Can someone tell me how to classify the morpheme -ump, such as can be combined with lump,slump, bump, etc. (It's for a research I'm doing on onomatopoeia.) thanks

  • 2
    -Ump is not a morpheme; it's a phonestheme. It's a rime, one of the two varieties of phonestheme in assonance-rime sound symbolism; the other variety is assonance, like the /kl-/ in clump or the /st-/ in stump. More resources are available here. Oh, btw, this is not onomatopoeia -- that's only about names for noises -- this is much broader. – John Lawler May 17 '14 at 3:30
  • Why two questions? – anongoodnurse May 17 '14 at 3:34
  • If you are interested in onomatopoeia maybe you'd like to look at this question bleat – Frank May 17 '14 at 5:37
  • Would this type of question be more appropriate on linguistics.stackexchange.com? – Barmar May 17 '14 at 10:32
  • Turns out I've already answered this one before. – John Lawler May 17 '14 at 14:54

I don't see a morpheme or common word element in the three words. In my view ( different from etymonline) "lump" is connected with German Klumpen (with the same meaning as lump), "to slump" is connected with German plumpsen ( if you place the German s at the end in the position of the first English p you get slump), and "to bump" is connected to German bumsen (similar meaning). I can't discover that the three words contain a common word element.

Onomatopoeia means words that imitate sound. "lump" has nothing to do with sound. German plumpsen can be called a sound-imitating word, but after the s has taken the position of p at the front to give slump it is questionable whether "to slump" is sound-imitation.

I think "bump" is the only word where most people would agree that it is onomatopoetic.

Well, I think, the three words don't give much as to research in morphemes or sound-imitation.

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