- Morphemes: Morphemes are the smallest units of meaning in language. They are the building blocks of words and can be divided into two types: free and bound morphemes. Free morphemes are those that can stand alone as words, while bound morphemes need to be attached to other morphemes to create a word. An example of a “free base” morpheme is woman in the word “womanly”. An example of a “bound base” morpheme is The -s suffix in “pictures”. An affix can be either derivational or inflectional. Lexical and functional morphemes: Lexical morphemes carry the main meaning of a word, while functional morphemes serve grammatical functions such as tense, number, or case. For example, in the word “cats,” “cat” is a lexical morpheme while “-s” is a functional morpheme indicating plural.
- Derivational and inflectional morphemes: Morphemes change the meaning or the part of speech of a word, while inflectional morphemes change grammatical aspects such as tense, number, or degree. For example, the suffix “-able” is a derivational morpheme that changes the meaning of the word “like” to “likable,” while the suffix “-ed” is an inflectional morpheme that changes the tense of the verb “walk” from present to past tense.
- Morphs and allomorphs: Morphs are the phonetic realization of morphemes, while allomorphs are the different phonetic forms of a morpheme. For example, the plural morpheme “-s” has different allomorphs such as [s], [z], or [ɪz] depending on the sound that precedes it.
Understanding morphology is important for language teachers because it helps them explain how words are formed and how the meanings of words can be changed by adding or changing morphemes. This knowledge can help teachers teach vocabulary and grammar more effectively, and help learners improve their understanding of the language.
- Sentence and grammar (prescriptive approach, descriptive approach and Structural analysis Phrases and sentences are fundamental units of grammar in any language. They are composed of different types of words and follow specific rules for their arrangement. Understanding the structure of phrases and sentences is crucial for effective communication and language learning.
There are two main approaches to studying grammar: the prescriptive approach and the descriptive approach. The prescriptive approach focuses on establishing and enforcing rules of grammar, often based on a standard dialect or style of language. This approach emphasizes “correct” or “proper” language use and seeks to eliminate errors and non-standard forms.
- On the other hand, the descriptive approach aims to describe how language is actually used by speakers in different contexts and situations. This approach focuses on analyzing the patterns and structures of language use, including the ways in which speakers form phrases and sentences.
Structural analysis is a key component of the descriptive approach to grammar. It involves breaking down phrases and sentences into their component parts and analyzing how these parts are related to each other. Immediate constituent analysis is a specific type of structural analysis that involves identifying the smallest meaningful units within a sentence and grouping them together into larger structures.
- For example, in the sentence “The big cat sat on the mat,” the immediate constituents are “the big cat” and “sat on the mat.” These constituents can then be further analyzed to identify their individual components and how they are combined to form meaning.Overall, understanding the structure of phrases and sentences is essential for effective communication and language learning. The prescriptive and descriptive approaches to grammar both offer valuable insights into the patterns and structures of language use, and can be used in combination to support effective language teaching and learning.