Orthographic regularization of the deverbal suffix /

Report
Orthographic regularization of
morphology in English, and the
advantages of N-gram research
Maxwell J. Sowell
Marissa C. Huston-Carico
Eric D. Warburg
(UC Davis)
Researching morphological change
Researching morphological change
• N-grams
Researching morphological change
• What is an N-gram?
Researching morphological change
• What is an N-gram?
– 1-gram: “morphology”
– 2-gram: “morphological process”
– 3-gram: “morphological process research”
– etc.
Researching morphological change
• How does this help with research?
Researching morphological change
• How does this help with research?
Researching morphological change
• How does this help with research?
• When did “yuppie” come into use?
Researching morphological change
• How does this help with research?
• What about “yuppiedom”?
Researching morphological change
• How does this help with research?
• “yuppie”  “yuppiedom”
Researching morphological change
• How does this help with research?
• Advantages over theoretical process research:
Researching morphological change
• How does this help with research?
• Advantages over theoretical process research:
– “Theoretical”
Researching morphological change
• How does this help with research?
• Advantages over theoretical process research:
– “Theoretical”
– Hard evidence that one word was used first
Researching morphological change
• How does this help with research?
• Advantages over theoretical process research:
– “Theoretical”
– Hard evidence that one word was used first
– Specific dates can be implemented in
sociolinguistic research
Morphological regularization
Morphological regularization
• General morphological rules and processes
make parsing more efficient
Morphological regularization
• General morphological rules and processes
make parsing more efficient
– /write + -groblaxt/ - past tense
– /read + -pfeffets/ - past tense
Morphological regularization
• General morphological rules and processes
make parsing more efficient
• Still some irregular morphology:
– ox  oxen
– eat  ate
Morphological regularization
• General morphological rules and processes
make parsing more efficient
– What would the plural of /boug/ be?
Morphological regularization
• General morphological rules and processes
make parsing more efficient
– What would the plural of /boug/ be?
– The past tense of /teev/?
Morphological regularization
• General morphological rules and processes
make parsing more efficient
– What would the plural of /boug/ be?
– The past tense of /teev/?
• Speakers tend to use regularized forms when
irregular forms are unknown or not drawn
from the lexicon quickly enough
Morphological regularization
• General morphological rules and processes
make parsing more efficient
• Speakers tend to use regularized forms when
irregular forms are unknown or not drawn
from the lexicon quickly enough
• If morphology does not reflect close relations
between words, regularization is a risk
“pedlar”  “peddler”
“pedlar”  “peddler”
• Why is the change significant?
“pedlar”  “peddler”
• Why is the change significant?
• More generally, why is spelling significant?
“pedlar”  “peddler”
• Why is the change significant?
• More generally, why is spelling significant?
– speakers retain visual spellings by symbolizing
sounds (c.f. Ehri & Wilce 1980)
“pedlar”  “peddler”
• Why is the change significant?
• More generally, why is spelling significant?
– speakers retain visual spellings by symbolizing
sounds (c.f. Ehri & Wilce 1980)
– visualized representations of words, rather than
their sequences of sounds, are used to cognitively
parse them into meaningful parts (c.f. Olson 1996)
“pedlar”  “peddler”
• So what happened?
“pedlar”  “peddler”
• So what happened?
• No new semantic niche for “peddler” to fill
“seller” not shown – also in relatively constant use
“pedlar”  “peddler”
• “peddle” comes in near when “peddler” did
“pedlar”  “peddler”
• closely relate the two lexemes’ roots with
morphological reanalysis after all in use
“pedlar”  “peddler”
• closely relate the two lexemes’ roots with
morphological reanalysis after all in use
• /peddle + -er/ cognitively closer to /peddle/
“pedlar”  “peddler”
• What about “peddler” being reanalyzed in
order to create “peddle” via back-formation?
“pedlar”  “peddler”
• What about “peddler” being reanalyzed in
order to create “peddle” via back-formation?
– “peddling” already existed; more feasible to
remove an inflectional affix than a derivational
one to yield “peddle”
“pedlar”  “peddler”
• What about “peddler” being reanalyzed in
order to create “peddle” via back-formation?
– “peddling” already existed; more feasible to
remove an inflectional affix than a derivational
one to yield “peddle”
– seemingly no reason for a spelling change if
‘peddle’ is not causing the change
“burglar” and “*burgler”
• Why is “*burgler” not attested?
“*burgler” insignificant and so not shown
“burglar” and “*burgler”
• Why is “*burgler” not attested?
– differences in relative usage of related lexemes
“burglar” and “*burgler”
• Why is “*burgler” not attested?
– differences in relative usage of related lexemes
– “burgle” is a humorous back-formation
“burglar” and “*burgler”
• Speakers are equally likely to use “burglarize”
“pedlar” vs. “burglar”
• Spelling not changed in order to back-form
“pedlar” vs. “burglar”
• Spelling not changed in order to back-form
• “Peddle” (and “burgle”, too) semantically
unnecessary; in use for other [social] reasons
“pedlar” vs. “burglar”
• Spelling not changed in order to back-form
• “Peddle” (and “burgle”, too) semantically
unnecessary; in use for other [social] reasons
• Rising usage caused speakers to relate
“pedlar” and “peddle”
“pedlar” vs. “burglar”
• Spelling not changed in order to back-form
• “Peddle” (and “burgle”, too) semantically
unnecessary; in use for other [social] reasons
• Rising usage caused speakers to relate
“pedlar” and “peddle”
• Regularized with /-er/ ending instead of
recalling separately memorized form “pedlar”
“pedlar” vs. “burglar”
• Spelling not changed in order to back-form
• “Peddle” (and “burgle”, too) semantically
unnecessary; in use for other [social] reasons
• Rising usage caused speakers to relate
“pedlar” and “peddle”
• Regularized with /-er/ ending instead of
recalling separately memorized form “pedlar”
• “pedlar” fell out of use in American English;
efficiency taking priority is a noted trend
Further study
• Using raw chronology for derivational research
Further study
• Using raw chronology for derivational research
• For English /-er/ regularization
– Without many English words ending in [-ar] that
semantically correlate with the deverbal
nominalizer /-er/, research is limited
Further study
• Using raw chronology for derivational research
• For English /-er/ regularization
– Without many English words ending in [-ar] that
semantically correlate with the deverbal
nominalizer /-er/, research is limited
– Etymological research
Further study
• Using raw chronology for derivational research
• For English /-er/ regularization
– Without many English words ending in [-ar] that
semantically correlate with the deverbal
nominalizer /-er/, research is limited
– Etymological research
• e.g. “pedlar” is derived from Latin, while “burglar” is
derived from French
Further study
• Using raw chronology for derivational research
• For English /-er/ regularization
– Without many English words ending in [-ar] that
semantically correlate with the deverbal
nominalizer /-er/, research is limited
– Etymological research
• e.g. “pedlar” is derived from Latin, while “burglar” is
derived from French
– Other sociolinguistic applications
Further study
• Using raw chronology for derivational research
• For English /-er/ regularization
– Without many English words ending in [-ar] that
semantically correlate with the deverbal
nominalizer /-er/, research is limited
– Etymological research
• e.g. “pedlar” is derived from Latin, while “burglar” is
derived from French
– Other sociolinguistic applications
• Why words like “peddle” come into use/peak in use
Selected references
• Bourassa, D. C., & Treiman, R. (2008). Morphological
constancy in spelling: A comparison of children with
dyslexia and typically developing children. Dyslexia, 14(3),
155-169. doi: 10.1002/dys.368
• Ehri, L. C., & Wilce, L. S. (1980). The influence of
orthography on readers' conceptualization of the phonemic
structure of words. Applied Psycholinguistics, 1, 371-385.
doi: 10.1017/S0142716400009802
• Hoad, T. F. (1993). The concise oxford dictionary of english
etymology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press USA.
• Hudson, G. (2000). Essential introductory linguistics.
Malden, MA: Blackwell.
• Olson, D. R. (1996). The world on paper: The conceptual
and cognitive implications of writing and reading.
Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

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