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  1. #101
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by chester_100 View Post
    In Polish, it can be acceptable only if it's a Polish affix with which you can form other words too.
    So roots aren't morphemes?? Wow, I always thought they were!

  2. #102
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    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    Now I want to pick up on that word "archaic". Isn't it tempting to think that the ancients were in some way SMARTER than we? There must be a certain "effiiciency" with a language. (English, as an example of a modern language, may simple be "encrusted" with a vast vocabulary) Is it more "efficient" to use a case instead of a preposition? I suspect so.

    Well, don't let me distract you. I have to wonder if there are linguists out there in the world at large who could descend upon us and dazzle us with what they already know. In the meantime, I feel like you two are on a linguistic adventure. Keep it up.

    Frank

  3. #103
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    Default Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    So roots aren't morphemes?? Wow, I always thought they were!
    Of course, roots are morphemes.
    The point is that the structure of a word in one language may not be interpretable in another language.
    Let me give you an hypothetical example:

    Imagine a Polish philosopher who writes a book called 'POMYŚLENIE'. His book turns out to be a bestseller and is adored worldwide.
    Because of the significance of his book, the word POMYŚLENIE enters other languages, and in the long run (after many decades), it becomes a word in English with a special meaning like idea, thought, opinion... .
    To turn it into an adjective, they attach an -ic to the word: pomyslenic; which is a common English morphological process.
    As you see, our imaginary English speakers used the word in their language, BUT THEY WOULD NEVER PAY ANY ATTENTION TO THE ORIGINAL POLISH STRUCTURE OF THE WORD. For example, the fact that -enie is a Polish suffix would be meaningless to the English speakers. They would see pomyslenenie a whole word, and not a breakable one.

    The same thing, in my opinion, may be true about 'absorb', but in this case the original language is Latin and the receptive language is Polish.
    If you're sure that 'absorb' is a root in Polish, then it can be used as a meaningful morpheme.

  4. #104
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    Default Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    Now I want to pick up on that word ''archaic''. Isn't it tempting to think that the ancients were in some way SMARTER than we? There must be a certain ''effiiciency'' with a language. (English, as an example of a modern language, may simple be ''encrusted'' with a vast vocabulary) Is it more ''efficient'' to use a case instead of a preposition? I suspect so.

    Perhaps, it depends on the word structure of the language in question. The evolution of human cognition might have played a role too?
    But, anyway, I think there must instances of such cases in Farsi too. I'm curious.
    About the ''efficiency'', I have to say the cases seem to shorten sentences.


    Well, don't let me distract you. I have to wonder if there are linguists out there in the world at large who could descend upon us and dazzle us with what they already know. In the meantime, I feel like you two are on a linguistic adventure. Keep it up.

    Thanks. Your views are thought-provoking.

    Frank
    C

  5. #105
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    Is it more "efficient" to use a case instead of a preposition? I suspect so.
    I'm not sure what you mean by efficience. I guess it can be measured in different ways.
    I think, based on my experience, that cases are more difficult for an adult learner. I know a good number of people who tried learning Polish as adults and only one of them realy mastered it. Other people had very big difficulties and the biggest was cases! As in English prepositions, sometimes it's not so important which one you choose. But very often it either changes the meaning of your sentence or makes you sound terribly awkward... Prepositions are a big problem in English too. I can't say I have mastered them. But I'd say Polish cases were several times as difficult for those people.

    I'm not sure about the cause of it. One could be the following. We have only seven cases, so of course we still need prepositions to express many ideas. And after prepositions, nouns still take cases! They're never nominative after prepositions. So you must learn by heart which cases appear after which prepositions. It's fixed! It's not logical in any way, you must simply learn it. For example, we use the genitive after "do", which means "in the direction of". So actually, we say:

    "We go to school's."

    Why genitive? I have no idea!! And it's like this with every preposition. After the Polish word for "onto" we use the accusative. Why? I don't know!

    Also, many prepositions have more than one meaning (as in English). And nouns take different cases after them depending on the meaning of the prepostion. "Na" can mean either "on" or "onto". When it means "on", we use the locative. When it means "onto" we use the accusative!

    I would be very scared if I had to learn it now!!
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 15-Aug-2010 at 10:18.

  6. #106
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by chester_100 View Post
    The same thing, in my opinion, may be true about 'absorb', but in this case the original language is Latin and the receptive language is Polish.
    If you're sure that 'absorb' is a root in Polish, then it can be used as a meaningful morpheme.
    I think it is a root in the light of what you say! Take a look at a couple of examples I'm going to provide.

    Also I think I have to change my mind again regarding the morphemes in the word "absorbować". I'm unsure what the actual meaning of the interfix "-owa-" is! I said it's a verb-making affix. But as you noticed, I wasn't entirely sure about it. I'm even less sure now.

    absorb - owa - ć = to absorb (infinitive)
    absorb - owa - nie = absorbing (gerund)

    absorb - owa - łem = I absorbed (in the past)
    absorb - owa - ły = they absorbed (in the past)
    absorb - owa - ny = absorbed (passive adjectival participle)
    absorb - owa -wszy = having absorbed (past adverbial participle)

    absorb - uj - ę = I'm absorbing or I absorb (present tenses)
    absorb - uj - ą = they're absorbing or they absorb (present tenses)
    absorb - uj - ący = absorbing (active adjectival participle)
    absorb - uj - ąc = absorbing (present adverbial participle)

    As you can see, two verb-making affixes ("-owa-" and "-uj-") are applied to the root "absorb" depending on the grammatical form of the verb that we want to create! "-owa-" seems mostly past and "-uj-" seems present. But I can't be sure about it... It's just what I'm finding out about my language at this very moment!

    PS: I think I understand the problem now. In your diagrams, every vertex of the tree that is not an affix must be a word! I think it doesn't apply to Polish... Let's take the word "szafa", which means wardrobe in Polish. Let's write down all the singular cases of the word:
    szaf - a (nominative)
    szaf - y (genitive)
    szaf - ie (dative)
    szaf - ę (accusative)
    szaf - ą (instrumental)
    szaf - ie (locative)
    szaf - o (vocative)

    I think it's clear that "szaf-" is the root here. But "szaf" is not a word!

    PPS: OK, it is a word but it's an accident! It's the plural genitive!
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 15-Aug-2010 at 11:12.

  7. #107
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by chester_100 View Post
    And, a Persian example meaning 'antiautomorphism'.
    It's very interesting! I can't read Arabic letters, but I see the word has an interesting structure. I see there is an adjective on the diagram. Could you tell us what the adjective means?

  8. #108
    Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Frank Antonson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    What I meant by "efficiency" is the ability to communicate with as few sounds as possible. Years ago, it occurred to me that there may be a simplifying process going on with language -- sort of like a wind blowing away extra stuff.

    I can relate to the various cases after various prepositions because of German (and Latin). Difficulty in learning this as an adult would probably not effect a language's evolution.

  9. #109
    chester_100's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    PS: I think I understand the problem now. In your diagrams, every vertex of the tree that is not an affix must be a word! I think it doesn't apply to Polish...
    I know what you mean.
    We face a problem here; if 'owa' is not a suffix (logically it should be), then to what morphological category does it belong?
    I suppose it has a special function; apparently it prepares a word (maybe a noun) to be attached to other morpheme like ć, nie, ący ... .

    /*******/

    There is also another possibility: the problem of setting fixed boundaries for morphemes is still unsolved in morphology.
    We have two different situations here:

    I. Following the synchronic knowledge of people. It means that if people are not able to understand or recognize the morpheme when it's used in isolation, we shouldn't divide it.

    II. Basing the analysis on the expectations of experts to whose field the morpheme belongs. For example, to a Polish Chemist, 'absorb' might be a perfectly recognizable morpheme which is used in many technical words. Such being the case, za + absorb + owa + c is a good formula - which is what you indicated.


    Let's take the word "szafa", which means wardrobe in Polish. Let's write down all the singular cases of the word:
    PPS: OK, it is a word but it's an accident! It's the plural genitive!

    Another problem is the rule's capability of being generalizable. It should cover a great number of words.


    C

  10. #110
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    Thanks Chester!

    I was thinking about a better example than "szafa" and I see an adjective would be best here.

    mały = small

    There are many forms of the word like: mała, małym, małych, małymi, małemu, małe, etc. But "mał" isn't a word at all. It would be a very strange thing to say. But then, this part, "mał", carries almost entire meaning of this word!

    ***

    You say "-owa-" should be a suffix, but I'm not sure why. It isn't a suffix. It's always in the middle of the word. I would call it an infix. (Although there's something strange about this particular one... We can't remove it! "Absorbć" isn't a word...) We have quite a few infixes in Polish I believe.

    As for the above doubt. As we can't remove it, I thought maybe it's not an affix. Maybe there are many suffixes like "-ować", "-ował", "-owałem". Maybe "-owa-" isn't separabable from them. But I came up with an example which seems to contradict this theory... (It's also an example of a sure-bet infix in Polish.)

    Take the words "rozsmarować" and "rozsmarowywać". The first means more or less "to spread" and the second means more or less "to be spreading".

    I have

    roz - smar - owa - ć OR roz - smar - ow - ać (Now I think that maybe the latter is better!)

    and I have

    roz - smar - ow - yw -ać!

    I'm not sure where the vowels belong but surely the "ow" part is separated from the "ć" part!

    That new infix based on "w" (in the shape of "-yw-" in this example) can be added to some verbs, notably to "być" (to be) which becomes "bywać" (to be sometimes).

    Just a thought: maybe that's why I had such doubts about diagramming morphology. Maybe Polish morphology is more complicated than others...
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 16-Aug-2010 at 08:47.

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