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    #121

    Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    Hi. Sorry about the delay.

    People from the Polish forum said the following things.

    1. "-owa-"/"-ow-" and "-uj-" are called respectively "temat czasu przeszłego" and "temat czasu teraźniejszego". I'm posting the Polish names because I don't know how to translate it. "Temat" in Polish morphology usually means stem but I'm not sure if it's a good translation. It's not a stem in the usual meaning of the word. But if we accept the word "stem" as the right translation, we'll get "the stem of the past tense" and "the stem of the present tense".

    2. Answering the question, "Are all derivational affixes morphemes?", one person said, "No, not always." and gave the following example.

    pod - nóż - ek (footstool)

    The lexical root in this word is "-nóż-" which is a phonologically altered form of "nog-", a root carrying the meaning of "leg" ("noga" in Polish). Such root alterations are quite frequent in Polish.

    "Pod-" is a morpheme that means "under". "-ek" is a diminutive morpheme. They are both morphemes.

    The is no word "podnóż" or "podnog" or "podnoga" or "podnóg" (the last one being the most probable construction, but still nonexistent). There is also no word "nóżek". (There is a diminutive form of "noga" - leg - but it's a different story.) So neither "pod-" nor "-ek" is an affix. The person who gave the example didn't say that but I found out myself that it's an example of the so-called "circumfix". Thus the affix here is "pod- -ek" which is not a morpheme as it can be divided into two new meaningful parts.

    3. The question that was most important to me was, "Are '-owa-'/'-ow-' and '-uj-' morphemes?" Two persons said they are. I asked what was their meaning then, as morphemes must have their own meanings. They said Polish morphologists apply abstract meanings to such particles. Here, it would be more or less "in the past" and "in the present". Unfortunately, this is not so easy. These particles don't always create past forms but using those "abstract meanings" we can always overcome such problems.

    4. Another person said that even "-owa-" can be split into "-ow-" and "-a-" where "-a-" also have some kind of an abstract meaning. I asked what meaning and got no answer.

    5. Then I asked about those "abstract meanings". Are they real meanings? To me, a meaning exists if people understand it. One person took this question as an attempt to diminish his knowledge, not a real question and we ended up in a fight.

    6. One person said "-uj-" was a suffix. I asked why. I read the definition of a suffix on English Wikipedia which says that root + suffix = word. This is not the case here. "-uj-" needs the inflexional ending to make a word. The person didn't try reading the definition or explaining anything. He just said the definition was wrong or I misunderstood it.

    7. They said the mentioned "-a-" morpheme was something they called a "flektyw" which should be probably translated into "a flective". A flective - says Polish Wikipedia - is an element of an inflectable (is it a word?) lexeme that carries the information about the grammatical function.

  1. Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    #122

    Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    That was VERY impressive. I actually could follow most of it. But, since I feel that I am not Polish (i.e. smart) enough to follow the whole conversation, I want to at least comment on the punctuation -- brilliant and perfect.

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    #123

    Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by chester_100 View Post
    ŻEŃSKI / ŻONA=ZAN

    ÓW = OW

    DWÓJKA=Dow

    CZWÓRKA=Chehar
    Hi, Chester! Do you have any etymological Persian dictionary so that you could tell us more about these words? I'm curious whether these are real cognates or just false (etymological) friends... Or maybe you know that yourself already? Unfortunately, I don't know much about the reconstructed proto-Indo-European forms...

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    #124

    Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Antonson View Post
    I wonder if the best way to indicate morphemes is by color. That way you could demonstrate how a morpheme influences other parts of the sentence -- what we Americans call "agreement" but which, I think, is also called "concordance"
    Would you be so kind and show us how to do it? Maybe it could help us to some extent in this thread?

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    #125

    Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    For a young person that would be nothing, but I am not very skilled with computers. Let me see if I can do it with capital letters.

    "THEY ARE in the house. There ARE five houseS on the street. YESTERDAY I WAS reading a book. TOMORROW I WILL read TWO more bookS"

    I guess it's harder than I thought. In English, of course, agreement is basically only determined by number, person, and tense (well, a little bit by gender).

    "The WOMAN will spend HER money."

  3. chester_100's Avatar
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    #126

    Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    Hi, in the past few days I didn't get a chance to check the things out. But I eventually made it.

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    1. ''owa-''/''-ow-'' and ''-uj-'' are called respectively ''temat czasu przeszłego'' and ''temat czasu teraźniejszego''. I'm posting the Polish names because I don't know how to translate it. ''Temat'' in Polish morphology usually means stem but I'm not sure if it's a good translation. It's not a stem in the usual meaning of the word. But if we accept the word ''stem'' as the right translation, we'll get ''the stem of the past tense'' and ''the stem of the present tense''.

    Excellent!!!
    I had sensed the existence of such roots in Polish. The same thing is true about Persian.
    However, we don't have a system like this in English.

    2. Answering the question, ''Are all derivational affixes morphemes?'', one person said, ''No, not always.'' and gave the following example.

    pod - nóż - ek (footstool)

    The lexical root in this word is ''-nóż-'' which is a phonologically altered form of ''nog-'', a root carrying the meaning of ''leg'' (''noga'' in Polish). Such root alterations are quite frequent in Polish.

    ''Pod-'' is a morpheme that means ''under''. ''-ek'' is a diminutive morpheme. They are both morphemes.

    The is no word ''podnóż'' or ''podnog'' or ''podnoga'' or ''podnóg'' (the last one being the most probable construction, but still nonexistent). There is also no word ''nóżek''. (There is a diminutive form of ''noga'' - leg - but it's a different story.) So neither ''pod-'' nor ''-ek'' is an affix. The person who gave the example didn't say that but I found out myself that it's an example of the so-called ''circumfix''. Thus the affix here is ''pod- -ek'' which is not a morpheme as it can be divided into two new meaningful parts.

    Of course, it should be noted that in some extreme cases the distribution of a morpheme is so limited that it ONLY appears in one word and is never used in others.
    Can it be one of those instances?

    3. The question that was most important to me was, ''Are '-owa-'/'-ow-' and '-uj-' morphemes?'' Two persons said they are. I asked what was their meaning then, as morphemes must have their own meanings. They said Polish morphologists apply abstract meanings to such particles. Here, it would be more or less ''in the past'' and ''in the present''. Unfortunately, this is not so easy. These particles don't always create past forms but using those ''abstract meanings'' we can always overcome such problems.

    I think I understand: a Farsi example:

    -Parastidan (to worship)

    1-Past root: parastid
    2-Present root: parast


    4. Another person said that even ''-owa-'' can be split into ''-ow-'' and ''-a-'' where ''-a-'' also have some kind of an abstract meaning. I asked what meaning and got no answer.
    Maybe it's safer not to break it? Because the case will be very problematic:
    DEGRAD + OW + A + Ć.
    Based on my knowledge of Farsi, I would say there is a phonological rule at work here, not a morphological one.

    5. Then I asked about those ''abstract meanings''. Are they real meanings? To me, a meaning exists if people understand it. One person took this question as an attempt to diminish his knowledge, not a real question and we ended up in a fight.
    Oh my Gosh!
    I think by 'abstract meaning' you mean under certain circumstances their meaning changes.

    6. One person said ''-uj-'' was a suffix. I asked why. I read the definition of a suffix on English Wikipedia which says that root + suffix = word. This is not the case here. ''-uj-'' needs the inflexional ending to make a word. The person didn't try reading the definition or explaining anything. He just said the definition was wrong or I misunderstood it.

    No, no; you're absolutely right. A SUFFIX is never used to show person or number: inflectional morphemes are responsible for those pieces of information.

    7. They said the mentioned ''-a-'' morpheme was something they called a ''flektyw'' which should be probably translated into ''a flective''. A flective - says Polish Wikipedia - is an element of an inflectable (is it a word?) lexeme that carries the information about the grammatical function.

    I admit that this one is sort of confusing. I'm not sure what inflectable lexeme can mean.
    Thank you; this is some perfect, very useful piece.

  4. chester_100's Avatar
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    #127

    Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Hi, Chester! Do you have any etymological Persian dictionary so that you could tell us more about these words? I'm curious whether these are real cognates or just false (etymological) friends... Or maybe you know that yourself already? Unfortunately, I don't know much about the reconstructed proto-Indo-European forms...


    Hi,
    Well, I think I'm sure about something: they can't be false friends.

    'Zan', in ancient Indian, was 'jani'. Also, in many different dialects: zhan, junia, zhinga, ghin, zhan.

    'Chehar': chathwaro, chaar, cahar. Apparently, the Greek 'tesaron' and these words are cognates.

    'OW': I believe it can't be a coincidence.

    'Dow': if we are careful enough when looking that the word, we should be reminded of 'two', 'deux', and 'dwojka'. And even 'zwei'.

    Linguists believe that the evolutionary stages through which words change are rule-governed. That is, following some patterns we can find the very proto-root.



    EDIT: in the above sentence it's rule-governed which was misspelled.
    Last edited by chester_100; 03-Sep-2010 at 15:11.

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    #128

    Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    Of course, it should be noted that in some extreme cases the distribution of a morpheme is so limited that it ONLY appears in one word and is never used in others.
    Can it be one of those instances?
    No, not really. The morphemes "pod-" and "-ek" are very frequent and alive.

    I think I understand: a Farsi example:

    -Parastidan (to worship)

    1-Past root: parastid
    2-Present root: parast
    That's it I guess!

    DEGRAD + OW + A + Ć.
    Based on my knowledge of Farsi, I would say there is a phonological rule at work here, not a morphological one.
    I find it phonological too. But I'm no specialist. They might know something I have no idea about. But they wouldn't tell.

    Oh my Gosh!
    I think by 'abstract meaning' you mean under certain circumstances their meaning changes.
    I think they meant something else. They were talking about meanings like "Hey, I'm a past tense verb" or "Hey, I am a part of this word that is needed to introduce another part of this word that will actually mean something."

    No, no; you're absolutely right. A SUFFIX is never used to show person or number: inflectional morphemes are responsible for those pieces of information.
    It means I was actually wrong. But this is not so important...

    I admit that this one is sort of confusing. I'm not sure what inflectable lexeme can mean.
    I just copied a Polish term. I meant a word that you can inflect. In Polish they're for example verbs and nouns. You can't inflect prepositions and conjunctions on the other hand.

  5. chester_100's Avatar
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    #129

    Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Can it be one of those instances?
    No, not really. The morphemes ''pod-'' and ''-ek'' are very frequent and alive.
    Yes. I meant the combination ''pod + nóż + ek''.
    Technically, I agree with you, because, to the best of knowledge, prefixes and suffixes work independently, and the occurrence of a certain prefix, will necessitate the occurrence of a particular suffix.
    /*******************/

    I think by 'abstract meaning' you mean under certain circumstances their meaning changes.
    I think they meant something else. They were talking about meanings like ''Hey, I'm a past tense verb'' or ''Hey, I am a part of this word that is needed to introduce another part of this word that will actually mean.''
    So they're either tense or structure markers.
    /*******************/

    I admit that this one is sort of confusing. I'm not sure what inflectable lexeme can mean.
    I just copied a Polish term. I meant a word that you can inflect. In Polish they're for example verbs and nouns. You can't inflect prepositions and conjunctions on the other hand.

    That's clearer now. It means a word capable of being inflected. You may be surprised to know that attachable pronouns can be used for adjectives in Farsi, functioning like verbs:

    -Khoob + am (I'm fine)
    -Bad + am (I'm bad)


    C

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    #130

    Wink Re: Cross-linguistic Morpheme Analysis

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    It means I was actually wrong. But this is not so important...

    I still think you're right. The confusion arises from the words. In my sentence, I actually meant a derivational suffix. That person wasn't wrong either.
    A suffix is a constituent that is attached to the end of a word. As you said, '-uj-' is used to show inflection. So it's acceptable to call it an inflectional suffix. In some cases they can cause confusion:


    -Bigg + er (inflectional)
    -Teach + er (derivational)

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