An Introduction To Morphology: Inflection And Derivation

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Jocelyn Mei Barrera January 30, 2015 Reflection Paper on “An Introduction to Morphology” by Andrew Carstairs - McCarthy Chapters 4 and 5: A Word and Its Relatives: Inflection and Derivation In these chapters, we have learned that inflection and derivation affects most of the word classes in the language regardless of whether it is a content or function word. Its scope as word formation processes are far too wide that linguists, language researchers, authors, and teachers have spent years generalizing all possible rules for forming new words and spelling. Their intention is to concretize rules for language learners, but are they doing more harm than good? English words have various historical sources – Germanic, Latin, and Anglo-Saxon…show more content…
These are one of the trickiest topics to teach especially to second language learners. It is hard enough for learners to learn independent, single-structured words. We have to make sure that they are equipped with the knowledge of these words first before we let them embark on complex structures discussed on this chapter. Despite the complexity, I consider these areas to be one of the most amusing to teach in class. Why? It is guaranteed that the students will make mistakes. Let them. Show them why it is bad to say “passed away” when they meant “passed out”. Do not teach these words as if they’re another list that they have to memorize. Throw these complex words out to their consciousness and do not generalize. Loosen the structure up no matter how hard it is because the lesson itself is too structured. Allow the students to play with the words and come to their own discoveries of how these structures…show more content…
This tells us that it is impossible for linguistic areas work in isolation. So why do language teachers insist on teaching inductively from the most specific to the general items? I think it is more practical to approach the language in the most general terms – interaction itself. Allow students to explore semantic relationships first. Then, study sentence structures and look at the words as you proceed. Acquisition of the productive skills not innate to humans such as reading and writing should come first, but words to sentences to discourse does not always work. Start with discourse and work your way to the most specific elements. This will target both structure and context and allow the students to be more aware of language structures without having to generalize rules for

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