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Lecture Summary (12/12/2006)

This lecture had two parts. The first one was a presentation by Sascha Griffith of SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics) on a database system called Toolbox (formerly known as Shoebox). It is for example used to create a lexical database of a rather unknown language. Mr Griffith illustrated the programm by showing us a screenshot of the microstructure. This was a very interesting aspect for us because it showed us that the terms we have come across in this course like "microstructure" are of importance for linguistic work. Afterwards we saw some funtions of Toolbox in action.

In the second part of the session Mr Gibbon continued talking about some aspects of the previous lecture, namely inflection and word formation. The function of inflection is to mark the syntagmatic relation of words to their contexts and is realized with a stem plus an affix (prefix, suffix, circumfix, infix, superfix) whereas the root/morpheme creation creates new parts of speech and new meanings with parts of 2 or more existing stems. The derivation has the same function but is formed only with one stem plus an affix. Compounding creates meaning by combining at least 2 existing stems.

Furthermore we learned more about the internal structure of English. English words consist of a stem and an inflection. In the case of the English language inflection means suffixes or stem vowel changes, in other languages you can also find  prefixes (many African languages), circumfixes (German) or superfixes. Stems of English words can be either (simple) roots (lexical morphemes) or (more complex) derivations, compounds or even both (synthetic compounds). Afterwards Mr Gibbon showed us an illustration of the hierarchy of words and their parts.

29.1.07 12:08

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