Difference Between Morphology And Derivational Process

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Linguistics is the study of language and how it is used. The main disciplines involved in this research is phonetics; phonology; morphology; syntax and semantics. There are three different ways of forming morphologically complex words in English: inflection (dog-dogs, call-called), derivation (drink-drinkable) and compounding (sunglasses) (Bozix, Marslen-Wilson). This essay will focus on two of the morphological processes, inflection and derivation, and the similarities and differences between them. Inflection represents the relationship between word-forms, usually the ending of the word for example: walk, walks, walked and walking are all considered different forms of the lexeme ‘walk’ (Booje). Derivation on the other hand, is the process …show more content…
Arguments for inflection and derivation being the same process
A group of linguists conducted a study which led them to the conclusion that inflection and derivation are basically the same process (Juuva). They argue that in the case where words show both derivational and inflectional processes, they are both in fact working simultaneously. One of the examples they use is the –ed morpheme: hood (n) > hooded (adj.) heart (n) > hearted (adj.) ivy (n) > ivied (adj.)
The researchers believe that the –ed adjectives used in the examples reflect an almost passive meaning, irrespective of the base from which they are formed, which could potentially contribute to the idea that derivational and inflectional –ed are the same morpheme, further supporting their conclusion that they are the same process (juuva). On the other hand Gerard Booji, University of Amsterdam, believes ‘the distinction between inflection and derivation is primarily a functional one: it refers to different functions of morphological processes, the creation of different forms of lexemes versus the creation of different lexemes.’ Obviously it is clear that there are similar aspects between the two, such as both processes make use of suffixation and both involve vowel alternation sometimes, but Booji disagrees, with the paper mentioned above, that they are the same process as made clear throughout his
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Split morphology hypothesis
This hypothesis goes against linguist such as juuva – mentioned in the first section of this essay – who believe that inflection and derivation are the same process as it states that inflection and derivation belong to separate components of the grammar. Not only is this hypothesis stating the idea that derivation and inflection are in fact distinct, but also that they should be handled with different rules – derivation with lexical rules and regular inflection with syntactic rules this theory is taken by the linguist Anderson (1994). Geert Booiji disagrees with this hypothesis and proposes that although a distinction between inflection and derivation is necessary, both should be kept together in one morphological component (Booij). His approach involves dividing the inflection and derivation process into three, rather than the split hypothesis two, thus accounting for some of the problems facing linguists today. The three divisions are derivation and inflection has been split further into inherent inflection and contextual inflection (Booij).
Inherent inflection may have syntactic relevance, but is not required by the syntactic context - examples

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