Brian and Aaron introduced us to morphology, in preparation for Pamela Toman’s talk on the morphology of American Sign Language next week. Their presentation included a NACLO-style problem.
NOTES (thanks to Brian, as may be guessable:)
The basic unit of meaning in a language is a morpheme, of which there are two types: free and bound. There are two types of bound morphemes: inflectional (those that don’t change the inherent meaning of a word) and derivational (those that do). The null morpheme is a specific type of derivational morpheme that is not pronounced or written, but changes the lexical class of a word.
Languages can be categorized based on how they handle morphology. See the slides for more information.
The presentation ended with a demonstration of a method for solving certain types of morphology problems. See the slides for more information.