Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Allomorph Word Forms and Sounds
Allomorph Word Forms and Sounds In phonology, an allomorph is a variant form of a morpheme. (A morpheme is the smallest unit of a language.) For example, the plural in English has three different morphs, making plural an allomorph, because there are alternatives. Not all plurals are formed in the same way; theyre made in English with three different morphs: /s/, /z/, andÃ [Ãâ¢z], as in kicks, cats, and sizes, respectively.Ã For example, when we find a group of differentÃ morphs, all versions of one morpheme, we can use the prefixÃ allo-Ã ( one of a closely related set) and describe them as allomorphs of that morpheme. Take the morpheme plural. Note that it can be attached to a number of lexical morphemes to produce structures like catÃ plural, busÃ plural, sheepÃ plural, and manÃ plural. In each of these examples, the actual forms of the morphs that result from the morpheme plural are different. Yet they are all allomorphs of the one morpheme. So, in addition to /s/ and /Ãâ¢z/, another allomorph of plural in English seems to be a zero-morph because the plural form ofÃ sheepÃ is actually sheepÃ Ã¢Ëâ¦. When we look at manÃ plural, we have a vowel change in the word...as the morph that produces the irregular plural formÃ men. (George Yule, The Study of Language, 4th ed. Cambridge University Press, 2010) Past Tense Allomorphs Past tense is another morpheme that has multiple morphs and is thus an allomorph. When you form the past tense, you add the sounds /t/, /d/, and /Ãâ¢d/ to words to put them in past tense, such as in talked, grabbed, and wanted, respectively. Completely arbitrary allomorphs, such as EnglishÃ wentÃ (goÃ Ã past tense), are relatively rare in theÃ lexicon, and occur almost exclusively with a few very frequent words. This unpredictable kind of allomorphy is calledÃ suppletion. (Paul Georg Meyer, Synchronic English Linguistics: An Introduction, 3rd ed. Gunter Narr Verlag, 2005) Pronunciation Can Change Depending on the context, allomorphs can vary in shape and pronunciation without changing meaning, and the formal relation between phonological allomorphs is called anÃ alternation.Ã [A]n underlying morpheme can have multiple surface level allomorphs (recall that the prefix allo means other). That is, what we think of as a single unit (a single morpheme) can actually have more than oneÃ pronunciationÃ (multiple allomorphs)...We can use the following analogy:Ã phoneme:Ã allophoneÃ morpheme: allomorph. (Paul W. Justice, Relevant Linguistics: An Introduction to the Structure and Use of English for Teachers, 2nd ed. CSLI, 2004) For example, [t]heÃ indefinite articleÃ is a good example of a morpheme with more than one allomorph. It isÃ realizedÃ by the two formsÃ aÃ andÃ an. The sound at the beginning of the following word determines the allomorph that is selected. If the word following the indefinite article begins with aÃ consonant, the allomorphÃ aÃ is selected, but if it begins with aÃ vowelÃ the allomorphÃ anÃ is used instead... [A]llomorphs of a morpheme are inÃ complementary distribution. This means that they cannot substitute for each other. Hence, we cannot replace one allomorph of a morpheme by another allomorph of that morpheme and change meaning. (Francis Katamba, English Words: Structure, History, Usage, 2nd ed. Routledge, 2004) More on the Term Itself Ã The terms adjectival use isÃ allomorphic. Its etymology derives from the Greek,Ã Ã other form.