Questions tagged [morphology]

Questions regarding morphemes (smallest semantically meaningful units in a language) such as words, affixes, parts of speech, intonation/stress, or implied context.

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Is this word an example of agglutination or compounding? [closed]

One of the longest words* in the English dictionary is supercalifraglisticexpialidocious and introduced in the OED in 1931. However, is this word an example of compounding or agglutination. People say ...
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2answers
8k views

What is the difference between the suffixes -ize and -ify?

The dictionary ascribes the same purpose to both these suffixes: to denote 'to make, or become'. However, for some neologisms, -ize seems much more appropriate than -ify does, and vice-versa. There ...
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0answers
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-ed suffix in compounds [closed]

I read somewhere in a book on morphology that -ed suffix in compounds conveys the notion of having something, therefore "a one-armed man" means " a man having one arm", so i was ...
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4answers
6k views

Origin of pluralisation of verbs and nouns in English

From this question, I was just wondering why plural nouns use the ending -s, while the exact same ending is used for the third person singular form of verbs. How did we get into this weird situation? ...
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2answers
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Suffixes that are words: why aren't they considered compounds?

There are some common suffixes, -less, -able, -full, and -wise, that are also full words on their own. Why isn't adding these words on considered compound words instead of suffixes? Or to say it ...
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1answer
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What do you call words such as “the, an, a, to, and”?

I am looking to identify list of words that I can add to my search algorithm for a database. I would like to know if there is a list of words that I can identify that serve little purpose. I would ...
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1answer
40 views

Why is it some adjectives don't seem to accept negative prefixes and only are used with the negative adverb "not"?

I am specifically thinking of the word angry. If un- is generally used as a negative prefix applied to words of Germanic origin, why not angry, since I believe it comes from Old Norse? Is there a rule ...
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2answers
34 views

How to unambiguously indicate inflections where letters are sometimes removed?

Consider a lexicon where you look up the words 'jump' and 'dance'. You would often see something like this: jump -s -ing, etc. dance -s -ing, etc. I reckon this notation (is there a name for it?) is ...
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1answer
7k views

What word has the greatest morpheme to syllable ratio? [closed]

I am curious how tightly packed morphemes can be in English words. Do any of you happen to know which English word has the most morphemes per syllable, or know how to find out? These are the best I'...
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1answer
51 views

What is morphological analysis of words to estimate their meaning called?

Is there a word for this? I'll use an example to show what I mean: Let's say you don't know what sepsis means, which is bacterial infection of blood. So, you start thinking. You break the word up into ...
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1answer
81 views

Is "stranded" a past participle or an adjective? [duplicate]

Definition of the " leave" :to make or allow sb/sth to remain in a particular condition, place, etc. Leave the window open. (verb + object+ adjective) I Left the headlights on. ( verb + ...
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1answer
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Why is the usage of " but" different in these two sentences? [closed]

He did nothing at all but repeatedly brag what he has done for the country. I had no choice but to give up the offer. Why is " but" in above examples respectively followed by a bare ...
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1answer
84 views

" rely on it " vs " put it on" [closed]

rely on it put it on At times I feel confused about usage of some phrasal verbs ending with an adverb or a preposition. Just like the above two examples, the usage of "on" is different. ...
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1answer
423 views

How can you determine whether a word with the pseudo- prefix should be hyphenated? [duplicate]

I am in a bit of a quandary over conflicting results in dictionary entries about the inclusion of a hyphen in some of the words containing the pseudo- prefix. An example of one of these words is ...
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5answers
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What's wrong with "stupider"?

On online boards I've seen some people claim that "stupider" is ungrammatical. I can't see any reason why it would be, and it seems like it's commonly used. It's also in online dictionaries,...
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2answers
14k views

Rules for forming demonyms

Are there specific rules / conventions at play when creating demonyms? Or are they merely formed organically over time - the most popular winning out? There are many suffixes to choose from, but I ...
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1answer
65 views

Why do some words containing a form of “philia” have it at the beginning and some have it at the end?

There are words like “philosophy”, “philology”, “philanthropy”; these have a form of “philia” at the beginning. Why don't these words have it at the end? Also, there are words like “haemophilia”, “...
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2answers
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Why can we use "inadequate" but not "inspecific"?

I find the use of the word "inspecific" very natural. It makes sense and flows easily in sentences I speak and write (to myself at least). However, upon inspection, it is apparently not a valid ...
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1answer
3k views

Usage of the noun suffix "-ment"

What is a good rule for the usage of the noun suffix -ment? Is desirement as acceptable as achievement?
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1answer
108 views

Is y at the end of muddy derivational

Mud is the root word. If I add -dy to make the word muddy, is that suffix a derivational or inflectional morpheme?
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2answers
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Strong /strɔːŋ/ → stronger /strɔːŋɡər/ - Why do we have to put an extra /g/ in front of /ər/? Is it a rule?

Ok, see this in the dictionary: Strong → /strɔːŋ/ Stronger → /strɔːŋɡər/ Why do we have to put an extra /g/ in front of /ər/? But sing → /sɪŋ/ & singer → /ˈsɪŋər/ do not adhere to that rule. But ...
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4answers
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Why do we say INcomplete but UNcompleted?

I'm a native speaker and it's just occurred to me that this is a strange irregularity: "The work is incomplete." < Fine "The work is uncompleted." < Less common but still ...
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2answers
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How to find words which are related morphologically?

I'm looking for a book, or any other source, which lists words that are morphologically related, like this: imagine verb imagination noun imaginative adjective Or this: medic ...
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87 views

When did people start using “rod” for “ wrought”? [closed]

I’ve seen many online postings for people claiming to sell “ rod” iron rather than “wrought “ iron items.
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2answers
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What is the root word of "unforgivable"? [closed]

I'm learning about morphology and got confused by the word "unforgivable" when identifying its root. Is it "forgive" or "give"? Thanks for your help!
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1answer
916 views

"restaurant" has 1 or 2 morphemes?

Morpheme: The smallest unit of meaning that a word can be divided into The word ‘like’ contains one morpheme but ‘un-like-ly’ contains three.Source The word "restaurant" /ˈres.tə.rɑːnt/ has 1 or 2 ...
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2answers
107 views

"Crossed-referenced", "Crashed-landed", and other twice-inflected verbs

For about a month now, I've been cataloging every compound verb I encounter that, for whatever reason, causes some people to inflect both of its components in the past tense (see title for examples). ...
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101 views

Terminology and the morphology of 'librarian'

I was hoping someone could help me out with a terminology question. What is it called when you remove a letter to add a derivational bound morpheme to a free morpheme (i.e. library + -ian = librar(y)...
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1answer
260 views

Is 'non-work' a word?

I'm working in a big company with lots of employees. We have 'Skype for business application with which we communicate and interact with each other . I want to update my status to something like: I'm ...
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0answers
105 views

Are morphemes commonly found at the end of words considered suffixes?

Are morphemes commonly found at the end of words considered suffixes? For example: "erate", found at the end of words like accelerate, operate, refrigerate, considerate, nonliterate, etc. I ...
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62 views

Is a punctuation error also a morphological error at the same time?

Are punctuation errors counted as morphological errors? For example, is writing Johns car instead of John's car a morphological error?
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Is there any way, I can get to the brief history of any words or phrases?

It's hard to remember the word until I get to the history or until I feel the word. I'm wondering any apps or sites to help me out with this.
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Are there many words that come with “a” as the prefix to mean “no, non” like “asymptomatic” and “apolitical”?

I didn’t know the word, “asymptomatic” to my shame, until I heard the following narration in AP Radio news aired on October 27 through AFN network: “Dr. Anthony Fauci with the NIH says CDC ...
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0answers
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Resources for morphological etymology research

I am attempting to write a short paper on English etymology focusing on Germanic, French, and Latin morphology. I need to present a means of identifying these roots by common morphologies in English, ...
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3answers
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Compounds and Phrases [compound nouns vs free combinations, collocations]

What is the difference between compounds and phrases? How do I know that "watch-maker" is a compound but "steel bridge" is a phrase? Does the "head" have anything to do with it (complement-head or ...
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1answer
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Dealing with pronouns

“You can tell him...." "Me tell him?” Is this structure appropriate? Why / why not? “Me” is usually an object pronoun. I would say that the structure is inappropriate, because “Me” is an ...
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2answers
3k views

Why does "prayer" end with -er?

Why is the noun form of pray "prayer"? Typically, -er is tacked onto the end of verbs to denote a person or thing that does the verb. Hence, print(er), compute(r), write(r), watch(er), do(er)...
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4answers
6k views

Does adding the suffix "ality" to a noun change its meaning?

I thought that -ality was used to turn an adjective into a noun : bestial to beastiality, final to finality. But I see that some people add it onto the end of nouns : criminal to criminality, ...
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1answer
676 views

How to identify the type of phrase?

Sometimes, the phrases that I analyze look like they fit more than one category, and other times I do not understand why a phrase is a certain type. (We are taught 5 types: NP, VP, PP, AdjP, AdvP.) ...
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378 views

How many morphemes are there in "assertion"?

Is it "a+sert+tion" or "assert+tion"? I found an article here that says its the former, but the answer key of the quiz which this question is in says otherwise, Help?
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4answers
3k views

Is "exceptioned" a word?

The question is a little more complex than the title states. Exceptioned is not in the dictionary. But I am not trying to use this as a verb. I work in IT. We keep a list of exceptioned words that we ...
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2answers
232 views

How is 'compound noun' defined in CGEL?

This question is specifically about The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language by Huddleston and Pullum. Here's CGEL's definition of word: In order to avoid possible misunderstanding we will ...
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3answers
495 views

How is "art" related with "artificial"

I have actually never related both words together, but coincidentally, I realized that in germen, "art = Kunst" and "artificial = künstlich", namely people do relate both concepts together. So how is ...
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2answers
3k views

What’s going on with “drink > drench”? Is it like “passage > passenger”?

Edit: I am looking for a particular linguistic term for this process (which here uses terminal palatalization to indicate such) of turning passive verbs like drink into active verbs like drench. I ...
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3answers
329 views

How does suffixing adjectives with "ass" work out grammatically?

Why is it grammatically correct apparently to say, for example "My annoying-ass art teacher"? Or is it? If ass is a noun normally, then what part of speech is it when used to suffix an adjective? Can ...
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0answers
93 views

What do you call a made up name?

Many businesses create new words for themselves or their products. Is there a term for these words? For example, in the movie, "Bladerunner," androids are called, "Replicants." So the word Replica + ...
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238 views

the plural of the name of the letter e is ees [duplicate]

According to the wikipedia article of letter e The plural of the name of the letter e is ees (the plural of the letter itself is rendered E's, Es, e's, es). Therefore, is ees then a regular ...
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0answers
40 views

The installer of an installer

This is probably one of many questions brought forward by this computing age; but what can I call a person who installs an installer? I was thinking installee, which isn't a word given we already had ...
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1answer
123 views

Is 'hand' in 'beforehand' a morpheme?

I'm not 100% sure if the 'hand' in 'beforehand' is a morpheme as it can function as a standalone word instead of the suffixes and prefixes which make up most morphemes, such as -ly, -ing, -ed, etc. I'...
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1answer
317 views

General way to describe words like "understand", based on archaic senses of their component parts

The word "understand" is fascinating. A surface parse of the word gives little insight into how the components are related to the concept associated with the word. In contrast, with words like "...

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