LINGUA INGLESE 1 A/A 2014-2015


11 MAGGIO 2015

  1. Describe the internal and external processes of lexical innovation and provide some examples:

Internal processes involve the formation of words by means of affixation (derivation), compounding, acronyms, blends, backformation, conversion, abbreviation, eponymy.

Examples: superimposition (prefixation); worthless (suffixation); database (compounding); increase/round (conversion); NATO (acronym), email/sportcast/fiction (blend); prioritise (backformation); Scottex, Xerox, Sandwich, Cardigan (eponymy);

  1. Among the basic characteristics of the English language we included the so-called ‘simplicity of inflection’. Can you briefly explain with your own examples?

This characteristic refers to the gradual process of morphological simplification which has occurred in the history of the English language and gave rise to the abandoning of most inflected forms. Thus, only few forms have remained relatively inflected, for example the verb and the personal pronouns.

  1. What is ‘backformation’’?
  1. Removing a noun ending and adding an appropriate verb ending.
  2. The derivation of the name of an item from that of a person.
  3. An acronym.
  1. Inflectional morphology: give a brief description of this type of phenomenon and provide examples.

IM refers to the way inflections (i.e. grammatical variations within the word)are formed with the addition of suffixes. Inflectional suffixes in English are, for example: the third-person indication in the present tense, the –s for the plural of nous; the –ed form in regular verbs; the –ing form in verbs; the ‘s to indicate the genitive or possessive case of proper nouns; -er; -est to indicate adjective quality in the comparative and superlative adjectives.

  1. Suffixes are of two kinds. Choose one kind of suffix and describe it giving appropriate examples:

Derivational suffixes are bound morphemes attached to the base form of a word: they mostly change the grammatical word class. Certain suffixes are associated with certain word classes: -able (to form adjectives); -ist; -dom; -ism (nouns); -ise/-ize (verbs). Depending on their functions, derivational suffixes may get their own denomination: nominal (nominalizer); adjectival (adjectivalizer), ecc.

  1. What is an allomorph?
  1. The variant form of a morpheme (semantically identical)
  2. The variant form of a morpheme (semantically different)
  3. The variant form of a morpheme (phonologically identical)
  1. Analyze the following words:

UNPRECEDENTEDLY: adverb; PRECEDE (base form, free morpheme, VERB); un-PREFIX (bound derivational morpheme); -(e)nt (bound m. derivational suffix, adjectival); -ed (bound morpheme, infl. suffix, verbalizer, adjectivizer); -ly (bound derivational m. adverbilizer)

ECONOMISTS: noun pl.; ECONOMY (free m.); -ist (bound m. derivational suff. Nominal-nominalizer); -s (bound m. inflectional suff.) to make noun plurals.

  1. What are the elements of a sentence?

In a simple sentence the elements are the subject and the predicate or verb. We can also have complements, direct and indirect objects, adjuncts.

  1. What are the two main markers of subordination in a sentence?

The presence of a subordinating conjunction and of a non-finite verb.

  1. Restrictive and non-restrictive relative clauses:

R.: a defining relative clause that identifies the noun preceding it. “I know the person who is speaking to John”

NR:A non-defining relative clause that simply gives additional information: “That man, who was very old, was speaking to John”.

  1. Give definitions and examples of 3 adjunct clause types:

Adjunct clauses are subordinate clauses functioning as adjuncts in a sentence, conveying additional information (TIME, PLACE, REASON,MODE, ecc):

The students arrived while we were having a meeting; He explained why he had come so late;

I don’t know the city he comes from.

  1. Analyze the following sentence:

“Previous research has shown that people’s scores on personality traits can predict what they purchase”.

Complex sentence. 2 subordinate clauses: one is a –that clause introduced by the verb to show, the other, introduced by the interrogative pronoun what, is a nominal relative clauses, functioning as direct object of the main verb phrase “can predict”.

  1. Noun phrase: pre- and post-modifiers:
  1. Underline the head noun, subject noun in the following sentence:

“Modern psychology recognizes five personality dimensions”.

“The well-designed interiors have comfortable seats, work tables, and Internet access”

c. What is the type and function of the following underlined phrases?

1. Mary seems a very nice lady:NP SUBJECT COMPLEMENT

2. Antonio didn’t tell his wife the truth:NP INDIRECT OBJECT

3. The new teacher will make the class much happier:ADJ. P. OBJECT COMPLEMENT

4. This is what I call a completely different attitude: ADJ. P. SUBJECT COMPLEMENT

  1. Finite and non-finiteverb phrases:

A verb phrase is finite when it is limited by tense, person, or mood. In English only tense and person can be considered as markers of finiteness. When two or more verbs occur, only the first verb indicates the tense (she has come; they have been waiting). All the other verbs are non finite verbs. The non-finite verb forms in English are: the base form, the –ed form (or irregular forms), the –ing form.

  1. Describe the following phonemes, indicating both the place and the mode of articulation:

:dental, voiced fricative

:palato-alveolar, voiceless fricative


a.[tʃɑːdʒ]: charge