Verb morphology examples
There are two forms of passive voice the second form is preferred:. Here active and passive do not really have the same meaning. If for example you describe a picture where people build a house, the first sentence is perfectly correct. The second sentence however will be interpreted as the static perfect of the sentence.
Passive voice can be built quite formally by adhering to some rules. You will however not find normally all tenses as in active voice. Formal rules will lead you to monstrosities like the following, you will certainly never hear already the active sentence is quite monstrous:. Moods are different forms of the verb, each of which expresses the being, action, or passion, in some particular manner.
There are five moods; the infinitive, the indicative, the potential, the subjunctive, and the imperative. The infinitive mood is that form of the verb, which expresses the being, action, or passion, in an unlimited manner, and without person or number: The indicative mood is that form of the verb, which simply indicates or declares a thing: The potential mood is that form of the verb which expresses the power, liberty, possibility, or necessity, of the being, action, or passion: The subjunctive mood is that form of the verb, which represents the being, action, or passion, as conditional, doubtful, and contingent: The imperative mood is that form of the verb which is used in commanding, exhorting, entreating, or permitting: The conjugation of a verb is a regular arrangement of its moods, tenses, persons, numbers, and participles.
An auxiliary , or a sign of a verb, is a short verb prefixed to one of the morphological forms of another verb, to express some particular mode and time of the being, action, or passion.
The auxiliaries are do, be, have, shall, will, may, can , and must , with their variations. Do , be , and have express the indicative mood. Often confused with each other in modern English. These auxiliaries have distinct meanings, and, as signs of the future, they are interchanged thus:.
Shall and will by Wikipedia. If must is ever used in the sense of the past tense, the form is the same as that of the present: The simplest form of an English conjugation, is that which makes the present and past tenses without auxiliaries; but, even in these, auxiliaries are required for the potential mood, and are often preferred for the indicative.
The infinitive mood is that form of the verb, which expresses the being, action, or passion, in an unlimited manner, and without person or number. It is used only in the present and perfect tenses. This tense is the root, or radical verb; and is usually preceded by the preposition to, which shows its relation to some other word: This tense prefixes the auxiliary have to the past participle; and, like the infinitive present, is usually preceded by the preposition to: The indicative mood is that form of the verb, which simply indicates or declares a thing, or asks a question.
It is used in all the tenses. The present indicative, in its simple form, is essentially the same as the present infinitive, or radical verb ; except that the verb be has am in the indicative. This tense, in its simple form is the past; which, in all regular verbs, adds d or ed to the present, but in others is formed variously. The potential mood is that form of the verb, which expresses the power, liberty, possibility, or necessity of the being, action, or passion. It is used in the first four tenses; but the potential past is properly an aorist: This tense prefixes the auxiliary might, could, would, or should , to the radical verb: This tense prefixes the auxiliaries, may have, can have, or must have , to the past participle: This tense prefixes the auxiliaries, might have, could have, would have, or should have , to the past participle: The subjunctive mood is that form of the verb, which represents the being, action, or passion, as conditional, doubtful, or contingent.
This mood is generally preceded by a conjunction: But sometimes, especially in poetry, it is formed by a mere placing of the verb before the nominative: It does not vary its termination at all, in the different persons. It is used in the present, and sometimes in the past tense; rarely, and perhaps never properly, in any other. As this mood can be used only in a dependent clause, the time implied in its tenses is always relative, and generally indefinite: This tense is generally used to express some condition on which a future action or event is affirmed.
It is therefore erroneously considered by some grammarians, as an elliptical form of the future. This tense, like the past of the potential mood, with which it is frequently connected, is properly an aorist, or indefinite tense; for it may refer to time past, present, or future: The imperative mood is that form of the verb, which is used in commanding, exhorting, entreating, or permitting.
It is commonly used only in the second person of the present tense. Active and neuter verbs may also be conjugated, by adding the present participle to the auxiliary verb be , through all its changes: This form of the verb denotes a continuance of the action or state of being, and is, on many occasions, preferable to the simple form of the verb. Passive verbs, in English, are always of a progressive form; being made from transitive verbs, by adding the past participle to the auxiliary verb be , through all its changes: A verb is conjugated negatively, by placing the adverb not and participles take the negative first: A verb is conjugated interrogatively, in the indicative and potential moods, by placing the nominative after it, or after the first auxiliary: A verb is conjugated interrogatively and negatively, in the indicative and potential moods, by placing the nominative and the adverb not after the verb, or after the first auxiliary: Of this class of verbs there are about one hundred and ten, beside their several derivatives and compounds.
Of this class of verbs, there are about ninety-five, beside sundry derivatives and compounds. The finite verb must agree with its subject, as "The birds fly", except the following cases: In some languages, this boundary is even harder to draw. In the case of Chinese, the eminent linguist Y. Chao wrote , 'Not every language has a kind of unit which behaves in most not to speak all respects as does the unit called "word" It is therefore a matter of fiat and not a question of fact whether to apply the word "word" to a type of subunit in the Chinese sentence.
The Chinese writing system has no tradition of using spaces or other delimiters to mark word boundaries; and in fact the whole issue of how and whether to define "words" in Chinese does not seem to have arisen until , although the Chinese grammatical tradition goes back a couple of millennia. Status of clitics In most languages, there is a set of elements whose status as separate words seems ambiguous.
Examples in English include the 'd reduced form of "would" , the infinitival to , and the article a , in I'd like to buy a dog. These forms certainly can't "stand alone as a complete utterance", as some definitions of word would have it.
The sound pattern of these "little words" is also usually extremely reduced, in a way that makes them act like part of the words adjacent to them. There isn't any difference in pronunciation between the noun phrase a tack and the verb attack.
However, these forms are like separate words in some other ways, especially in terms of how they combine with other words. Members of this class of "little words" are known as clitics. Their peculiar properties can be explained by assuming that they are independent elements at the syntactic level of analysis, but become part of adjacent words at the phonological level. Some languages write clitics as separate words, while others write them together with their adjacent "host" words.
English writes most clitics separate, but uses the special "apostrophe" separator for some clitics, such as the reduced forms of is , have and would 's 've 'd , and possessive 's. The possessive 's in English is an instructive example, because we can contrast its behavior with that of the plural s.
These two morphemes are pronounced in exactly the same variable way, dependent on the sounds that precede them:. And neither the plural nor the possessive can be used by itself. So from this point of view, the possessive acts like a part of the noun, just as the plural does. However, the plural and possessive behave very differently in some other ways:.
Actually, English does have few irregular possessives: But these exceptions prove the rule: So the possessive 's in English is like a word in some ways, and like an inflectional morpheme in some others. This kind of mixed status is commonly found with words that express grammatical functions.
It is one of the ways that morphology develops historically. As a historical matter, a clitic is likely to start out as a fully separate word, and then "weaken" so as to merge phonologically with its hosts. In many cases, inflectional affixes may have been clitics at an earlier historical stage, and then lost their syntactic independence. This is an easy mistake to make: Nevertheless, it's clear that English possessive 's is a clitic and not an inflectional affix.
Important distinctions are often difficult to define for cases near the boundary. This is among the reasons that we have lawyers and courts. The relative difficulty of making a distinction is not a strong argument, one way or the other, for the value of that distinction: Despite the difficulties of distinguishing word from phrase on one side and from morpheme on the other, most linguists find the concept of word useful and even essential in analyzing most languages. In the end, we wind up with two definitions of word: What is the relationship between words and morphemes?
It's a hierarchical one: Most commonly, these morphemes are strung together, or concatenated, in a line. However, it is not uncommon to find non-concatenative morphemes. Still, a given word is still made up of a set of morphemes, it's just that the set is not combined by simple concatenation in all cases.
Simpler examples of non-concatenative morphology include infixes , like the insertion of emphatic words in English cases like "un-frigging-believable", or Tagalog. The different types of words are variously called parts of speech , word classes , or lexical categories. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language gives this list of 8 for English: Most of the increase from 8 to 36 is by subdivision e.
Other descriptions of English have used slightly different ways of dividing the pie, but it is generally easy to see how one scheme translates into another. Looking across languages, we can see somewhat greater differences. For instance, some languages don't really distinguish between verbs and adjectives. In such languages, we can think of adjectives as a kind of verb: For instance, English words like in , on , under , with are called prepositions , and this name makes sense given that they precede the noun phrase they introduce: In many languages, the words that correspond to English prepositions follow their noun phrase rather than preceding it, and are thus more properly called postpositions , as in the following Hindi example:.
Ram cari-se kutte-ko mara Ram stick-with dog hit "Ram hit the dog with an stick. In a morphologically complex word -- a word composed of more than one morpheme -- one constituent may be considered as the basic one, the core of the form, with the others treated as being added on.
The basic or core morpheme in such cases is referred to as the stem, root, or base , while the add-ons are affixes. Affixes that precede the stem are of course prefixes , while those that follow the stem are suffixes. Thus in rearranged , re- is a prefix, arrange is a stem, and -d is a suffix. Morphemes can also be infixes , which are inserted within another form.
English doesn't really have any infixes, except perhaps for certain expletives in expressions like un-effing-believable or Kalama-effing-zoo. Prefixes and suffixes are almost always bound, but what about the stems?
Are they always free? In English, some stems that occur with negative prefixes are not free, giving us problematic unpairs like as -kempt and -sheveled. Bad jokes about some of these missing bound morphemes have become so frequent that they may re-enter common usage. Morphemes can also be divided into the two categories of content and function morphemes, a distinction that is conceptually distinct from the free-bound distinction but that partially overlaps with it in practice.
The idea behind this distinction is that some morphemes express some general sort of referential or informational content , in a way that is as independent as possible of the grammatical system of a particular language -- while other morphemes are heavily tied to a grammatical function , expressing syntactic relationships between units in a sentence, or obligatorily-marked categories such as number or tense.
Thus the stems of nouns, verbs, adjectives are typically content morphemes: Content morphemes are also often called open-class morphemes, because they belong to categories that are open to the invention of arbitrary new items. People are always making up or borrowing new morphemes in these categories.: Function morphemes are also called " closed-class " morphemes, because they belong to categories that are essentially closed to invention or borrowing -- it is very difficult to add a new preposition , article or pronoun.
For years, some people have tried to introduce non-gendered pronouns into English, for instance "sie" meaning either "he" or "she", but not "it". This is much harder to do than to get people to adopt a new noun or verb. Try making up a new article. For instance, we could try to borrow from the Manding languages an article written "le" that means something like "I'm focusing on this phrase as opposed to anything else I could have mentioned.
Thus we would say "Kim bought an apple at the-le fruit stand," meaning "it's the fruit stand as opposed to anyplace else where Kim bought an apple;" or "Kim bought an-le apple at the fruit stand," meaning "it's an apple as opposed to any other kind of fruit that Kim bought at the fruit stand. Millions of West Africans use it every day. However, the chances of persuading the rest of the English-speaking community to adopt it are negligible. The concept of the morpheme does not directly map onto the units of sound that represent morphemes in speech.
To do this, linguists developed the concept of the allomorph. Here is the definition given in a well-known linguistic workbook:. Nondistinctive realizations of a particular morpheme that have the same function and are phonetically similar. For example, the English plural morpheme can appear as [s] as in cats , [z] as in dogs , or ['z] as in churches.
Each of these three pronunciations is said to be an allomorph of the same morpheme. Another common distinction is the one between derivational and inflectional affixes. Derivational morphemes makes new words from old ones. Thus creation is formed from create by adding a morpheme that makes nouns out of some verbs. Derivational morphemes generally change the part of speech or the basic meaning of a word. Thus -ment added to a verb forms a noun judg-ment. Thus un-kind combines un- and kind into a single new word, but has no particular syntactic connections outside the word -- we can say he is unkind or he is kind or they are unkind or they are kind , depending on what we mean.
Thus the suffix -hood occurs with just a few nouns such as brother, neighbor, and knight , but not with most others. Furthermore "brotherhood" can mean "the state or relationship of being brothers," but "neighborhood" cannot mean "the state or relationship of being neighbors. Thus in government s, -ment , a derivational suffix, precedes -s, an inflectional suffix.
Thus Boy and boys, for example, are two different forms of the "same" word. In English, we must choose the singular form or the plural form; if we choose the basic form with no affix, we have chosen the singular. Thus in Lee love-s Kim, -s marks the 3rd person singular present form of the verb, and also relates it to the 3rd singular subject Lee.
Thus in ration-al-iz-ation-s the final -s is inflectional, and appears at the very end of the word, outside the derivational morphemes -al , -iz, -ation. In English, are suffixes only. Some examples of English derivational and inflectional morphemes: Keep in mind that most morphemes are neither derivational nor inflectional! For instance, the English morphemes Melissa , twist , tele- , and ouch. Therefore we will not be surprised to find cases for which the application of the distinction is unclear.
For example, the English suffix -ing has several uses that are arguably on the borderline between inflection and derivation along with other uses that are not. One very regular use of -ing is to indicate progressive aspect in verbs, following forms of "to be": She is going ; he will be leaving ; they had been asking. This use is generally considered an inflectional suffix, part of the system for marking tense and aspect in English verbs.
Another, closely related use is to make present participles of verbs, which are used like adjectives: Falling water ; stinking mess ; glowing embers. According to the rule that inflection doesn't change the lexical category, this should be a form of morphological derivation, since it changes verbs to adjectives.
But in fact it is probably the same process, at least historically as is involved in marking progressive aspect on verbs, since "being in the process of doing X" is one of the natural meanings of the adjectival form X-ing. There is another, regular use of -ing to make verbal nouns: Flying can be dangerous ; losing is painful. The -ing forms in these cases are often called gerunds. By the "changes lexical categories" rule, this should also be a derivational affix, since it turns a verb into a noun.
However, many people feel that such cases are determined by grammatical context, so that a phrase like Kim peeking around the corner surprised me actually is related to, or derived from, a tenseless form of the sentence Kim peeked around the corner.
On this view, the affix -ing is a kind of inflection, since it creates a form of the verb appropriate for a particular grammatical situation, rather than making a new, independent word.
Thus the decision about whether -ing is an inflection in this case depends on your analysis of the syntactic relationships involved. It's for reasons like this that the distinction between inflectional and derivational affixes is just a sometimes-convenient descriptive one, and not a basic distinction in theory.
What is the meaning of an affix? The meanings of derivational affixes are sometimes clear, but often are obscured by changes that occur over time. The following two sets of examples show that the prefix un- is easily interpreted as "not" when applied to adjectives, and as a reversing action when applied to verbs, but the prefix con- is more opaque. Although English is a Germanic language, and most of its basic vocabulary derives from Old English, there is also a sizeable vocabulary that derives from Romance Latin and French.
Some English affixes, such as re- , attach freely to vocabulary from both sources. Other affixes, such as "-ation", are more limited.