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Difference Between Derivational and Inflextional Morphology

  • Date Submitted: 02/17/2013 09:46 AM
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HomeTopicsAll SitesThe Differences Between Derivational and Inflectional MorphologyAcademic PaperSummary   by:LearningLunatic     Summary rating:2stars(49Ratings)Visits : 6762words:600 More About :http://www.shvoong.com/social-sciences/educatio...The differences between derivational and inflectional morphology are somewhat ambiguous to explain in some languages. This is also what Bybee (1985: 81) stated in his book, “One of the most persistent undefinables in morphology is the distinction between derivational and inflectional morphology”. It is said so since both deal with morphemes that are usually affixes, either prefixes or suffixes. But in English the distinctions between them are quite recognizable.
Derivational morphology changes the meaning of words by applying derivations. Derivation is the combination of a word stem with a morpheme, which forms a new word, which is often of a different class, for example, develop(V) becomes development(N), developmental(ADJ) or redevelop(V). Thus, derivational morphemes makes new words from old ones (Crystal, p. 90.) as with the suffix of –ion when it is added to the word of create(V) to form another completely separate word of creation(N). Another example, the suffix -ation converts the verb nationalize, into the derived noun nationalization. The suffix -ize converts the noun plural, into the verb pluralize.
Nominalization is a common kind of derivation in English, and it involves forming new nouns from verbs or adjectives, by adding suffixes to them, for example:

Suffix Verb/adjective Derived noun
-ness happy (A) happiness
-ee employ (V) employee

Derivational morphology can be quite complicated, as the classes of words that an affix apply to are not always clearcut, for example the suffix -ee cannot be added to all verbs, ie to add it to run (V) gives runee, which is clearly not an English word.
The characteristics of derivational morphology:
1) Change the part of speech or the basic meaning of a word. Thus...

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