MORPHOLOGY PROBLEMS


1. Which words in the following groups are related to one another by processes of inflection or derivation?

            a. go, goes, going, gone

            b. discover, discovery, discoverer, discoverable, discoverability

            c. lovely, lovelier, loveliest

            d. inventor, inventor’s, inventors, inventors’

            e. democracy, democrat, democratic, democratize


2. Define: affixation, compounding, reduplication, alternation and suppletion. Give an example of each process.


3. For each of the following English word, underline the root and say what process derived the word.

 

            a. bound                                  f. discover

            b. toenail                                 g. mama

            c. Paul’s                                  h. mice

            d. were                                    i. ladybug

            e. undomesticated                   j. rang


4. What past tense and perfect participle forms do you use for each of the following verbs? What forms are used by other students in the class?

 

            a. bring                                         f. sing

            b. drink                                         g. get

            c. sink                                           h. lie

            d. dive                                           i. lay

            e. light                                           j. see


5. English uses stress to distinguish between adjective-noun pairs such as black bírd and noun compounds such as bláckbird. Some adjective-noun pairs like cream cheese are separate words for some speakers and compounds for others. Some speakers only stress the first syllable, while others give each word its own stress or stress the last word. Construct a survey:

 

    Choose five noun-adjective pairs that are compound nouns for you and find out how the other students in the class treat them.

    Design questions that elicit the compound nouns as answers to questions, for example, “What do you call the white spread that people eat on bagels?”


6. English also uses stress to distinguish between nouns and verbs in some cases. Determine whether you use stress to make this distinction.

 

            a. record                f. outline               k. report

            b. journey             g. convict              l. assault

            c. exchange           h. imprint              m. answer

            d. remark              i. reply                  n. import

            e. surprise             j. replay                 o. cripple


7. The English suffix -er can be added to some place names, but not others:

 

            a. Long Islander                      f. *Denverer

            b. Vermonter                          g. *Philadelphiaer

            c. New Yorker                        h. *San Franciscoer

            d. Newfoundlander                 i. *Torontoer

            e. Londoner                            j. *Miamier


      i. What meaning does the suffix -er add to these words?

      ii. How is the meaning of this suffix different from the -er suffix in skater and walker?

iii. What feature do the words in a-e have in common? What feature do the words in f-j have in common?


8. Many derivational suffixes are semi-productive. For example, The suffix -ment converts verbs into nouns, e.g.

 

            Verb                Noun


            assign              assignment

            refine              refinement

            entertain          entertainment

            procure           procurement

            govern             government

            contain            containment


This is not a completely productive process as there are lots of English verbs that do not take the -ment suffix, e.g.

 

            Verb                Noun


            process            * processment

            cry                  * cryment

            see                  * seement

            blacken           * blackenment

            complain         * complainment

            discover          * discoverment


Formulate an explanation for the verbs that do AND do not accept the -ment suffix. What processes or features account for the constraints on the productivity of this suffix?