Nonconcatenative morphology Nonconcatenative morphology
, also called discontinuous morphology
, is a form of word formation and inflection in which the root
is modified and which does not involve stringing morphemes
Diagram of one version of the derivation of the Arabic word muslim
in autosegmental phonology
, with root consonants associating (shown by dotted grey lines).
, for example, while plurals
are usually formed by adding the suffix -s, certain words use nonconcatenative processes for their plural forms:
foot /fʊt/ → feet /fiːt/;
Many irregular verbs
form their past tenses, past participles, or both in this manner:
freeze /ˈfriːz/ → froze /ˈfroʊz/, frozen /ˈfroʊzən/.
This specific form of nonconcatenative morphology is known as base modification
a form in which part of the root undergoes a phonological change without necessarily adding new phonological
material. In traditional Indo-Europeanist
usage, these changes are termed ablaut
only when they result from vowel gradations in Proto-Indo-European
. An example is the English stem s⌂ng
, resulting in the four distinct words: sing-sang-song-sung
An example from German is the stem spr⌂ch
"speak", which results in various distinct forms such as spricht-sprechen-sprach-gesprochen-Spruch
Changes such as foot/feet
, on the other hand, which are due to the influence of a since-lost front vowel, are called umlaut
Other forms of base modification include lengthening of a vowel, as in Hindi
/mər-/ "die" ↔ /maːr-/ "kill"
or change in tone
- Chalcatongo Mixtec /káʔba/ "filth" ↔ /káʔbá/ "dirty"
- English record /ˈrɛkərd/ (noun) ↔ /rɨˈkɔrd/ "to make a record"
Consonant apophony, such as the initial-consonant mutations in Celtic languages, also exists.
Another form of nonconcatenative morphology is known as transfixation
, in which vowel and consonant morphemes are interdigitated. For example, depending on the vowels, the Arabicconsonantal root
k-t-b can have different but semantically related meanings. Thus, [kataba] 'he wrote' and [kitaːb] 'book' both come from the root k-t-b. Words from k-t-b
are formed by filling in the vowels, e.g. kitāb
"he wrote", yaktubu
"he writes", etc. In the analysis provided by McCarthy
's account of nonconcatenative morphology, the consonantal root is assigned to one tier
, and the vowel pattern to another.
Yet another common type of nonconcatenative morphology is reduplication
, a process in which all or part of the root is reduplicated. In Sakha
, this process is used to form intensified adjectives
/k̠ɨhɨl/ "red" ↔ /k̠ɨp-k̠ɨhɨl/ "flaming red".
A final type of nonconcatenative morphology is variously referred to as truncation
, or subtraction
; the morpheme is sometimes called a disfix
. This process removes phonological material from the root. In French
, this process can be found in a small subset of plurals (although their spellings follow regular plural-marking rules):
/ɔs/ "bone" ↔ /o/ "bones"
/bœf/ "ox" ↔ /bø/ "oxen"
Nonconcatenative morphology is extremely well developed in the Semitic languages
in which it forms the basis of virtually all higher-level word formation
(as with the example given in the diagram). That is especially pronounced in Arabic
, which also uses it to form approximately 41%
of plurals in what is often called the broken plural
- ^ Haspelmath, Martin (2002). Understanding Morphology. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-340-76026-5.
- ^ a b Zuckermann, Ghil'ad (2020). Revivalistics: From the Genesis of Israeli to Language Reclamation in Australia and Beyond. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199812790.
- ^ McCarthy, John J. (1981). "A Prosodic Theory of Nonconcatenative Morphology". Linguistic Inquiry. 12: 373–418.
- ^ Boudelaa, Sami; Gaskell, M. Gareth (21 September 2010). "A re-examination of the default system for Arabic plurals". Language and Cognitive Processes. 17 (3): 321–343. doi:10.1080/01690960143000245.
Last edited on 17 December 2020, at 14:49
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