jueves, 18 de octubre de 2012

Lexico-grammatical features

Grammatical function of words and morphemes

Grammatical function of words

When preparing a vocabulary lesson it is important to think about some questions in order to clarify how to use the vocabulary accurately by avoiding potential grammatical errors

Regular/Irregular forms:
When presenting language teachers should clarify regular and common irregular forms. In some cases they require special attention such as in irregular verbs, verb patterns, countable and uncountable nouns, adjective versus adverb.


“Working with Words” Pages 44, 45, Ruth Gairns and Stuart Redman, Cambridge University Press, 1998

Grammatical function of  morphemes

Morphemes:  the minimal parts of words that contain meaning

Bound morphemes:  Cannot be used independently, they need to be bound to another morpheme
Free morphemes: Can stand alone

grammatical morpheme: Markers such as the past participle 'ed used in the past tense,  the present participle 'ing' used in the present progressive, or third person singular 's'. Here are some examples:
        present progressive ing:     He is playing.
        plurals s:                                Ten pencils.
        possesive 's:                        John's hat.
        past tense ed:                        I cleaned the floor.

girls = girl + -s
It seems that girls can be broken down into two parts, the first of which refers to something in the world (a young female human being) and the second indicating a grammatical category – in this case number – and specifying plural.
The same approach can easily be applied to other kinds of words.
kicked = kick + -ed
While girls is a noun kicked is a verb, yet the same rules apply. Kicked can be segmented into the first part that describes a kind of action (kick) and the second part that adds the information past tense (-ed). Tense is another grammatical category that can be encoded morphologically in English.
Think about what kinds of words take which endings for a moment. Only verbs (talked, laughed, pushed, loved) allow us to add information about tense, whereas only nouns (girls, boys, zebras, chairs) permit marking number.
Grammatical Morphemes (two types)
  Definition: Signal grammatical and semantic roles or modify or qualify meaning (“bound” or “free”):
Free Grammatical  Morphemes:
(basically, function words)
A “closed class” Defn:  Words that can stand alone which (1) Signal grammatical & semantic roles & relationships;
(2) Qualify  or modify meaning (e.g., gender for pronouns)
Articles, prepositions, conjunctions, disjunctions, pronouns
Examples: the, a an, to, of, by, for, and, but, his, her

Bound Grammatical  Morphemes
“Inflectional Morphemes” Defn:  Suffixes that (1)  indicate grammatical & semantic roles and relationships; and (2)
Qualify or modify meaning.
Complete list:
{-pl}:  plural morpheme
{-poss}: possessive
{-3 rd person sg. present}
{-present participle}
{-past participle}
{-er comparative} “higher”
{-est superlative} “highest”
part of speech unchanged
(happy – happily : The part of speech would change from adjective to adverb)

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