Linguistics for Teachers


Morphology Exercises

Posted by on September 12, 2011 at 4:00 PM



A. Divide each of the following words into their smallest meaningful parts: landholder, smoke-jumper, demagnetizability, exagerated,systematic, autobiographically, semiannually

How many derivational morphemes?______ Which?_________________________ How many inflectional morphemes?______ Which?_________________________

B. Each of the following sentences contains an error made by a nonnative speaker of English. In each, identify and correct the incorrect word.

a. I am very relax here.

b. I am very boring with this game.

c. I am very satisfactory with my life.

d. Some flowers are very attracting to some insects.

e. Many people have very strong believes.Delahunty and Garvey

f. My culture is very difference from yours.

g. His grades proof that he is a hard worker.

h. The T-shirt that China drawing. (from a T-shirt package from China)                

In general terms, briefly discuss what English language learners must learn in order to avoid such errors.

C. Some native speakers of English use forms such as seen instead of saw, come instead of came, aks instead of ask, clumb instead of climbed, drug instead of dragged, growed instead of grew. Are these errors? If they are, are they the same kinds of errors made by the nonnative speakers of English listed in Exercise B?

II. Exercise

A. Identify the free morphemes in the following words: kissed, freedom, stronger, follow, awe, goodness, talkative, teacher, actor.

B. Use the words above (and any other words that you think are relevant) to answer the following questions: Can a morpheme be represented by a single phoneme? Give examples. By more than one phoneme? Give examples. Can a free morpheme be more than one syllable in length? Give examples. Can a bound morpheme? Give examples.

C. Does the same letter or phoneme—or sequence of letters or phonemes—always represent the same morpheme? Why or why not? (Hint: you must refer to the definition of morpheme to be able to answer this.)

D Can the same morpheme be spelled differently? Give examples.

E. Can different morphemes be pronounced identically? Give examples.

F. A morpheme is basically the same as: i. a letter ii. a sound iii. a group of sounds iv. none of the above

G The words district and discipline show that the sequence of letters d-i-s does not always constitute a morpheme. (Analogous examples are mission, missile, begin, and retrofit.) List five more sequences of letters that are sometimes a morpheme and sometimes not.

H. Just for fun, find some other pairs like disgruntled / *gruntled and disgusted / *gusted, where one member of the pair is an actual English word and the other should be a word, but isn’t

III Exercise.

Can an English word have more than one prefix? Give examples. More han one suffix? For example? More than one of each? Give examples. Divide the examples you collected into their root, derivational, and inflectional morphemes.

2. USE Merriam Webster Dictionary Online   or  check your dictionary to see how it deals with inflected and derived word forms. Does it list all the inflections of regular inflected words? Just irregular ones? Does it accord derived forms their own entries or include them in the entries of the forms from which they are derived? Does your dictionary list bound morphemes? Which kinds? 

Categories: HOMEWORK

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