Morphology is the linguistic discipline that describes and analyzes the processes and rules of word formation and creation, their internal structure, the composition and organization of their constituents. It is essential to understand the notion of Morphology, Word structure and categories. One of the major issues underlying morphological research is the processes of word formation. The most productive processes in languages are flexion, derivation and composition, and for each language there are rules that regulate word formation and whose description is also made by morphology. In this article we will discuss about the topics of morphology.
2.0 Word structure
“Observe the structure of the words: sun, denti-ista, in-quiet-o, we will sing, cha-l-eira
Analysis of these examples shows us that words are formed of morphic units or elements.
The morphic elements or word structures are as follows:
– root, radical, theme : basic and significant elements;
– affixes (prefixes, suffixes), ending, thematic vowel : elements that modify the meaning of the radical;
|The morphic elements of the above groups are called morphemes.|
– binding vowel, binding consonant : binding elements or euphonic.
It is the original and irreducible element that concentrates the meaning of words, considered from the historical angle. Usually monosyllabic, the root has a broad and general meaning, common to the words of the same etymological family.
Thus, the root noc (from the Latin nocere = harming) has the general meaning of causing harm, and attached to it, by its common origin, the words harmful, harmful, innocent, innocent, innocuous, etc.
A root may present modified: g -ir, g -ente, re g -ir, f ig -ir, f ig -ência, at -o at -or etc.
Note: It is the erudite part (Latin or Greek) that indicates the origin of the word. Ex .: MACÉR rhyme.
It is the basic and meaningful element of words, considered under the grammatical and practical aspect, within the current Portuguese language. One finds the radical by stripping the word of its secondary elements (when any): CERT-o, CERT-eza, in-CERT-eza, CAFE-teira, a-JEIT-ar, RECEB-er, EDUC-ar , EXEMPL-air, ALLOW-go, EX-PORT-ACTION, IN-OBSERVANCE…
– In certain words there is only the radical: faith, sea, sun, bring etc .; in others, the radical coincides with the root: CAMP-o, NOC-ivo, re-NOV-ar, in-ÚT-il, etc.
– The radical repeats itself. Eg: Stone, Stone, Stone
It is the radical plus a vowel (called thematic vowel). In verbs, the theme is obtained by highlighting the –r of the infinitive: CANTA-r, BEAT-r, PARTI-r etc.
In names, the theme is most evident in verb derivatives: HUNTER, SHOULDER, FINGING, FORGIVENESS, BOIL.
They are secondary elements (usually without autonomous life) that join a radical or theme to form derived words. They are called prefixes when prepended to the radical or theme, and suffixes when postponed. Thus, in the words inactive, impoverish, international, discouraging, unforgivable and predominant , we have:
radical prefix suffix
in poor ecer
des animates pain
They are the terminal elements indicative of word flexions. The nominal endings indicate the gender (male and female) and number (singular and plural) inflections of names. Example: boy, boy-s
The ending -o de amo is a number-personal ending, because it indicates that the verb is in the first person singular; -va , of love, is mode-time ending: it characterizes a verbal form of the imperfect tense of the first tense.
F) Thematic Vowel
It is the element that, plus the radical, forms the theme of names and verbs. In verbs, three thematic vowels are distinguished:
– which characterizes the verbs of the 1st conjugation: walking, walking etc.
– which characterizes the verbs of the 2nd conjugation: hit, hit etc.
– which characterizes the verbs of the 3rd conjugation: depart, depart etc.
G) Vowels and binding consonants
They are phonemes that, in certain derived or compound words, are inserted between the morphic elements, usually for reasons of euphony, that is, to facilitate the pronunciation of such words. Examples: syrup, coffee, tea, tea, tea, gas-meter, road, etc.
These are words that come from a common root. Such words constitute an etymological family. At the root of the Latin word anima = spirit, for example, are attached the following cognates: soul, animal, animator, discouragement, animation, longing, courage, heartlessness, etc.
I) Primitive and derived words
As for formation, words can be primitive or derived.
– Primitive words are those that do not derive from others within the Portuguese language: stone, earth, tooth, poor…
– Derivative words are those that come from others: mason, burying, dentist, poor thing…
J) Simple and compound words
Regarding the radical, the words are divided into simple and compound.
– Simple words are those that have only one radical: free, beauty, restart, machinery, deforestation…
2.1 Object of study of morphology
Morphology is traditionally defined as the part of grammar that studies the word from the point of view of form. However, it is necessary to specify the central terms word and form, both highly indeterminate, as well as common to technical language and everyday and changing language, in different views of the linguistic phenomenon.
According to Mattos (2002), if we consider, for example, classical grammar, morphology focuses on flexion; The object of study would be the paradigm or scheme of word shape variations in the expression of grammatical categories. In the nineteenth century, the word is no longer the minimum unit of linguistic analysis; Comparing grammatical elements in support of hypotheses of genetic relationship between languages favors the adoption of a description model that recognizes formative as root and ending.
Structuralism inherits this dismemberment of the word, so it is natural to establish the morpheme as the basic unit of morphology. The object of study of morphology in structuralism is therefore the morpheme, and its patterns of combination. Consequently, the word becomes less relevant, or even questionable as a structural unit, although Bloomfield, quoted by Rosa (2011), proposes a definition of word of crucial relevance in the descriptive analysis methodology. Saussure – also cited by Rosa (2011) – problematizes the scope of morphology from another angle, condemning the non-inclusion of lexicology in the scope of grammar, along with flexional morphology;
On the other hand, considering the determination of word classes and flexion forms as a matter of morphology, he doubts that it can constitute a discipline distinct from syntax. Saussure also explains the concrete and abstract aspects of the word, and highlights the difficulties of delimitation. therefore, the morpheme, and its combination patterns. Consequently, the word becomes less relevant, or even questionable as a structural unit, although Bloomfield, quoted by Rosa (2011), proposes a definition of word of crucial relevance in the descriptive analysis methodology.
Saussure – also cited by Rosa (2011) – problematizes the scope of morphology from another angle, condemning the non-inclusion of lexicology in the scope of grammar, along with flexional morphology; On the other hand, considering the determination of word classes and flexion forms as a matter of morphology, he doubts that it can constitute a discipline distinct from syntax.
2.2 Morphological categories
Category means set of properties that is associated with a particular part of speech, such as Case, Person, Time, Mode, Voice, Gender, Number…
2.2.1 Categories and properties
According to PH Matthews (1972, pp. 161-162 quoted by Rosa, 2011, p. 119), the term category is used: a) to refer to word classes, such as N (for name) or V (for verb); b) to represent the dimensions of a paradigm, such as Number, for example; c) for each of the possibilities of contrast within a dimension, such as Singular Number, Plural Number.
Use in (a) is generally used in syntax work; in (b) for morphosyntactic category, since we are concerned with modifications in the structure of the word whose connection with the syntactic structure is close. Elements such as Present, Past, Future, members of the Time category, which illustrate (c), we will apply the term morphosyntactic properties.
2.2.2 Morphosyntactic categories
According to Rosa,
“A morphosyntactic category is mandatory for a class of words as a whole in a given language. We expect any Portuguese verb, for example, to have the dimension Number / Person.
The realization of a morphosyntactic category next to a lexeme like this or that property depends, however, on different mechanisms within a building. If we think of the Number category in Portuguese, for example, we don’t need much effort to conclude that its realization in adjectives differs from its realization in nouns. Of course, we are not referring to the endings that concretize Singular or Plural, but to the syntactic mechanisms related to their appearance in a word. The adjective in Portuguese will have the Name Number that acts as the nucleus of the constituent. The name, in turn, does not behave the same way. Regarding the Number, it is the property (Singular or Plural) that should be visible for agreement with modifiers or, if it works as its external argument, with the verb.
The realization of a morphosyntactic category in a lexeme is based on a restricted cast of possibilities.