Posted by: gdevi | September 4, 2015

English 280 – English Plural Rule

September 4.

Lecture notes (slides on D2L)

English Plural Rule, or how phonological rules affect phonetic representation

Plural morpheme in English

The phonological rules of assimilation, dissimilation and epenthesis (for plurals of possessive morphemes of final /s/ and /z/ sounds)

What are the plurals of the following words? Study the final sounds. Write in spelling and IPA.

Cab  cap  bus  child

cad  cat  bush  ox

love  cuff  garage  sheep

lathe  faith  match  criterion

Bag   back   buzz  mouse

4 plural morphemes in standard dialects of English

/-s/   /-z/   /-es/   and the irregular morpheme for nouns with internal vowel change for plurals

What factors govern and predict the distribution of these changes?

Phonetic representation of the plural morpheme obeys a morphophonemic rule (both word form and phonemic patterning changes)

Given noun can only take only one plural morpheme

Bush   bushes  /buƒiz/

a) The plural morpheme takes the /-iz/ if the last sound is an alveolar fricative [s, z], alveopalatal fricative [ƒ,3], and alveopalatal affricates [, d3]

These are sibilant sounds.

cat-cats  dog-dogs

*buss  *bushs

bus-buses  bush-bushes

b) The plural morpheme takes the voiced form /z/ if the last sound is voiced.

c) The plural morpheme takes the voiceless form /s/ is the last sound is voiceless

Write the word and its plural in IPA.

Branch  boy  spa  cam

Bump  roof   ranch

Rant    wharf    badge

Bar  call  bang 

Race  ray   saw

Meter  bubble   bluff 

Here are some made-up words. I just made them up; they have no meaning. If they were meaningful morphemes, what plural forms would they take? Why? What is the rule? Write the plural in IPA to show the sound and the rule.

fwabe

neaf

corfoise

belfang

flagel

planot

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