Morphological Regularities and Patterns in English Word Formation – Kateryna Krykoniuk

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Abstracts page

Bios page


  1. What other theoretical problems of word formation could be verified on the basis of the sample of this research?
  2. What other statistical tools might be helpful in the study of the sample?


  • Alison Wray

    A really interesting account, Kateryna, and I love the presentation style you used. I wanted to suggest something that may help you in chapter 7, if (as I suspect) you find you have some messy aspects of the data that are difficult to fit into nice patterns. Two publications of mine might help you account for the messiness, and if you email me (I’m on the CLCR staff page) I can send you them both. They propose that part of the story of language is, or at least can be, eclectism, ie. borrowing in, or not replacing, bits of systems which therefore end up just coexisting with other bits of system in a tolerated hybridity that children cope with with acquiring the language. It means that no theory or method can come to a clean conclusion about the patterns, because they’re just not clean. So, a theory can be valuable, even if it can’t account for absolutely everything. No problem if this isn’t relevant, but I thought I’d mention it. The references are:
    Wray, A 2014. Developing comprehensive criteria of adequacy: the challenge of hybridity. In Gómez González, María de los Ángeles, Ruíz de Mendoza, Francisco José, Gonzálvez García, Francisco & Downing, Angela (eds.) The functional perspective on language and discourse: applications and implications. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 978-90-272-5652-2. pp19-36.
    Wray, A. 2015. Why are we so sure we know what a word is? In Taylor, John (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of the Word. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 725-750

  • Kateryna

    Thanks for your interesting comment, Prof Wray! The idea is appropriate indeed, and I will definitely consider it when my data analysis is completed.

  • Gerard O'Grady

    Hi Kateryna,
    I would like to echo Alison’s comments on the poster – it is very clear and I loved the style. One thing I wondered when reading your poster was the effect of register on word formation. Are words in specific registers formed according to the same conventions as everyday words and if they are not is it possible or even necessary to develop an overarching unified grand theory? It doesn’t seem to be a problem to me if it is not. Usage based and network approaches would seem useful tools to approach the issue.

  • Kateryna

    Hi Dr O’Grady,
    Thank you for expressing an interest in my poster and for your thought-provoking question. If I have understood correctly, you are asking why linguists should bother to create a general description of the word formation system of a language, when there are usage-based theories that provide better accounts for various linguistic processes. Also, implicit to you question—as it appears to me—is a doubt that a register of words could reflect everyday language. Well, I think this is largely the matter of belief. First, the purpose of science, as it seems to me, is finding different patterns of an objective reality and trying to reduce complex and messy phenomena to clear and concise models. Linguistics, I believe, is not an exception from this rule. We need models in linguistics, specifically, for computational purposes. To the best of my knowledge, there is no comprehensive and empirically-based model of English word formation in modern linguistics. Secondly, this study uses two registers: the first is taken from a dictionary, and the second from a list of randomly generated words from the BNC corpus—I have not got a space in my poster to reflect on this in detail:)) This is to see whether they show similar characteristics. Finally, the methodology of this thesis is empirically-driven. It just formalizes the data and ‘translates’ words into entities that are easier to process and understand. Therefore, the results of this study can be interpreted in the light of any theory including a usage-based, which is one of my favorite theories. So thank you for your helpful suggestion:))

  • Michelle

    Absolutely super poster – very clear and engaging. I echo what Alison & Gerard are saying but can’t add to them, I’m afraid. Really interesting work

  • Kateryna

    Thank you very much, Michelle, for your positive feedback!

  • Lucy Chrispin

    Hi Kateryna,

    I also don’t have anything constructive to contribute (sorry) but I thought you condensed your research really well and the poster is aesthetically pleasing :)

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