- The key principles associated with the difference between ...
The key principles associated with the difference between Morphology and Syntax
In this essay, I will first describe what the fields of
morphology and syntax study in order to highlight issues that fall
between the two categories. Then, I will intend to give a
description of what problems may arise when teaching English to
Morphology intends to study the internal structure of words. It
can be said that words are the smallest units of syntax. For
example, a proficient speaker of English can recognize that the
words boy, boys, and boyhood are closely related.
English speakers are able to recognize how these words are related
from their unspoken knowledge of the rules of word-formation in
English. They observe that boy is to boys what
girl is to girls. Similarly, boy is to
boyhood what neighbour is to
neighbourhood. Speakers are able to recognise patterns in
the way words are formed from smaller units.
An important difference between inflection and word-formation is
that inflected word-forms of lexemes are organized into paradigms,
and in turn, these are defined by the requirements of syntactic
rules. On the other hand, the rules of derivation and composition
are not restricted by any equivalent requirements of syntax.
Inflection is relevant to syntax, and derivation and composition
For an English learner with a language without a rich
inflectional morphology, it will be quite difficult to understand
that words require of different word endings depending on their
position and role in the sentence. However, for those who are
learning English whose first language is a highly synthetic
language (that is, it relies on adpositions, affixes, and internal
modifications of lexemes to establish relations and roles within
the sentence), it will be difficult to come to terms with the fact
that English is an analytic language (that is, it relies heavily on
word order or prepositions to indicate relations in the sentence).
And a further puzzlement will come after being told that in some
occasions either a clitic or a preposition can be used for the same
thing. That is, a genitive's can be used as well as an of structure
to indicate possession. This is of course a result from the fact
that Old English was a synthetic language and Modern English is an
analytic language, there are still some of the features of Old
English remaining (it also applies to personal pronouns).