases are taken to be simply these unsuffixed adjectives for which corresponding nouns in -ity exist, then the ratio of tangible to strength -ity nouns will stay excessive – yet purely simply because we've got contrived that it may be so. If, on the different severe, we allow natural, sane, abnormal and serious convince us that any adjective no matter what could be a strength base, then the actual-to-potential ratio dwindles to just about 0, and our degree fails to trap the variation in ‘feel’ among ‘gloriosity ’ (plausible, yet blocked through glory) and *richity (highly implausible). what's the applicable intermediate place among those extremes, then? it truly is challenging to respond to that query other than subjectively. therefore the objectivity numerical ratio would provide seems to be frustratingly elusive.

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