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Encyclopedia > Derivation (linguistics)

In linguistics, derivation is the process of creating new lexemes from other lexemes, for example, by adding a derivational affix. Broadly conceived, linguistics is the scientific study of human language, and a linguist is someone who engages in this study. ... Definition A lexeme is a unit of linguistic analysis. ... An affix is a morpheme that is attached to a base morpheme to form a word. ...


Derivational affixes usually apply to words of one syntactic category and change them into words of another syntactic category. For example, the English derivational suffix -ly changes adjectives into adverbs (slowslowly). Look up word in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Word may mean: Word (linguistics), a unit of language that symbolizes or communicates a meaning Microsoft Word, a word processor Word (computer science), a small group of bits Word may also be: In hip hop slang, an exclamation indicating deep and complete... A syntactic category is either a phrasal category, such as noun phrase or verb phrase, which can be decomposed into smaller syntactic categories, or a lexical category, such as noun or verb, which cannot be further decomposed. ... The first meaning of the term syntax, originating from the Greek words συν (sun, meaning ‘together’) and ταξις (taxis, meaning sequence/order), can be described as the study of the rules, or patterned relations that govern the way the words in a sentence come together. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Suffix has meanings in linguistics, nomenclature and computer science. ... An adjective is a part of speech which modifies a noun, usually making its meaning more specific. ... An adverb is a part of speech that usually serves to modify verbs, adjectives, other adverbs, clauses, and sentences. ...


Some examples of English derivational suffixes:

  • adjective-to-noun: -ness (slowslowness)
  • adjective-to-verb: -ize (modernmodernize)
  • noun-to-adjective: -al (recreationrecreational)
  • noun-to-verb: -fy (gloryglorify)
  • verb-to-adjective: -able (drinkdrinkable)
  • verb-to-noun: -ance (deliverdeliverance)

Derivational affixes do not necessarily modify the syntactic category; they can also modify the meaning. For example, the derivational prefix un- applies to adjectives (healthyunhealthy), although it also occasionally applies to nouns and verbs. In many cases, derivational affixes change both the syntactic category and the meaning: modernmodernize ("to make modern"). A noun, or noun substantive, is a word or phrase that refers to a person, place, thing, event, substance or quality. ... A verb is a part of speech that usually denotes action (bring, read), occurrence (to decompose (itself), to glitter), or a state of being (exist, live, soak, stand). Depending on the language, a verb may vary in form according to many factors, possibly including its tense, aspect, mood and voice. ... Prefix has meanings in linguistics, mathematics and computer science, and telecommunications. ...


Note that derivational affixes are bound morphemes. In that, derivation differs from compounding, by which free morphemes are combined (lawsuit, Latin professor). It also differs from inflection in that inflection does not change a word's syntactic category and creates not new lexemes but new word forms (tabletables; openopened). Bound morphemes can only occur when attached to root morphemes. ... A compound is a word (lexeme) that consists of more than one free morpheme. ... Inflection or inflexion refers to a modification or marking of a word (or more precisely lexeme) so that it reflects grammatical (i. ...


Derivation may occur without any change of form, for example telephone (noun) and to telephone. This is known as conversion. Some linguists consider that when a word's syntactic category is changed without any change of form, a null morpheme is being affixed. In linguistics, zero derivation or, less frequently, null derivation is a derivation by means of the null morpheme or zero morpheme, i. ... A null morpheme is a morpheme that is realized by a phonologically null affix (an empty string of phonological segments). ...


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/Derivation (linguistics) (385 words)
In linguistics, derivation is the process of creating new lexemes from other lexemes, for example, by adding a derivational affix.
In that, derivation differs from compounding, by which free morphemes are combined (lawsuit, Latin professor).
Some linguists consider that when a word's syntactic category is changed without any change of form, a null morpheme is being affixed.
Course Description (7702 words)
This course is a survey of general linguistics, emphasizing the theory and methodology of the traditional central areas of the field—phonetics, phonology, morphology, and syntax—with special concentration on phonological and syntactic theories and analytical techniques.
Linguistics, whether conceived of as a taxonomic or theoretical enterprise, must give attention to the study of particular grammars, rather than relying exclusively on broad generalizations from a narrow empirical base.
The course begins with a discussion of an approach to linguistics within which lexical meaning can be explained, and it continues with the assignment of lexical meaning to linguistic units and an exploration of the implications of lexical spectrum intersection theory.
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