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By Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy

What precisely are phrases? Are they the issues that get indexed in dictionaries, or are they the fundamental devices of sentence constitution? Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy explores the consequences of those assorted methods to phrases in English. He explains some of the ways that phrases are with regards to each other, and exhibits how the heritage of the English language has affected notice constitution. subject matters comprise: phrases, sentences and dictionaries; a note and its elements (roots and affixes); a be aware and its types (inflection); a note and its family (derivation); compound phrases; be aware constitution; productiveness; and the historic resources of English be aware formation.

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Additional info for An introduction to English morphology: words and their structure

Sample text

The determiners  and  demonstrate that number contrasts can have a grammatical effect inside noun phrase as well as between subject noun phrases and their accompanying verbs. In many languages, the distinction that English expresses by word order in John loves Mary and Mary loves John is expressed by inflectional means on the words corresponding to Mary and John. In English, the same technique is used for one small closed class of lexemes, namely personal pronouns. If one replaces John and Mary with the appropriate pronouns in these two examples, the outcome is as in (26) and (27): (26) He loves her.

I have already mentioned two (teeth, men) where there is a change in the vowel of the root – or, more precisely, an allomorph of the root with a different vowel from the singular. However, there are also some whose plurals display not even a vowel change: for example, sheep, fish, deer, trout. An obvious question, therefore, is: if the plural and singular forms of these nouns are the same, how can we tell whether they are singular or plural? The answer is: according to the syntactic context. Consider the following examples: (12) A deer was visible through the trees.

7 Conclusion and summary Some words (lexemes) have more than one word form, depending on the grammatical context or on choices that grammar forces us to make (for example, in nouns, between singular and plural). This kind of wordformation is called ‘inflectional’. In so far as grammar affects all words alike, the existence of inflected word forms does not have to be noted in the dictionary; however, the word forms themselves must be listed if they are irregular. Inflection affects nouns, verbs, adjectives and a few adverbs, as well as the closed classes of pronouns, determiners, auxiliaries and modals.

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