Productivity - mona alahmadi

Report
Productivity &
Constrains on
Productivity
Lec. 5
The open-endedness of
lexicon
 Morphological
theorizing & the formation
of words (established words +freshly
coined words)
 Lexicon vs. syntax
 Word formation rules are passive: to
analyze existing words rather that to
create new ones
The open-endedness of
lexicon
 In
principle, no word is infinite in length,
but there is no upper limit to the formation
of bases (e.g. uncomplicatedness).
 Borrowing & the lexicon of a language
 Morphology is productive
What is productivity?
 Productivity
& generality: the more
general a word-formation process is, the
more productive it will be assumed to be.
1. Productivity is a matter of degree
2. Productivity is subject to the dimension
of time
 Productivity
and the inherent ambiguity
Productivity, Time dimension &
Fashion
 Singular
 Plural
I
 We
take
 Thou takest
 He, she taketh
take
 Ou take
 They take
Exercise
-id
-ist
-er
morbid
anarchist
worker
tepid
communist
painter
timid
pianist
swimmer
splendid
violinist
dancer
horrid
racist
jogger
Buddhist vs.
*Muhammedist
Latin suffix
*unproductive/
frozen
Mid-way suffix
*Unexplainable
gaps
Germanic
productive
The suffix -itis



The suffix (–itis) is (Greek origin) is suffixed to
form the feminine of adjectives
It is used in modern medical English to form
words referring to inflammatory diseases, e.g.
arthritis
the words suffixed with (-itis) are fewer than
those suffixed with (–er), however the former
suffix (-itis) attaches with an extremely high
degree of regularity to most suitable bases.
The suffix -itis
 Cephalitis
 Hepatitis
 Vaginitis
 Neuritis
 Bronchitis
 Arthritis
The suffix -ant
 The
suffix (–ant) (Latin origin) is suffixed to
turns a verbal base into an agentive
nominal.
 There
is some restriction (historical) to the
bases to which the suffix –ant is attached.
The suffix -ant

The base is originally Latin, so it attaches to Latin
bases only. Germanic bases are not allowed.

dependent
participant
assistant
servant
consultant
*wri(e)tant
*buildant
*shoutant







The suffix -ant
 Semantically,
the –ant has unpredictable
effects, and the meaning of words
created by suffixing –ant is inconsistent
 defendant vs. accountant
Productivity & Creativity
 Productivity
= creativity
 The capacity of all human languages to
use finite means to produce an infinite
number of words & utterances
 In the scope of morphology, creativity
can be seen in 2 ways:
1. Rule-governed creativity
2. Rule-bending creativity
Productivity & Creativity
Words are formed following general rules
and principles internalized by speakers in the
process of language acquisition (quick 
quickly) or (post  postwar)
2.
however, speaker have the ability to extend
the stock of words idiomatically, producing
words without following the standard rules of
word-formation.
Stool pigeon / security reasons/ collateral
damage/ anti-terror law / deadline
1.
Constrains on Productivity
 Blocking
(i)
Blocking may be due to the prior existence
of another word with the same meaning
that the new word would have , i.e. Perfect
synonyms are avoided.
Thief  *stealer
Constrains on Productivity
 Blocking
(ii)
If there are two semantically similar
morphemes, one of which is more
productive than the other, the more
productive morpheme is less likely to
blocking
than
its
less
productive
counterpart.
-ness & -ity
Examples
 -ness
& -ity
X + (-ous)
adjective
Pre-existing
Noun
Noun
Noun
(-ness)
(-ity)
More productive Less productive
Glorious
glory
Gloriousness
*Gloriosity
Furious
Fury
Furiousness
*Furiosity
Couragous
Courage
Courageousness
*Couragity
Spacious
space
spaciousness
*spaciosity
blocking
 The
concept of blocking is due to a
number of factors; these factors may be
(i) phonological, (ii) morphological, (iii)
semantic, or (iv) aesthetic.
1. Phonological factors
Verbs with the meaning ‘to begin x’ can
be usually formed from adjectives by
suffixing
(-en) to an adjectival base provided which
meets the following phonetic conditions:
 The base must be monosyllabic
 The base must end in (stop/ fricative)
which may be optionally preceded by a
(nasal consonant/ or approximate)
Blocking -en
Allowed verbs
 blacken
 dampen
 quieten
 soften
 whiten
 harden
 fasten
*disallowed verbs
 dryen
 blueen
 greenen
 dimmen
Blocking -ly
Adverbs, in general, are can be usually
formed from adjectives by suffixing (-ly) to
an adjectival base:
 The (-ly) suffix tends to be avoided where
an
adjective
ends
in
(-ly)
Blocking -ly
allowed
 grand
– grandly
 clever – cleverly
 fierce – fiercely
 elegant – elegantly
 serious – seriously
*disallowed
 sillyly
 friendlyly
 miserlyly
 sisterlyly
2. morphological factors
The morphological properties of a base
may
prevent
the
application
of
morphological
rules.
Often
native
morphemes behave differently from foreign
morphemes.
Some affixes may only be
added either to native bases or bases of
foreign origin.
Velar softening
 According
to the rule of velar softening,
the /k/, is usually spelled as the letter (c)
when attached to words of Latin & French
origin.
 /k/  /s/
 cynic  cynicism
 critic  criticism
 fanatic  fanaticism
 sceptic  scepticism
Blocking -hood
Allowed
native bases








boyhood
girlhood
motherhood
fatherhood
sisterhood
brotherhood
manhood
womanhood
*disallowed
Foreign bases
 Judgehood
 Authorhood
 Prisonerhood
 Colonelhood
 Generalhood
 Governerhood
Note




The distinction between native & borrowed
morphemes is very important. However, we
should be careful not to press this too far.
There are roots borrowed from French, yet
they can take the suffix –hood.
With the passage of time, foreign morphemes
can be fully assimilated and nativised so that
they behave in the same way as indigenous
morphemes.
E.g. parenthood – statehood - nationhood
3. Semantic factors
 Semantic
considerations may be involved
in the application of word-formation
processes.
 For example, forming compounds from
adjectives plus past participle is not
always allowed.
Examples
allowed








short-sleeved
short-sighted
green-roofed
blue-eyed
one-armed
three-legged
red-nosed
red-haired
disallowed
 *Two-carred
 *Three-housed
3. Semantic factors
 If
there are 2 adjectives with opposite
meanings, one of which has a more
positive meaning than the other, normally
the negative prefix (–un) attaches to the
positive adjective
 If (–un) is attached to the negative
member of the pair, the resulting word is
usually ill-formed.
Examples
allowed
disallowed
 unwell
 *unill
 unloved
 *unhated
 unhappy
 *unsad
 unwise
 *unfoolish
 unclean
 *unfilthy,
 unoptimistic
* undirty
 *unpessimistic
4. Aesthetic factors & the
adoption of words
 Word-formation
sometimes is inhibited by
vague aesthetic factors.
In principle,
there are many words well-formed words
whose adoption has nevertheless been
resisted.
 e.g. stagflation (stagnation + inflation)

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