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Affixation in modern english

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Introduction

Theme actually. Word – building is one of the main ways of enriching
vocabulary. Affixation is one of the most productive ways of word
building throughout the history of English. The main function of
affixation in Modern English is to form one part of speech from another;
the secondary function is to change the lexical meaning of the same part
of speech. As we are future teacher must know the rules of word –
formation. It will help us to teach our students. Besides if we know
affixes we can easily form new words while we are writing or speaking,

The aims and purposes of the work. The goal of the work is based on
detailed study of affixation, which play important role in word –
formation. According to this general aim the following particular tasks
are put forward:

1. to classify affixes.

2. to classify the affixes according to its structure and semantics.

3. to show productive ways of word – building process of the English
language.

The scientific novelty of the work. Novelty of the qualification work is
determined by the necessity o the study of affixation which form a large
layer of word – building process. And studying the productive ways of
affixes in Modern English.

The practical value. The practical value of the research is that
material and the results of the given qualification work can serve the
material for theoretical course of lexicology, stylistics, typology as
well as can be used for practical lessons in translation, home reading,
conversational practice and current events.

Literature overview. While writing present qualification work I used the
books written by great scholars such as: The English Word by Arnold I.V,
A Course of Lexicology by Ginzburg R.S, A Course of lexicology by
Buronov J.B. Besides above mentioned literatures I took information from
Internet, Work Book Encyclopedia.

The structure of the work. Present qualification work consists of
Introduction, main part, conclusion and the list of used literatures.

1. Main part

1.1 Morphemes, free and bound forms

If we describe a word as an autonomous unit of language in which a
particular meaning is associated with a particular sound complex and
which is capable of a particular grammatical employment and able to form
a sentence by itself we have the possibility to distinguish it from the
other fundamental language unit, namely, the morpheme.

A morpheme is also an association of a given meaning with a given sound
pattern. But unlike a word it is not autonomous. Morphemes occur in
speech only as constituent parts of words, not independently, although a
word may consist of a single morpheme. Nor are they divisible into
smaller meaningful units. That is why the morpheme may be defined as the
minimum meaningful language unit.

The term morpheme is derived from Gr morphe ‘form’+ eme. Linguists to
denote the smallest unit or the minimum distinctive feature have adopted
the Greek suffix – eme. (Cf. phoneme, sememe). The morpheme is the
smallest meaningful unit of form. A form in these cases is a recurring
discrete unit of speech.

A form is said to be free if it may stand alone without changing its
meaning; if not, it is a bound form, so called because it is always
bound to something else. For example, if we compare the words sportive
and elegant and their parts, we see that sport, sportive, elegant may
occur alone as utterances, whereas eleg – – ive, – ant are bound forms
because they never occur alone. A word is, by L. Bloomfield’s
definition, a minimum free form. A morpheme is said to be either bound
or free. This statement’ should be taken with caution. It means that
some morphemes are capable of forming words without adding other
morphemes: that is, they are homonymous to free forms.

According to the role they play in constructing words, morphemes are
subdivided into roots and affixes. The latter are further subdivided,
according to their position, into prefixes, suffixes and infixes, and
according to their function and meaning, into derivational and
functional affixes, the latter also called endings or outer formatives.

When a derivational or functional affix is stripped from the word, what
remains is a stem (or a stem base). The stem expresses the lexical and
the part of speech meaning. See also: П A. Coболева, об ocновах слов,
связанных отношениями конверсии. Сб «Иностранные языки в высшей школе»,
вып. 2, 1963. For the word hearty and for the paradigm heart (Sing.) –
hearts (Pl.) A paradigm is defined as the system of grammatical forms
characteristic of a word. the stem may be represented as heart– This
stem is a single morpheme, it contains nothing but the root, so it is a
simple stem. It is also a free stem because it is homonymous to the word
heart.

A stem may also be defined as the part of the word that remains
unchanged throughout its paradigm. The stem of the paradigm hearty –
heartier – (the) heartiest is hearty– It is a free stem, but as it
consists of a root morpheme and an affix, it is not simple but derived.
Thus, a stem containing one or more affixes is a derived stem. If after
deducing the affix the remaining stem is not homonymous to a separate
word of the same root, we call it a bound stem. Thus, in the word
cordial ‘proceeding as if from the heart’, the adjective-forming suffix
can be separated on the analogy with such words as bronchia/, radial,
social. The remaining stem, however, cannot form a separate’ word by
itself: it is bound. In cordially and cordiality, on the other hand, the
stems are free.

Bound stems are especially characteristic of loan words. The point may
be illustrated by the following French borrowings: arrogance, charity,
courage, coward, distort, involve, notion, legible and tolerable, to
give but a few. Historical lexicology shows how sometimes the stem
becomes bound due to the internal changes in the stem that accompany the
addition of affixes; cf. broad: breadth, clean: cleanly [‘klenhj, dear:
dearth [d?:? ], grief : -.grievous. After the suffixes of these words
are taken away the remaining elements are: arrog-, char-, cour-, cow-, –
tort, – voIve, nat-, leg-, toler-, which do not coincide with any
semantically related independent words.

Roots-are main morphemic vehicles of a given idea in a given language at
a given stage of its development. A root may be also regarded as the
ultimate constituent element which remains after the removal of all
functional and derivational affixes and does not admit any further
analysis. It is the common element of words within a word-family. Thus,
– heart – is the common root of the following series of words: heart,
hearten, dishearten, heartily, heartless, hearty, heartiness,
sweetheart, heart-broken, kind-hearted, whole-heartedly, etc. In some of
these, as, for example, in hearten, there is only one root; in others
the root – heart is combined with some other root, thus forming a
compound like sweetheart.

It will at once be noticed that the root in English is very often
homonymous with the word. This fact is of fundamental importance as it
is one of the most specific features of the English language arising
from its general grammatical system on the one hand, and from its
phonemic system on the other. The influence of the analytical structure
of the language is obvious. The second point, however, calls for some
explanation. Actually the usual phonemic shape most favoured in English
is one single stressed syllable: bear, find, jump, land, man, sing, etc.
This does not give much space for a second morpheme to add classifying
Lexico-grammatical meaning to the lexical meaning already present in the
root-stem, so the Lexico-grammatical meaning must be signaled by
distribution. In the phrases a morning’s drive, a morning’s ride, a
morning’s walk the words drive, ride and walk receive the
Lexico-grammatical meaning of. a noun not due to the structure of their
stems, but because they are preceded by a noun in the Possessive case.

An English word does not necessarily contain formatives indicating to
what part of speech it belongs. This holds true even with respect to
inflexible parts of speech, i.e. nouns, verbs, adjectives. Not all roots
are free forms, but productive roots, i.e. roots capable of producing
new words, usually are. The semantic realization of an English word is
therefore very specific. Its dependence on distribution is further
enhanced by the widespread occurrence of homonymy both among root
morphemes and affixes. Note how many words in the following statement
might be ambiguous if taken in isolation: A change of work is as good as
a rest.

The above treatment of the root is purely synchronic, as we have taken
into consideration only the facts of present-day English. But the same
problem of the morpheme serving as the main signal of a given lexical
meaning is studied in etymology, i.e. in that branch of linguistics
which deals with the origin and development of words tracing them back
to their earliest determinable source. When approached thus historically
or diachronically the word heart will be classified as Common Germanic.
One will look for cognates, i.e. words descended from a common ancestor.
The cognates of heart are the Latin cor, whence cordial ‘hearty’,
‘sincere’, and so cordially and cordiality; also the Greek kardia,
whence English cardiac condition. The cognates outside the English
vocabulary are the Russian сердце, the German Herzt the Spanish corazon
and somе other words.

To emphasize the difference between the synchronic and the diachronic
treatment, we shall call the common element of cognate words in
different languages not their root but their radical element. An
interesting example of historical treatment may be found in Potter’s
book.11 S. Potter, Modern Linguistics, p. 81, London, 1957 Potter shows
that the same radical element s-d is to be recognized in the English
monosyllables sit, seat, soot and nest. The radical element is s-d, the
vowels may be different. Potter distinguishes five grades: (1) – sed –
as in Latin sedere, whence the English sedentary ‘requiring much
sitting’, ‘physically inactive’ (sedentary work, sedentary person) and
sediment ‘the part that settles to the bottom of a liquid’. From sedare,
sedat (the causative of sedere) the English vocabulary has sedate
‘quiet’, ‘calm’ and its derivatives: sedately, sedateness, sedative;
supersede is ‘to sit above’, hence ‘to replace’. This meaning developed,
as Potter explains, at the time when seats at schools were assigned by
quality of work, so if a pupil surpassed another he superseded him. The
verb sit belongs to this group also, being developed from Common
Germanic setjan. (2) The variant – – sod – is represented by the Past
Tense sat, (3) [-se:d] – is observed in Mode seathoneymoon v. The treatment remains
synchronic because it is not the origin of the word that is established
but its present correlations in the vocabulary and the patterns
productive in present-day English.

The analysis into immediate constituents described below permits us to
obtain the morphemic structure and provides the basis for further
word-formation analysis.

Analysis into immediate constitute

A synchronic morphological analysis is most effectively accomplished by
the procedure known as the analysis into immediate constituents11
Immediate constituents — pny of the two meaningful parts forming a
larger linguistic unity. (IC’s). First suggested by L. Bloomfield22 L.
Bloomfield, Language, London, 1935, p. 210. it was later developed by
many linguists.33 See: E. O. Nida, Morphology. The Descriptive Analysis
of Words, Ann Arbor, 1946 p. Fl. The main opposition dealt with is the
opposition of stem and affix. It is a kind of segmentation revealing not
the history of the word but its motivation, i.e. the data the listener
has to go by in understanding it. It goes without saying that
unmotivated words and words with faded motivation have to be remembered
and understood as separate signs, not as combinations of other signs.

The method is based on the fact that a word characterized by
morphological divisibility (analysable into morphemes) is involved in
certain structural correlations. This means that, as Z. Harris puts it,
«the morpheme boundaries in an utterance are determined not on the basis
of considerations interior to the utterance, but on the basis of
comparison with other utterances. The comparisons are controlled, i.e.
we do not merely scan various random utterances but seek utterances
which differ from our original one only in stated portions. The final
test is in utterances which are only minimally different from ours. «11
2.S. Harris, Methods in Structural Linguistics, p. 163.

A sample analysis which has become almost classical, being repeated many
times by many authors, is Bloomfield’s analysis of the word
ungentlemanly. As the word is convenient we take the same example.
Comparing this word with other utterances the listener recognizes the
morpheme un-as a negative prefix because he has often come across words
built on the pattern un-adjective stem: uncertain, unconscious, uneasy,
unfortunate, unmistakable, unnatural. Some of the cases resembled the
word even more closely; these were: unearthly, unsightly, untimely,
unwomanly and the like. One can also come across the adjective
gentlemanly. Thus, at the first cut we obtain the following immediate
constituents: un + gentlemanly. If we continue our analysis we see that
although gent occurs as a free form in low colloquial usage, no such
word as lemanly may be found either as a free or as a bound constituent,
so this time we have to separate the final morpheme. We are justified in
so doing as there are many adjectives following the pattern noun
stem+ly, such as womanly, masterly, scholarly, soldierly with the same
semantic relationship of ‘having the quality of the person denoted by
the stem’; we also have come across the noun gentleman in other
utterances, The two first stages of analysis resulted in separating a
free and a bound form: 1) un + gentlemanly, 2) gentleman + ly. The third
cut has its peculiarities. The division into gent-+-leman is obviously
impossible as no such patterns exist in English, so the cut is
gentle+man. A similar pattern is observed in nobleman, and so we state
adjective stem + – man. Now, the element man may be differently
classified as a semi – affix or as a variant of the free form man. The
word gentle is open to discussion. It is obviously divisible from the
etymological viewpoint: gentle<.0Fr gentil

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