1Comparative Typology as a branch of general linguistics


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1Comparative Typology as a branch of general linguistics

T. is a brunch of linguistics which studies the structural similarities btw. languages regardless of their history. T. studies: 1. what features do all lang. have in common? 2. In what ways do different lang. differ from each other? 3. how does the sound system of the native lang. differ from the sound system of the foreign lang? 4.How do grammatical categories differ? 5. how sentences and phrases are built in different lang.? 6. How are words built in different languages.



Comparative typology classifies languages according to their structure. Although languages may differ in their material (i.e. have no words of the same root, or common morphemes) their structure (i.e. relations between the elements, functions of the elements) may be similar.
e.g. The Russian and Bulgarian languages are kindred languages. Their material is similar. They have many words of the same root. However, structurally they are different. The Russian language has a system of six cases and the Bulgarian language has no category of case.
The English, Turkic and Chinese languages are very different materially. Their origin is different. However, in all these languages, an adjective can precede a noun and there is no grammatical agreement between these parts of speech. Therefore, they belong to the same structural type.
Another aim of comparative typology is to establish the most general characteristics common for several or all languages. Such characteristics are called language universale.

The subject of linguistic typology is language with comparison with other language or languages. Comparative linguistics is a relatively young discipline which offers many unexplored problems. It is the study of how languages are structured, how they are used and how they change through time. Typology of languages is a branch linguistics which studies the structural similarities between languages regardless of their history and origin. The main questions studied by comparative linguistics are the following:



  1. What features do all languages have in common;

  2. In what ways do different languages differ from each other

  3. How does the sound system of the native language differ from the sound system of the foreign language;

  4. How do grammatical categories differ;

  5. How sentences and phrases are built in different languages.

  6. How are words built in different languages;

Branches of typology.

  • phonological – studies sounds and their classification and types

  • lexical – (words and their meaning)

  • phraseology –

  • morphological – (structure of a word , category, case, gender)

  • general – (types of language, classification)

  • special – (modern eng. – middle eng.)


2. FUNCTIONS OF LANGUAGE AND LANGUAGE UNIVERSALS

Language has been examined by linguists and philosophers from the time of ancient breeze until the present day. Human language is highly developed signaling system all human languages have a limited set of speech sounds. The speech sounds are divided into consonants and vowels. The minimal units of language called phonemes are used for construction of morphemes and lexemes. Human language is a means of communication but it differs from signaling systems of animals. Human language has a sense of the past, the present and the future but animals (for ex: a dog) can’t tell his fellows about his past, parents, animals, can’t inform them or about their plans for the future. Besides animals don’t change their system in the course of history while human language changes.

Language is not inherited, it has a social nature, it depends on the society, while animals inherit their signaling system

Language has several functions:


  1. Nominative function. It implies the capacity of language to realize concepts of our mind in the language.

  2. Communicative function which implies that language is used to provide people with means for exchanging information.

  3. Language esthetic function in poetry, advertising. We use language to express our emotions and to add additional positive emphasis.

  4. Identifying function. Language demonstrates people’s identity. Members of social organizations, professions or groups use the same words, terms, as a mark of their identity.

  5. Language has imperative functions. It is used to influence behavior or stimulate action. We may use imperative structures like Open the door; but we may also use could you please do smth.

  6. Informative function. Is often considered to be primary function of the language, words are combined into sentences which carry information.

  7. Interrogative function. When asking people questions and obtaining information.




  1. Types of languages

Linguists try to find common features. This common features are called linguistic universals. (we may speak about: semantic, phonological, syntactic, grammatical universals.)

When the same universals are typical with the number of lang-s we speak about a type.



Structural classification contains 4 groups: 1. isolating, 2. flextional, 3. agglutinative, 4. incorporative.

But lang-s are never pure type. They usually combine elements of a variety of types but some features prevail. This classification was put forward by german linguist Humboldt. Friedrich Schlegel classified languages into two types: inflexional (having word endings) and non-inflexional (having affixes). His brother August Schlegel suggested 3 types: -languages without any grammatical structure (showing grammar relations by word order Chinese); - lang-s which use affixes; - with inflections.



Wilhelm Humboldt added one more group and gave all the types the names by which they are still known:
1. flexional languages. Grammar relations are shown in these languages by means of polysemantic morphemes.
e.g. Рус. временной The inflexion -ой belongs to an adjective of masculine gender, singular, in nominative case.
Roots can very rarely be used as a separate word (c.f. *врем).
Indo-European and Semitic languages belong to inflexional languages.
 2. Agglutinating languages. Grammar relations are shown by a series of monosemantic morphemes, "glued" to each other.
e.g. Turkish: Okul (школа) - okullar (школы) - okullarimiz (наши школы) - okkularimizda (в наших школах).
Roots can be used as independent words (c.f. okul)
3. Isolating languages. They have no word changing morphemes. Grammar relations are shown by word order.
The Chinese language belongs to this group.
4. Polysynthetic languages. (incorporating) Words in the languages of this group are united so that a phrase or a sentence may consist of a single word. Such structure is found in the Chukchi language, some Indian languages.
Scholars used to think that the types of languages corresponded to stages of language development. So they thought that once every language was isolating by its structure and through the other stages is to become flexional sooner or later. Some looked upon this process as "perfecting" of the language, others thought it to be "degrading". Modern linguistics is against the idea of "better" or "worse" languages.

4. THE HISTORY OF TYPOLOGICAL STUDIES

About 5000 languages are spoken in the world today. They seem to be quite different, but some of them have some similar features or principles: for ex. In languages like English French Italian words in a sentence take the following order – subject – predicate – object, but this principle is not shared by all languages. There are languages such a Turkic languages word order is subject- object –predicate. Languages which have the same or similar features are united into different types. These common features are called universals. We may speak about semantic universals, phonological universals, syntactic universals, grammatical universals. When the same principles are shared by several languages we speak of language types. The most familiar classification of languages by their structure contains 4 groups:

They are isolating, flectional, agglutinative and incorporating or polysynthetic, but languages are never pure types. They usually elements of variety of types. But nevertheless this classification is quite reasonable and it is accepted in typology. Type of language is one of the main notions in typology. In Russian in order to make a word function it is necessary to form it with a special morpheme. Ый – in adjective – sing, masculine gender, without this morpheme a word can’t function. But flections in Russian have several grammatical meanings. If you take flexion - Ая – in – красивая – number, gender and case. Flexion – s- takes – category of number, person, tense.

If we take Tatar language and we shall join affixes to a word кыз-кызлар – the meaning of this affix is plurality.

The next type isolating one, the Chinese language is the brightest in these example of isolating languages. Words don’t change morphologically at all. In this case words don’t have morphological changes. The meaning of the sentence depends upon the word order, which is important.

Incorporating – polysynthetic languages – American Indians – in which there is no distinction between a word and a sentence. One word may embrace a lot of morphemes with separate semantic and grammatical meaning.

The history of typological system was studied by german scientist Fridrich Schleggel (1772- 1829). He considered thath there was a sharp dividing line between flexional and non-flexional languages. He distinguished two types of languages. But his brother August Schleggel divided languages into 3 groups. Languages with flexions, languages which use affixes, and languages with any grammatical structure where word order has grammatical meaning. WILGELM Humbold another german linguist is considered to be the founder of typology. The 1st group of languages in schleggel’s classification he terms isolating


  1. Isolating

  2. Agglutinative

  3. Flexional

  4. He introduced one more group incorporating or polysymphatic. He treated these groups as various stages of single linguistic development.

Another German linguist August Schleicher was the founder of naturalistic theory of language. He accepted three types of languages but also 3 types of languages have developed out of one another with isolating language as the starting point. He compares a language is an object of nature and like any object of nature (a tree) it appears, develops and dies.

Friedrich Schlegel (1772-1829)

August Schlegel (1768-1845)

Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767-1835)

Isolating languages

Agglutinative languages ( having morphemes without much coalescence)

Flexional languages

Polysynthetic languages (or incorporating)

August Schleicher (1821-1868)

Edward Sapir


Хао жень – хороший человек

Сиго Хао – делать добро

Дзио Хао – старая дружба

Хао дарвих – очень дорогой



Жень хао во – человек любит меня.
5. Methods of typological analyses.

The main method of typological studies is the comparative method. Comparative linguistics applies this method as well, but in that trend the elements compared are similar materially, which allows the scholar to establish their genetic affinity. Typology compares elements that are similar functionally.
e.g. The English, Russian and Turkish languages have affixes which form nouns with the meaning "the doer of an action". These are the English affix -er, the Turkish one -ci, the Russian -тель. They consist of different phonemes and have no common origin, but they have the same function in the language. So they can be studied in comparative typology.
Elements compared must have some common, similar (isomorphic) features in different languages.
e.g. Different languages have their own case systems with peculiar case meanings. Isomorphic characteristics serve as a basis for typological classification. They are called typological constants. One of typological constants is existence of the category of case. Using it, we can classify all languages into two groups: the ones having a system of declension and the ones lacking it. Difference between languages may lie not only in the fact of existence/non-existence of some element, but also in the place of the element within its microsystem.
When two languages are compared one of them serves as a prototype. For language students such a prototype is usually their native language. But the description of the English language by Russian-speaking students will differ considerably from the one made by French-speaking students. We can't get a really scientific, objective description in this way. A "neutral" language must be found, which can serve as a prototype for any language. Boris Andreevitch Uspenskiy suggested using isolating languages as prototypes because their structure is the simplest, and features isomorphic for all languages are explicit and distinct in them. But other scholars argue that the structure of isolating languages is not as simple as it seems, and some artificial prototype language must be constructed for the purposes of typological comparison.
Typological characteristics of a language revealed with the help of comparison of this language to a prototype language are correlated. They form a system. According to Georgiy Pavlovitch MeFnikov some elements and phenomena of this system occupy the leading position in it and the speaker subconsciously chooses such language means which are in harmony with the leading tendency. This leading grammatical tendency was given the name of determinant.
e.g. The Semitic languages (according to G.P. Mefnikov) have a tendency to grammaticalization. That's why verbal meaning is prevalent in word roots, consonants are used for expressing lexical meaning and vowels are used for expressing grammatical meanings. The Chinese language has a tendency to lexicalization. It doesn't express explicitly the information which is clear from the context (plurality is expressed only when not clear from the context).
Differences between languages can be quantified. A quantitative method was introduced by Joseph Greenberg. It is called the method of typological indices.
The most typical approach presupposes comparing languages "level by level", i.e. the phonological level of one language is compared to the phonological level of the other, then the morphological, the syntactical, the lexical levels are compared. However, similar functions can be performed by elements of different levels in different languages, e.g. I don't lend my books to anyone (phonology) Я не даю моих книг никому (vocabulary) I don't lend my books to anyone (phonology) Я не даю моих книг кому попало, (vocabulary)
Вы знаете, где магазин, (phonology) You know where the shop is. (Syntax) Вы знаете, где магазин? (phonology) Do you know where the shop is?

6. Phoneme and speech sounds. Variants of phoneme. Phonology.
‘ Phonology is the study of how speech sounds are organized and how they function. Phonological analysis can determine which sound differences are significant in a language. Speech sounds tend to adjust to nearby sounds in systematic ways. Speech sounds tend to vary around a norm. The sound system of a language tends to be symmetrical. Phonological analysis is an essential part of determining how to write a language. 
A new linguistic science which came into being in Russia at the end of the 19th century and was developed by Russian and foreign investigators helps us understand the essence of the sound changes and the essence of sound itself. The name of this science is phonology, which is the theory of sound functions in general and deals with the study of phonemes. 
The distinction between phonetics and phonology is now generally accepted. 
It was observed long ago that not all the sounds in any language have the same value. The difference lies much deeper than the difference in the acoustic pronunciation of sounds. Two people speaking the same language and pronouncing individual sounds exactly alike could hardly be found. But this diversity is not noticeable by an average observer. 
Sometimes sounds differ slightly in pronunciation but this difference is quite irrelevant, in English, for instance, the /t/ of time is distinctly different from that of sting, but the difference is not important. In such English words as back and bag, the meaning is different. What makes it different? Probably the two ending sounds. 
All these considerations lead us to the conclusion that in language not all sounds have equal values. Sounds must be classified according to the function they perform in the language, and from this point of view speech sounds and phonemes ought to be distinguished. 
Before going into an analysis of the phoneme, it is necessary to give some historical notes on the subject. 
                                History Of The Phoneme Theory   Jan Baudouin de Courtenay 
The first linguist to point 9ut the distinction between the “phone” (speech-sound), Russian “zvuk”, and the “phoneme” (Russian “fonema”) was Jan Baudouin de Courtenay (1845-1929), the famous Russian philologist of Polish origin, who established himself in Russia, first as a privat-docent at St. Petersburg then as Professor- for eight years (1875- 1883) in Kazan, where he created his famous school of linguistics. Later he held professorships at Dorpat (1883-1893), Cracow (1893-1900) and eventually St. Petersburg (1901-1918) where he continued to develop his teaching. He spent the last years of his life inPoland. 
He worked out the fundamental principle of the phoneme during the 1870’s, from 1868 to be more exact, thus forestalling Western European linguistics by nearly 40 years. Baudouin de Courtenay stated more than once that the word “phoneme” was invented by his student Kruszewsky. Baudouin de Courtenay did not, however, write on this theme, and in fact, no clear exposition of it appeared in print until 1894, when he published is Proba Teorj Alternacyj Fonelycznych. A German translation of this, Versuch einer Theorie phonetischer Alternationen, was published at Strassburg in 1895. 
He proceeded from the assumption that the role of sounds in the mechanism of language, for communication between people, does not coincide with their physical nature, and that this non-coincidence makes the distinction between “phonemes” and “speech-sounds” necessary. In his theory he subordinated the phonetic side of speech to the social function of language as a means of communication. He stated not only the mutual relationships of phonemes, but also the ways in which they are formed historically. 
                                                           D. Jones 
The well-known English phonetician DJones points out in his book The Phoneme: its Nature, Development and Origin that the term phoneme as used by Baudouinde Courtenay was a phonetic one. This phonetic concept can be viewed in two ways in his works—“psychologically” and “physically”. Viewed “psychologically”, a phoneme is a speech-sound pictured in one’s mind and aimed at in the process of talking. The actual concrete sound (phone) employed in any particular speech-utterance may be the pictured sound or it may be another sound having some affinity to it, its use being conditioned by some feature or features of the phonetic context. Baudouin de Courtenay recognized two kinds of phonetics: one was called  psychophonetics and related to the pictured sounds; the other was calledphysiophonetics and related to concrete sounds actually uttered. 
Viewed from the “physical” point of view, a phoneme is a set of sounds uttered in a particular language which count for practical purposes as if they were one and the same; the use of each member of the set is conditioned by 
the phonetic environment, i.e. no one member ever occurs in a situation reserved for another (for example, in English the /k/ sound of call neveroccurs before an /i/; nor does the /k/ sound of king ever occur before /0:/  Baudouin’s theory of the phonological distribution of phonemes is very important, especially in its relationship to the construction of phonetic transcriptions, the devising of alphabets for languages and to the practical teaching of spoken foreign languages.

         L.V. Scerba

Baudouin de Courtenay idea was developed by his immediate follower L .Scerba in 1912, in his book Russian Vowels in their Qualitative and Quantitative Aspects.

The definition of the phoneme given by Scerba as the smallest general phonetic representation of the given language which is able to associate with the meaning representation and to differentiate words was of a semantic character. In this definition L.Scerba emphasized the close connection between phoneme and meaning.

                        Phoneme

The phoneme is the smallest unit of language because it cannot be divided any smaller; but nevertheless, it is a complex phenomenon. It consists of a number of features which are not independent, but occur simultaneously in the phoneme; for example, the Russian /g/ may be considered as voiced or voiceless, soft or hard, nasal or non-nasal and so on. These distinctive features usually occur together in a bundle of sound- features of several at a time.  Some of these features are distinctive, while others are not. The use of any particular feature is conditioned by the phonetic environment or by the position of the phoneme. In Russian , for example, the \k\ of ruka ‘hand’ may occur before \a\,\o\, \u\, and at the end of a word but never before \i\, or \e\, giving us the \k’\ phoneme; this \k’\ never occurs at the end of a word.

  The same feature of a phoneme in different languages may have a different functional character: in Russian the voiced\voiceless feature is neutralized at the end of a word \prut-twig; prud- pond/, whereas in English this feature distinguishes the meanings of such words as bat and badhat and had.

7. Typological characteristics of consonants in Eng. & Rus. The most common mistakes in articulating.

Consonants are pronounced when there’s some stoppage on the way of the stream of air, passing through organs pf speech.

Consonants are divided according to their: - manner of articulation, - place of articulation.

They may be explosive if there’s some block which is on the way of the air (p,t,k).

In both lang-s there are: - fricatives like (s, sh); - sonorants if the stream of the air passes through nasal cavity (m,n, in both lang-s); - glottal cons-ts (g); - rolled sounds (р – in Rus.); - lateral (боковой звук) - when the stream of air passes through on both sides of the tongue.

They may be soft or hard (Л – Л’ Rus)



Aspirates – that are pronounced with aspiration.

Consonants: - voiced (b,d,g); - voiceless (p,t,k)

Sounds ƞ w th h have no counterparts in Rus. that’s the reason of typical mistakes.

Palatalisation in eng is not necessarily.

absence of aspiration. THE MOST COMMON MISTAKES IN the ARTICULATION OF SOUNDS :

Consonant phonemes in English which have no counterparts in Russian are the following:

1. the bilabial sonorant /w/,

2. the dental fricative consonants / , ð /

3. the voiced bicentral affricate /dЗ-jam /,

4. the post- alveolar sonorant /r/,

5. the backlingual, nasal sonorant /  /,

6.the glottal fricative /h/,

Consonant phonemes in Russian which have no counterparts in English are the following:

1. The palatalized consonants / п’, б’, т’, д’,к’,г’, м’, н’, ф’, в’, с’, з’, р’.

2. the voiceless affricate /ц/,

3. the rolled post-alveolar sonorant /р/,

4. the backlingual fricative voiceless /x/,
The most common mistakes that may result from the differences in the articulation bases of the English and Russian languages are the following:


  • dorsal articulation of the English forelingual apical / t,d/,

  • the use of the Russian rolled /р/ instead of the English post-alveolar /r/,

  • the use of the Russian /x/ instead of the English glottal, fricative /h/,

  • mispronunciation of the English interdental /  , ð /, the use of / s, f/ for /  /, and /d,z/ for / ð /.

  • The use of the forelingual /n/ instead of the backlingual velar / η /,

  • The use of the Russian dark /ш,ж / instead of the soft English /j, з / .

  • The use of the labio-dental /v,b/ instead of the bilabial /w/.

  • Absence of aspiration in / p,t,k/ when they occur initially,

  • Weak pronunciation of voiceless /p,t,k,f,s, t/,

  • Devoicing of voiced /b,d,g,v,z, ð , /in their terminal position.


8. Typological characteristics of vowels in Eng. & Rus. The most common mistakes in articulating.

They are produced when the air passes freely with no friction. They are voiced in both languages. They are classified according to the position of the tongue. We distinguish front vowels, when the front of the tongue is raised towards the hard palate like fr(ee). We distinguish back vowels when the back of the tongue is raised towards the soft palate p(ar)ty. And central vowels, when the middle of the tongue is raised towards the middle part of the palate, like b(ir)d м(ы)ло.

According to the degree of mouth opening the vowels are classified into high (e u,и у) middle(e ea) and low(ae,a) level. If sounds are pronounced with rounded lips they are called rounded – o у. Vowels may be classified into monophthongs, diphthongs and even threephthongs. There is no diphthongs in Russian. There are certain differences in distribution of vowels in two languages. In English at the end of an open syllable with structure consonant-vowel only long vowel may occur and in unstressed position vowel “ae” like potato. Shot vowels “E a “never occur at the end of an open syllable in the structure consonant-vowel. In Russian there are no such restriction, only sound “ы” can’t occur in the initial position.

In articulating English vowels Russian students are apt to make the following mistakes:

1. They do not observe the quantitative character of long vowels;

2. they do not observe the qualitative difference in the articulation of such vowels as / i-i:/,

/ u –u: /, / o-o: /.

3. they replace the English vowels / i:,o: , u:, a; æ , / by the Russian vowels /и,о, у, а, э/;

4. they pronounce / I, e, ei / without the ‘flat position’ of the lips;

5. they soften consonants which procede front vowels as a result of which the latter become more narrow and the consonants are palatalized;

6.they articulate /o, u , ou / with the lips too much rounded and protruded;

7. they make the sounds / æ , ə / more narrow because they don’t open the mouth properly, similarly to the Russian / э, о/.

8. they do not observe the positional length of vowels,

9. they make both elements of the diphthongs equally distinct.
9. Typological characteristics of stress and intonation in Eng. & Rus.

Stress – pronunciation of one of the syllables with greater intensity. In different lang-s stress may be – fixed (falls on the same syllable in every word of the languages) or free. In Rus. stress may fall on any syllable of the word. It may change if we change a part of speech. In Eng. there are sometimes secondary stress (typical of Eng, but not Rus. e.g. underground). Accentuation is a term which in most modern languages is synonym to the word STRESS. When a certain syllable of a word is pronounced with greater intensity than the rest. In Germanic languages the stress is usually on the 1st syllable of a word consisting of two or more syllables. In Russian the place of stress is irregular or free. It may fall on any syllable of the word. Secondary stresses common in English do not occur in Russian. The stress in Russian is enough to distinguish different words which are identical in other respects. In Russian stress is mobile, sometimes different forms of the same word are distinguished from each other, only by stress. (ст,ены-стен,ы, р,уки-рук,и) in English stress serves to distinguish the verb from the noun or adjective. (pr”esent-pres”ent)
Intonation is a complex phenomenon which is characterized by stress, melody, and pauses.

The main component is melody. It may be: - falling, rising, even (smooth ровный).

The main unit of intonation is sintagm which is characterized by a certain melody. Sintagms with falling tones are characteristic of statements in both lang-s. (he came , он пришел).

Sintagms with rising tone are for unfinished sentences, special questions in eng., In rus in sentences beginning with (разве).

Even tone is used in both lang-s in introductory sentences which follow direct speech. (I will return soon, said he quietly).

In Eng, stress and intonation are very important when stress may change one part of speech into another. (‘convict – con’vict). In Rus. stress changes the meaning of a word and grammatical categories.

Intonation

Intonation is a complex phenomena, which includes melody, different types of stress, pauses. The unit of intonation is syntagm, a term which was introduced by Щерба 1938. The mail components of intonation are melody and stress. Melody is defined by the movement of tone. The tone may be falling, rising or even or smooth.



  1. Syntagms with a falling tone occur in Russian and English in completed statements, exclamatory sentences, interrogative sentences beginning with an interrogative word.

  2. Syntagms with a falling tone and rising tale occur in Russian and English in unfinished sentences , in subordinate sentences followed by a principle clause.

  3. Syntagms with a falling tone and even or smooth tale form introductory sentences, which follow direct speech.

  4. Syntagms with a rising tone and rising tale are typical of the Russian language and seldom occur in English, in Russian they occur in interrogative sentences beginning with the word – разве.

  5. Syntagms with even or smooth tone are used in repeated interrogative replies in both languages, when a person shows irritation, indignation.


10. Syllabic structures in Eng and Rus.

There are four types of syllable in English and Russian:
1. V Purely open syllable consisting of one vowel only. In Russian союзы и о а , in English e a ea (diphthong)

2. CVC Purely closed syllable with a structure consonant-vowel-consonant (сад, дом, tom-back, hat,cat)

3. CV Half-open syllable (прикрытый) with the structure consonant-vowel (на , до, то, )go so no

4. VC Half-closed with the structure vowel-consonant am, is,ice, ( ил, от, им)

As we know there are languages in which syllables are formed with the help of a vowel like Russian< slavonik languages, but in English some consonants may form syllables, usually sonorants L,M,N,R. In Russian we have two three or even four consonants in preposition to a vowel like встревожить , in English only three consonants may be used in preposition to a vowel and the first is usually phoneme S in English, the second voiceless explosive P,T,K and the third is only sonorant R or L.(spring), ы – never occur in initial position.


11. Types of morphemes in Rus & Eng.

The main unit of morphological system is a morpheme. It’s a part of a word with grammatical or lexical meaning. Lexical meanings are typical of morphemes, the main unchangeable part. Except the root there suffixes prefixes. We may speak about the steam if we add affixes to the root.

Flexions usually have gramm. meanings, affixation is typical of the majority of lang-s. Some lan-s. use more prefixes (in Rus. prefixes are more typical of verbs and suffixes in nouns).

There are aome common points in eng an rus suffixes from the point of view of their origin.

Some suffixes used to be separate words before they became morphemes (hood, dome,) крестьянин – Янин, Анин – they used to be pronouns.

Many suffixes were borrowed from latin and greek. (ism-ist, extra,multy, poly).

In the process of the historical development the morphological structure may be changed. Богородицкий called this fact опрощение (simplification), decomposition – переразложение.

Simplification is a gramm. process in the result of which a compound word loses the independent meaning of its component parts and they are excepted as a single morpheme. (in Rus. в-кус originally two morphemes, but now no prefix) (husband = house + bond simplification). Simplification is typical of borrowed words.

Decomposition когда границы м/д морфемами меняются нес/е – те.

Types of morphemes in English and Russian.

The main unit of the morphological level is a morpheme. The words consist of morphemes separate parts with grammatical significance. The primary element of a word is the root. It is the main unchangeable part of the word conveying lexical meaning. Besides words contain affixes - prefixes and suffixes, which modify the meaning of the word, and suffixes also change the word from one part of speech to another – work-worker. The stem is the part of the word which includes the root and affixes. Endings or flections express different grammatical meanings implied in words of all grammatical forms, affixation is the most frequently used. Prefixes and suffixes are used in the majority of known languages. In Russian for ex, prefixes are more common in verbs and suffixes in nouns,. There are some common features in English and Russian affixes from the point of view of their origin. Some suffixes were independent words before they became affixes, for ex. English – freedom, dom had the meaning of decision, power, independent word. Some affixes were borrowed from latin and greek like –able, -ism, -ist, -extra, which are more or less alive in present day English and Russian. In the course of historical development the boundaries between morphemes in a word may change. Words change morphologically. The main factors contributed to this change were discovered by the Russian philologist Pr.Bogorididsky who called this changes simplification (опрощение) and decomposition (переразложение) simplification is a grammatical process in the result of which a word loses the independent meanings of its component parts. For ex in Russian the word ВКУС is not divided now into prefix в and root кус, though this word was considered to be compound , now it is treated as one morphemic word. In English words friend used to be suffix ND, in the word Forbid, prefix FO, but now in present day English they are treated as one morphemic word.


12. Ways of expression of grammatical meaning

They may be expressed:



  1. with the help of affixes

  2. with the help of internal vocalic or consonantal changes in the root (take – took, can-could, food-feed, иду-шел, беру-брал)

  3. sometimes grammatical meanings may be expressed by reduplication when a part of a root or a stem is repeated to indicate some grammatical concepts, usually plurality or intensity or as a means of emphasis which is characteristic of English and Russian. Like да да , нет нет , добрый добрый. In English it is also typical of child’s speech like a red red apple, blue blue sky.

  4. Grammatical meanings may be expressed not only with the help of a word but by means of relational words which accompany presentational words.

Among relational words we distinguish:

  1. Prepositions which express relations between parts of a sentence. Prepositions play an important role serving to differentiate relations which are often indicated by case flections like in Russian ( у окна, из окна, ) and they are more important in languages with no case flexion like English ( at the window, from the window).

  2. Conjunctions serve to connect words, group of words and sentences or clauses. This connection is realized either by coordination or subordination. Accordingly conjunctions are divided into coordinative and, but, и , но, and subordinative when, that, unless.

  3. Articles. The first grammatical function of the article is to signify the noun, the second – to denote whether the thing is known to the listener or not. The third – articles show the number, historically the articles appeared in the result of the tendency to indicate the number of a noun.

  4. Auxiliary words. They have no independent meaning of their own but help to build analytical forms of the word. In English there are auxiliaries of tense – shall will, aspect – to be, voice – to be, auxiliaries are characteristic of an analytical type of morphological structure. In the majority of languages the verbs to be to have are used as auxiliaries.

  5. Finally some form (relational) words are used to express grammatical meanings, but their grammatical function is not clearly cut. in English like Girlfriend. Boyfriend, hecat, shecat when there are no indicators of gender.


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