English Structures

Morphology

 Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 Moodle TESL 551: Crowley Houts-Smith

Word Analysis & Affixation

Let’s describe and analyze the structure of these English words:

Hospital
Hospitalize
Hospitals
Hospitalizes

• hospital - simple word, free morpheme, root base
• hospitals = root + -s affix
• hospitalize - complex word, free base hospital (root) + -ize derivational suffix
• hospitalizes = stem [hospital (root) + -ize affix] + -s
This analysis shows that words are not formed all at once. There seems to be an order that is followed. To capture the step-by-step process of word formation, linguists have developed methods of diagramming. One method is labeled bracketing; the other method involves tree structures.

Labeled Bracketing uses square brackets with labels in subscript. An example here is the word unkind:
[A [Af un] [A kind]]

• The label A means adjective.
• The label Af means affix.
• So this shows that the affix un- attaches to an adjective, kind, to make a new adjective.
Look at this example of a word with a suffix

[A [N home] [Afly]]

This shows that an affix, –ly, attaches to a noun, home, to make a new adjective.

Activity: Labled Bracketing

Now you try making labeled brackets for the words below. Write them out on a sheet of paper, using the form and structure above to analyze each word.
Teacher
Civility
Incredible

Here's what you should have written.

Now let’s analyze rehospitalizes with labeled brackets:

[V [Af re] [V [V [N hospital] [Af ize]] [Af s]]]

 And so Tree Structure Diagrams were invented. They look like this:

Notice the labels in trees are the same as the labels in bracketing. Labels are placed at the nodes of the trees.

Activity: Tree Structures

Trees can be drawn from the top-down or from the bottom-up.

Using the top down method: start with the base word label, in this case A for adjective, then split off each major division. In this case there is just one affix, Af, and an adjective, A. Once the parts are labeled, the word parts can be filled in underneath.

Using the bottom up method: start with the word written out with spaces between each morpheme. "Branch" up and label each part. In this case, Af and A. Then join the two parts together by drawing connecting lines. Finally label the top node to show the syntactic category of the whole word.

Now try making tree diagrams of these words.

Homely
Teacher
Civility
Incredible

Once you have tried it, here are examples of the tree diagrams.

Now try rehospitalizes.

Both approaches to diagramming are challenging for novices, but once one becomes familiar with the processes, one can see the advantages and disadvantages of each approach.
• Tree Structures are better able to show the ordering process in word formation than labeled bracketing, but they require a lot of space on the page.
• Labeled bracketing is useful for slightly complex words, but not for very complex words.
 One note about the way I have drawn trees compared to the way the book draws them: I include the labels at the nodes, but the book does not. I want you to include the labels to show that you can identify affixes from other word elements. Another way to draw trees is to bring all the branches (lines) down to the same level. This allows you to see the final whole word on one horizontal line. Like this:

Go to Part 6

American Sign Language The sign language used by the deaf community in the United States.
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Test of English as a Foreign Language. A standardized exam from Educational Testing Services that is intended to determine the general capability of an NNSE to use English as the language of insruction .It is used as an admissions requirement by most US universities and colleges for international students.
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Limited English Proficient. An adjectival phrase used to refer to the same students as ELL refers to. LEP is falling into disuse as it focuses attention on student deficiency rather than on the positive attribute of learning. Is being replaced by ELL.
Second Language. Refers to any language gained subsequent to the first or native language. It is acquired or learned secondarily to the native language. Doesn't refer to the ordinal numbering of languages, only to the relationship of a particular language to a persons native language.
First Language. Refers to the language that an individual encounters as an infant and young child; a persons native language.
English for Specific Purposes. Refers to the goal of learning English to use it for highly focused activity, such as for business or for aviation communication.
English as a Second Language Program. refers to a school program that is purposefully structured to provide instruction on the English language to NNSEs. An ESL program does not typically include instruction in any other subjects than English. An ESL program may be a component of a larger ELL program at a school.
English as a Second Language. Refers to the subject matter of the English language and the methodology for teaching the English language to non-native speakers. ESL makes no reference to the subjects other than English, but it is not methodology alone either, it refers to teaching the English language as content area. Typically, ESL refers to the study of English in a country where it is used for at least one daily task, such as instruction, interpersonal relations, or shopping.
English Langauge Learner Program. Refers to a school program that is purposly structured to provide instruction on the English language and instruction in other content areas to English Language Learners.
English Language Learner. Refers to students who are in the process of learning English, whether they are in ESL classes exclusively or a combination of ESL classes and other subject area classes.
English as a Foreign Langauge. Refers to the study of English as an intellectual, academic pursuit, not a a language whose use is necessary or desirable for daily life, although it may be used as a research tool. Typically, EFL is the study of English in a country where English is not a language of instruction or daily interactions, such as in Italy or in Saudi Arabia.
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