Morphological Composition Of Nouns

Morphologically English Nouns are of 3 kinds:

· Simple

· Derived/derivative/

· Compound

Simple nouns are rootnouns that is, they consist only of one root (boy, girl, hook, chair,/

Derived nouns are built up with the help of prefixes, which are placed before the root/ prefixes/ and after the root / suffixes/ : dislike, remark, artist, doctor, friendship, teacher, freedom .

Here are some of the most important suffixes of nouns: -ance, -ence, -ing, -ism, -ment, -ness --tion, -sion, -er, -or. For example: resistance, presence, meanings, agreement, decision, reality, speaker, musician.

Compound nouns consist of at last 2 roots. Most often the first is a noun / airman, footnote/ or an adjective /blackboard, greenhouse/. There are syntactic compounds which don’t contain any noun /forget –me-not, merry-go-round/

The category of number

1. The plural of a noun is usually made by adding s to the singular: day- days, dog- dogs, house-houses sis pronounced /s/ after a p, k or f sound. Otherwise it is pronounced /z/. When s is placed after ce, ge, se or ze an extra syllable (/iz/) is added to the spoken word.

2. Nouns ending in o or ch, sh. ssorx form their plural by adding es: tomato- tomatoes, brush- brushes, box- boxes, church- churches, kiss- kisses.

But words of foreign origin or abbreviated words ending in o add sonly: dynamo-dynamos, kimono-kimonos, piano-pianos,kilo-kilos, photo- photos, soprano-sopranos.

When es is placed after ch, sh, ss or x an extra syllable (/iz/) is added to the spoken word.

3. Nouns ending in y following a consonant form their plural by dropping the y and adding ies: baby- babies, country- countries, fly- flies, lady-ladies. Nouns ending in yfollowing a vowel form their plural by adding s: boy- boys, day-days, donkey-donkeys, guy- guys.

4. Twelve nouns ending in f or fe drop the f or fe and add ves. These nouns are calf, half, knife, leaf, life, loaf, self, sheaf, shelf, thief, wife, wolf: loaf- loaves, wife- wives, wolf- wolves etc.

The nouns hoof, scar/and wharf take either s or ves in the plural: hoofs or hooves, scarfs or scarves, wharfs or wharves.

Other words ending in f or fe add s in the ordinary way: cliff-cliffs, handkerchief-handkerchiefs, safe-safes.

5. A few nouns form their plural by a vowel change: foot- feet, louse-lice, mouse-mice, woman-women, goose-geese, man-men, tooth-teeth. The plurals of child and ox are children, oxen.

6. Names of certain creatures do not change in the plural.

fishis normally unchanged, fishesexists but is uncommon.

Some types of fish do not normally change in the plural: carp, pike, salmon, trout, cod, plaice, squid, turbot, mackerel, but if used in a plural sense they would take a plural verb.

Others add s: crabs, herrings, sardines, eels, lobsters, sharks

deer and sheepdo not change: one sheep, two sheep.

7. Collective nouns, crew, family, team etc ... can take a singular or plural verb; singular if we consider the word to mean a single group or unit: Our team is the best or plural if we take it to mean a number of individuals: Our team are wearing their new jerseys.

When a possessive adjective is necessary, a plural verb with their is more usual than a singular verb with its, though sometimes both are possible: The Jury is considering its verdict. The jury are considering their verdict.

8. Certain words are always plural and take a plural verb: Clothes police garments consisting of two parts: breeches pants pyjama trousers etc.

and tools and instruments consisting of two parts: binoculars pliers scissors spectacles glasses scales shears etc.

Also certain other words including: arms (weapons), particulars, damages (compensation), premises/quarters, earnings, riches, goods/wares, savings, greens (vegetables), spirits (alcohol), grounds, stairs, outskirts, surroundings, pains (trouble/effort), valuables.

9. A number words ending in ics, acoustics, athletics, ethics, hysterics. mathematics, physics, politics etc., which are plural in form, normally take a plural verb: His mathematics are weak.

But names of sciences can sometimes be considered singular: Mathematics is an exact science.

10. Words plural in form but singular in meaning include news: The news is good

certain diseases: mumps, rickets, shingles

and certain games: billiards, darts, draughts, bowls, dominoes

11. Some words which retain their original Greek or Latin formsmake their plurals according to the rules of Greek and Latin: crisis-crises, phenomenon-phenomena, erratum-errata, radius-radii, memorandum-memoranda, terminus-termini, oasis-oases .

But some follow the English rules: dogma-dogmas, gymnasium-gymnasiums, formula-formulas (though formulae is used by scientists) Sometimes there are two plural forms with different meanings: appendix- appendixes or appendices (medical terms), appendix-appendices (addition/s to a book), index-indexes (in books), indices (in mathematics) Musicians usually prefer Italian plural forms for Italian musical terms: libretto- libretti, tempo- tempi. But s is also possible: librettos, tempos.

12. Compound nouns:

a) Normally the last word is made plural: boy-friends, break-ins travel agents

But where manandwoman is prefixed both parts are made plural: men drivers, women drivers

b) The first word is made pluralwith compounds formed of verb + er nouns + adverbs: hangers-on, lookers-on, runners-up and with compounds composed of noun + preposition + noun: ladies-in-waiting, sisters-in-law, wards of court

c) Initials can be made plural: MPs (Members of Parliament), VIPs (very important persons), OAPs (old age pensioners), UFOs (unidentified flying objects)


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