Sabtu, 14 Januari 2012


The term morphology is generally attributed to the German poet, novelist, playwright, and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832), who coined it early in the nineteenth century in a biological context. Its etymology is Greek: morph- means ‘shape, form’, and morphology is the study of form or forms. In biology morphology refers to the study of the form and structure of organisms, and in geology it refers to the study of the configuration and evolution of land forms. In linguistics morphology refers to the mental system involved in word formation or to the branch of linguistics that deals with words, their internal structure, and how they are formed.
In linguistics, morphology is the study of word structure. While words are generally accepted as being the smallest units of syntax, it is clear that in most (if not all) languages, words can be related to other words by rules. For example, English speakers recognize that the words dog, dogs and dog-catcher are closely related. English speakers recognize these relations by virtue of the unconscious linguistic knowledge they have of the rules of word-formation processes in English. Therefore, these speakers intuit that dog is to dogs as cat is to cats; similarly, dog is to dogcatcher as dish is to dishwasher. The rules comprehended by the speaker in each case reflect specific patterns (or regularities) in the way words are formed from smaller units and how those smaller units interact in speech. In this way, morphology is the branch of linguistics that studies such patterns of word-formation across and within languages, and attempts to explicate formal rules reflective of the knowledge of the speakers of those languages.
In many languages, what appear to be single forms actually turn out to contain large number of ‘word-like’ elements. For examples, in Swahili (spoken through-out East Africa), form nitakupenda conveys what, in English, would have to be represented as something like I will love you. Now, is the Swahili form a single word? If it is a ‘word’, then it seems to consist of a number of elements which, in English, turn up as separate ‘words’. A rough correspondence can be presented in the following way:

ni      -ta     -ku       -penda
I        will    you      love
         It would seem that this Swahili ‘word’ is rather different from what we think of as an English ‘word’. Yet, there clearly is some similarity between the languages, in that similar element of the whole message can be found in both. Perhaps a better way of looking at linguistic forms in different languages would be to use this notion of ‘elements’ in the message, rather than depend on identifying only ‘words’.
         The type of exercise we have just performed is an example of investigating basic forms in language, generally known as morphology. This term, which literally means ‘the study of forms’, was originally used in biology, but, since, the middle of the nineteenth century, has also been used to describe the type of investigation that analyzes all those basic ‘elements’ used in a language. What we have been describing as ‘elements’ in the form of a linguistic message are technically known as ‘morphemes’.

         A morpheme is the minimal linguistic unit which has a meaning or grammatical function. Although many people think of word as the basic meaningful elements of a language, many words can be broken down in to still smaller units, called morphemes. In English, for example, the word ripens consists of three morphemes: ripe plus en plus s. -En is a morpheme which changes adjectives into verb: ripe is an adjective, but ripen is a verb. Ripens is still a verb: the morpheme –s indicate that the subject of the verb is third person singular and that the action is neither past nor future.
         A major way in which morphologists investigate words, their internal structure, and how they are formed is through the identification and study of morphemes, often defined as the smallest linguistic pieces with a grammatical function. This definition is not meant to include all morphemes, but it is the usual one and a good starting point. A morpheme may consist of a word, such as hand, or a meaningful piece of a word, such as the –ed of looked, that cannot be divided into smaller meaningful parts. Another way in which morphemes have been defined is as a pairing between sound and meaning. We have purposely chosen not to use this definition. Some morphemes have no concrete form or no continuous form, as we will see, and some do not have meanings in the conventional sense of the term.
         You may also run across the term morph. The term ‘morph’ is sometimes used to refer specifically to the phonological realization of a morpheme. For example, the English past tense morpheme that we spell -ed has various morphs. It is realized as [t] after the voiceless [p] of jump (cf. jumped), as [d] after the voiced [l] of repel (cf. repelled), and as [d] after the voiceless [t] of root or the voiced [d] of wed (cf. rooted and wedded). We can also call these morphs allomorphs or variants. The appearance of one morph over another in this case is determined by voicing and the place of articulation of the final consonant of the verb stem.
         A single word may be composed of one or more morphemes:
one morphemes                                           - boy
                                                                   - desire
two morphemes                                           - boy + ish
                                                                   - desire + able
three morphemes                                         - boy + ish + ness
                                                                   - desire + able + ity
four morpheme                                            - gentle + man + li + ness
                                                                   - un + desire + able + ity
more than four                                             - un + gentle + man + li + ness
                                                                   - anti + dis + establish + ment + ari + an + ism
         Those morphemes which can stand alone as words are said to be free morphemes, e.g. ripe and artichoke. Those which are always attached to some other morpheme are said to be bound, e.g. -en, -s, un-, pre-.
         Notice that the term morpheme has been defined as “a minimal unit of meaning or grammatical function” to show that different morphemes serve different purposes. Some morphemes derive (create) new words by either changing the meaning (happy vs. unhappy, both adjectives) or the part of speech (syntactic category, e.g. ripe, an adjective, vs. ripen, a verb) or both. These are called derivational morphemes. Other morphemes changes neither part of speech nor meaning, but only refine and give extra grammatical information about the already existing meaning of a word. Thus, cat and cats are both nouns and have the same meaning (refer to the same thing), but cats, with the plural morpheme -s, contains the additional information that there are more than one of these things (Notice that the same information could be conveyed by including a number before the word – the plural -s marker then would not be needed at all). These morphemes which serve a purely grammatical function, never creating a different word, but only a different form of the same word, are called inflectional morphemes.
         Both derivational and inflectional morphemes are bound forms and are called affixes. When they are attached to other morphemes they change the meaning or the grammatical function of the word in some way, as just seen; when added to the beginning of a word or morphemes they are called prefixes, and when added to the end of a word or morpheme they are called suffixes. For examples, unpremeditatedly has two prefixes (one added to the front of the other) and two suffixes (one added to the end of the other), all attached to the word meditate.
         Below are listed four characteristic which separate inflectional and derivational affixes:
1.      Inflectional Morphemes:
a.       Do not change meaning or part of speech, e.g., big and bigger are both adjective.
b.      Typically indicate syntactic or semantic relations between different words in a sentence, e.g.
c.       The present tense morpheme –s in waits shows agreement with the subject of the verb (both are third person singular).
d.      Typically occur with all members of some large class of morphemes, e.g. the plural morphemes occur with most nouns.
e.       Typically occur at the margin of words, e.g., the plural morphemes –s always come last in a word, as in baby-sitters or rationalizations.
2.      Derivational Morphemes:
a.       Change meaning or part of speech, e.g. –ment forms nouns, such as judgment, from verbs, such as judge.
b.      Typically indicate semantic relations within the word, e.g. the morpheme –ful in painful has no particular connection with any other morpheme beyond the word painful.
c.       Typically occur with only some members of a class of morphemes, e.g., the suffix –hood occurs with just a few nouns such as brother, neighbor, and knight, but not with most others, e.g., friend, daughter, candle, etc.
d.       Typically occur before inflectional suffixes, e.g., in chillier, the derivational suffix –y comes before the inflectional –er.
                   Now consider the word reconsideration. We can break it into three morphemes: re-, consider, and -ation. Consider is called the stem. A stem is a base morpheme to which another morphological piece is attached. The stem can be simple, made up of only one part, or complex, itself made up of more than one piece. Here it is best to consider consider a simple stem. Although it consists historically of more than one part, most present-day speakers would treat it as an unanalyzable form. We could also call consider the root. A root is like a stem in constituting the core of the word to which other pieces attach, but the term refers only to morphologically simple units. For example, disagree is the stem of disagreement, because it is the base to which -ment attaches, but agree is the root. Taking disagree now, agree is both the stem to which dis- attaches and the root of the entire word. Returning now to reconsideration, re- and -ation are both affixes, which means that they are attached to the stem. Affixes like re- that go before the stem are prefixes, and those like -ation that go after are suffixes.
         Some readers may wonder why we have not broken -ation down further into two pieces, -ate and -ion, which function independently elsewhere. In this particular word they do not do so (cf. *reconsiderate), and hence we treat -ation as a single morpheme.
         It is important to take very seriously the idea that the grammatical function of a morpheme, which may include its meaning, must be constant. Consider the English words lovely and quickly. They both end with the suffix -ly. But is it the same in both words? o – when we add -ly to the adjective quick, we create an adverb that describes how fast someone does something. But when we add -ly to the noun love, we create an adjective. What on the surface appears to be a single morpheme turns out to be two. One attaches to adjectives and creates adverbs; the other attaches to nouns and creates adjectives.
         There are two other sorts of affixes that you will encounter, infixes and circumfixes. Both are classic challenges to the notion of morpheme. Infixes are segmental strings that do not attach to the front or back of a word, but rather somewhere in the middle. The Tagalog infix -um- is illustrated below (McCarthy and Prince 1993: 101–5; French 1988). It creates an agent from a verb stem and appears before the first vowel of the word:

(1)     root               -um-
         /sulat/             /s-um-ulat/                    ‘one who wrote’
         /gradwet/        /gr-um-adwet/              ‘one who graduated’
(2)     root               believe                          verb
         stem              believe + able               verb + suffix
         word              un + believe + able       prefix + verb + suffix
(3)     root               Chomsky                      (proper) noun
         stem              Chomsky + ite              noun + suffix
         word              Chomsky + ite + s        noun + suffix + suffix
The existence of infixes challenges the traditional notion of a morpheme as an indivisible unit. We want to call the stem sulat ‘write’ a morpheme, and yet the infix -um- breaks it up. Yet this seems to be a property of –umrather than one of sulat. Our definition of morphemes as the smallest linguistic pieces with a grammatical function survives this challenge.
         Circumfixes are affixes that come in two parts. One attaches to the front of the word, and the other to the back. Circumfixes are controversial because it is possible to analyze them as consisting of a prefix and a suffix that apply to a stem simultaneously. One example is Indonesian ke . . . -an. It applies to the stem besar ‘big’ to form a noun ke-besar-an meaning ‘bigness, greatness’ (MacDonald 1976: 63; Beard 1998: 62). Like infixes, the existence of circumfixes challenges the traditional notion of morpheme (but not the definition used here) because they involve discontinuity.

The inflectional Suffixes of English
3rd p sg present
Past tense
Past participle
Plural marker
Comparative adjective or adverb
Superlative adjective or adverb

     The Classification of Morphemes
     Free Morphemes.
                   Free morphemes are morphemes that can stand by themselves as single word. Examples: child, teach, kind, open, tour, etc. Free morphemes fall into two categories:
     -   Lexical Morphemes
          Morphemes that set of ordinary nouns, adjectives and verbs that we think of as the words that carries the `content` of the message as we convey. Some example: tiger, yellow, sad, open, look, follow, etc.
     -   Functional Morphemes
          Functional morphemes are morphemes that consist largely of the functional words in the language such as conjunctions, preposition, articles and pronouns. Example: and, but, above, when, because, in, the, that, it, etc.
     Bound Morphemes
         Morphemes which are can not normally stand alone and are typically attached to another form, example: re-, -ist, -ed, -s. They were identified as affixes. So we can say that affixes (prefixes and suffixes) in English are bound morphemes.
For example:

Bound morphemes fall into two categories:
-      Derivational Morphemes
          Morphemes that are used to make new words or to make words of a different grammatical category from the stem, for example the additional of the derivational morpheme -ness change the adjective good to the noun goodness. The noun care can become the adjective careful or careless by the addition of the derivational morpheme –ful or –less. A list of derivational morphemes will include suffixes such as the ­–ish in foolish, and the -ment in payment. The list will also include prefixes such as re-, pre-, ex-, mis-, co-, un-, and many more.
-      Inflectional Morphemes
          These are not used to produce new words in the language, but rather to indicate aspects of grammatical function of a word. In flectional, morphemes are used to show if a word is plural or singular, if it is past tense or not and if it is comparative or possessive form. English has only eight inflectional morphemes (or ‘inflections’), illustrated in the following sentences.
Jim’s two sisters are really different.
One likes to have fun and is always laughing.
The other liked to read as child and has always taken things seriously.
One is the loudest person in the house in the other is quitter than a mouse.
From these examples, we can see that two of the inflection. –‘s (possessive) and –s plural, are attached to nouns. They are four inflections attached to verbs, -s (3rd person singular), -ing (present participle), -ed (past tense), and –en (past participle). There are two inflections attached to adjective –est (superlative) and –er (comparative).
Noun      +          -s. –s
Verb       +          -s, -ing, -ed, -en
Adj         +          -est, er.

         In the preceding chapters, it was assumed that every morpheme has only one form. In reality, languages are more complex; morphemes frequently have more than one form. For example, the English perfect tense. Suffix for some verbs is the same as the past tense form (divided, mended while for other verbs, the perfect tense form is the suffix –en (written, given), and the stem /rait/ write is changed to /rit/ and combined with the perfect tense suffix, to form written.
         In order to account for the various forms or given morpheme, linguistics have posited a type of pseudomorpheme called morph. Morph are isolated by the procedures. In fact, had we been speaking precisely, each of the units discovered by those initial procedures would have been called a morph, rather than a morpheme. Morphs may be said to represent morpheme, a morpheme may be represented by one or more morphs. The various morphs which represent one morpheme are called allomorphs.
         Two or more morphs are allomorphs of a single morpheme if they have the same meaning and are in complementary distribution i.e., never in contrast in the same context. This is only a working definition, too simplistic to cover all the questions that arise in morpheme identification. But it is a beginning, and some of the problems involved will be discussed below.
         By comparing the above forms, ree go out, bani wake up, etc. can be identified, leaving the first CV. (consonant-vowels sequence) of each form as some kind of prefix. The completive aspect morpheme, indicated by bl-, has only one form in data. The habitual aspect, however is indicated by two different forms: ru- and ri-. To conclude that these two morphs are allomorphs of a single morpheme, it must be determined that they carry the same meaning and that they are in complementary distribution. A quick inspection reveals that ru- and ri- do not occur with the same stems.

     Morphological Analysis
         Words are analyzed morphologically with the same terminology used to describe different sentence types:
-      a simple word has one free root, e.g., hand.
-      a complex word has a free root and one or more bound morphs, or two or more bound morphs, e.g., unhand, handy, handful.
-      a compound word has two free roots, e.g., handbook, handrail, handgun
-      a compound-complex word has two free roots and associated bound morphs, e.g., handwriting, handicraft.

Morphological Analysis versus Morphemic Analysis
         The importance of the distinction between morph and morpheme is that there is not always a one-to-one correspondence between morph and morpheme, and morphemes can combine or be realized in a number of different ways. We can thus analyze words in two different ways: in morphological analysis, words are analyzed into morphs following formal divisions, while in morphemic analysis, words are analyzed into morphemes, recognizing the abstract units of meaning present.
         If we start first with nouns, we would arrive at the two analyses of each of the following two words:

                   Morphological Analysis                     Morphemic Analysis
Writers        3 morphs writ/er/s                                3 morphemes {WRITE} + {-ER} + {pl}
Authors       2 morphs author/s                                2 morphemes {AUTHOR} + {pl}
Mice           1 morph mice                                       2 morphemes {MOUSE} + {pl}
Fish 1 morph fish                                         2 morphemes {FISH} + {pl}
Children      2 morphs child/ren                               2 morphemes {CHILD} + {pl}
Man’s         2 morphs man/s                                   2 morphemes {MAN} + {poss}
Men’s         2 morphs men/s                                    3 morphemes {MAN} + {pl} + {poss}.

  You should note that the morphemes, since they are abstractions, can be represented any way one wants, but it is customary to use lexemes for roots and descriptive designations for inflectional morphemes, such as {pi} rather than {-S} for the plural marker and {poss}  rather than {-S} for the possessive marker, since these can often be realized by a number of different forms. The descriptive designations that we will use should be self-evident in the following discussion (also see the list of abbreviations in Appendix I).
  A noun such as sheep raises a difficulty for morphemic analysis, since it is either singular or plural. Should we postulate two morphemic analyses?
{SHEEP} + {p1}
{SHEEP} + {sg}
  This seems a good idea. If we postulate a morpheme for singular, even though it’s never realized, we can account for number systematically. Thus, we will analyze singular nouns as containing an abstract {sg} morpheme, so that man’s above would have the analysis {MAN} + {sg} + {poss}, writer the analysis {WRITE} + {-ER} + {sg}, and author the analysis {AUTHOR} + {sg}.

Let us look at how morphological and morphemic analysis works in adjective:
                        Morphological Analysis         Morphemic Analysis
     Smaller        2morphs small/er                     2morphemes {SMALL} + {compr}
     Smallest       2morphs small/est                    2morphemes {SMALL} + {supl}
     Better          1morph better                          2morphemes {GOOD} + {compr}
     Best             1morph best                             2morphemes {GOOD} + {supl}
(Here, compr = comparative degree and supl = (superlative degreee). Again we need to postulate a morpheme positive degree {pos}, even though it is never realized, to account systematically for the inflected forms of adjectives:
good            1morp good                             2morphemes {GOOD} + {pos}

For verbs, the two analyses work as follows:
                   Morphological Analysis Morphemic Analysis
Worked       2morphs work/ed                     2morphemes {WORK} + {past}
                   2morphemes                             {WORK} + {pstprt}
Wrote          1morph wrote                          2morphemes {WRITE} + {past}
Written        1morph written                        2morphemes {WRITE} + {pstprt}
Working      2morphs work/ing                    2morphemes {WORK} + {pstprt}
                                                                   3morphemes {WORK} + {gerund} + {sg}
Put               1morph put                              2morphemes {PUT} + {past}
                                                                        2morphemes {PUT} + {pstprt}
  We have to analyze  -ing verbal forms not only as present participles, but also as “gerunds”, or verbal nouns, as in Swimming is good exercise. Since gerunds are functioning as nouns, they may sometimes be pluralized, e.g.:
     Sitting          3 morphs sitt/ing/s                     3 morphemes {SIT} + {gerund} + {pl}

          We need to postulate a morpheme {pres}, which is never realized, to account coherently for the distinction past versus present.

Work          1 morph work                          2 morphemes {WORK} + {pres}

The morphemic analysis of pronouns is somewhat more complicated:
                   Morphological Analysis         Morphemic Analysis
We              1 morph we                              3 morphemes {1st p} + {pl} + {nomn}
Him             1 morph him                             3 morphemes {3rd p} + {sg} + {m} + {obj}
Its                2 morphs it/s                             3 morphemes {3rd p} + {sg} + {n} + {poss}

Morphemes combine and are realized by one of four morphological realization rules:
1.      Agglutinative rule – two morphemes are realized by morphs which remain distinct and are simply “glued” together, e.g. {WRITER} + {pl} > weiters.
2.      Fusional rule – two morphemes are realized by morphs which do not remain distinct but are fused together, e.g., {TOOTH} + {pl} > teeth.
3.      Null realization rule – a morpheme is never realized as a morph in any word of the relevant class, e.g., {sg} on nouns, which never has concrete realization in English.
4.      Zero-rule – a morpheme is realized as a zero morph in particular members of a word class, e.g., {SHEEP} + {pl} > sheep. Note that in most other members of the class noun, {pl} has concrete realization as –s.

Brinton, Laurel J (2000). The Structure Of Modern English: A Linguistic Introduction. Philadelphia: Benjamins Publishing Company.
Fromklin, V. (2001). An introduction to the teory of word structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University.
Goldberg, Adele (1995). Constructions. A construction-based approach to argument structure. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Team work (2008). Selected Readings For Morphology. Malang: The Stated Islamic University of Malang.
Tata. A.M. Green Module Phonology, Morphology, Syntax & Semantics. Self-Circle.
Verhaar. Dr. John W.M. general Linguistic. Jogjakarta. Gajah Mada University Pers.

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