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By Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy

What precisely are phrases? Are they the issues that get indexed in dictionaries, or are they the fundamental devices of sentence constitution? Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy explores the results of those diversified methods to phrases in English. He explains some of the ways that phrases are on the topic of each other, and exhibits how the background of the English language has affected note constitution. issues contain: phrases, sentences and dictionaries; a notice and its components (roots and affixes); a observe and its varieties (inflection); a observe and its kin (derivation); compound phrases; be aware constitution; productiveness; and the historic assets of English note formation.

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Soon, sooner, soonest Inflection thus plays a much more modest role in modern English than in German (for example), or in Old English (as we shall see in Chapter 9). In some languages, a lexeme may have hundreds or even thousands of distinct forms. On the other hand, English makes more use of inflection than languages such as Afrikaans, Vietnamese and Chinese, which have little or none. Why languages should differ so enormously in this respect is a fascinating question, but one that we cannot delve into here.

But in fact there seems to be a common semantic factor among the zero-plurals: they all denote animals, birds or fish that are either domesticated () or hunted (), usually for food (, , ). g. , , , ). Nevertheless, the correlation is sufficiently close to justify regarding zero-plurals as in some degree regular, obeying a minority pattern of plural formation that competes with the dominant pattern of -s-suffixation. 2 I made the point that only some nouns have plural forms, namely nouns that refer to entities that are countable.

What lexeme could this be? This question is easy to answer when we notice that, alongside performance, there is a plural form performances. Just as cat and cats are the two forms (singular and plural) of the lexeme , it makes sense to regard performance and performances as the two forms of a lexeme . This tells us something about the relationship between perform and performance: it is a relationship not between word forms but rather between lexemes. ) Thus derivational morphology is concerned with one kind of relationship between lexemes.

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