This assignment consists of three questions. The first two are each divided into smaller subquestions,
some of which are marked only for content, and others marked additionally for logical argumentation,
fluidity, and mechanics. For these first two questions, your answers need not be longer than a
paragraph, and for those subquestions marked only for content, your answers probably do not need to
be longer than a sentence or two.
The third question asks you to write something more substantial. See that question for details.
Please type your assignment. (If, for whatever reason, you can’t, please let me know.) Don’t
forget to include your name, student number, and tutorial section on the first page of your assignment.
For the first two questions, answer each subquestion individually (i.e., indicate clearly whether you are
answering part a, b, etc.). The third question has special instructions; please read them carefully.
Attach the “grading sheet” (found in the “Assignments” folder on Blackboard) to the end of
your typed assignment. Print your name and student number on the grading sheet.
Consider the following hypothesis:
If a noun has an irregular plural form, then any other noun that is formed from it (either through
derivation or compounding) will also have an irregular plural form. Likewise, if a verb has an
irregular past tense form, then any other verb that is formed from it (either through
derivation or compounding) will also have an irregular past tense form.
In Lecture 3, we saw an example showing that this hypothesis is false: the plural of childhood is
regular, though the plural of child is irregular. Nevertheless, there are many words that seem to be
compatible with this hypothesis: consider, for instance, words like spokespeople and spoonfed, or
words like unwound and ex-wives.
a. There is a key difference between the example we discussed in class (childhood) and the examples I
have just presented here. What is it? [1 point]
b. In addition to the example discussed in class, words like sabre-tooths, lowlifes, and grandstanded
also show that the above hypothesis is false. But based on what we have learned so far, we would
actually expect these words to have irregular plurals/past tenses, contrary to fact. Why do you think
words like sabre-tooth, lowlife, and grandstand behave differently from words like spokesperson and
spoonfeed? [1 point]
c. In the slides for Lecture 3, you are told that “exocentric compounds still have heads”, although, in
such compounds, “the meaning of the whole is not a subtype of the meaning of the head”. Does data of
the sort you have just looked at challenge the notion that exocentric compounds have heads? Say why
or why not. [3 points]
a. Why is the word element sacr (as in sacred) spelled and pronounced as secr in the word consecrate?
b. It would be unexpected to find a word in which the word element sacr was spelled as sicr. Why?
There’s something unusual about the word goldendoodle. What is unusual about this word, and how
can we explain it? In answering this question, be sure to do the following:
(1) Say what the word goldendoodle means. (Here, you should quote the definition provided
by the Oxford English Dictionary, either in part or in full. Make sure to use quotation
marks, and to say where the definition comes from.)
(2) Say what the main morphological constituents of goldendoodle are. (That is, if you had
to split the word in two, how would you do it?)
(3) Say what the etymology of goldendoodle is. Specifically, you should say where each of
the main morphological constituents of the word comes from. (Use your own words, but
cite your source. Again, I recommend consulting the Oxford English Dictionary, which
I’ve linked to in the Blackboard page for this course.)
(4) Compare the etymology of goldendoodle with its definition. Does the word mean what
you expect it to mean, given its etymology?
(5) Of the two main morphological constituents of goldendoodle, one of them comes from a
word which has been formed by one of the “minor morphological processes” discussed
in Lecture 4. Say which process has been used to form this word.
(6) Speculate about why the word you identified in (5) has been used in the formation of the
word goldendoodle. There is not necessarily a “right answer” to this question, but your
answer should be linguistically sophisticated, using concepts and terminology
introduced in the course (especially those introduced in Lecture 3 and the beginning of
Lecture 4). It may be worthwhile to consider such other words as
• Saint Berdoodle (cross-bred from a Saint Bernard and a poodle)
• bernedoodle (cross-bred from a Bernese mountain dog and a poodle)
• boxerdoodle (cross-bred from a boxer and a poodle)
• dalmadoodle (cross-bred from a dalmatian and a poodle)
(7) In the OED’s entry for goldendoodle, under the “Origin” heading, the name of the
morphological process used in the creation of goldendoodle is given. Say whether or not
you agree with the OED’s interpretation, and why. It might be worth thinking about how
you would analyze words such as summerlicious, bootylicious, hunkalicious, etc., or
funtastic, screamtastic, crantastic, etc. (Look up -alicious and -tastic in the OED if you
are confused about these words.)
You do not have to do these seven things in the order provided (though I think the order I have
provided makes a certain amount of sense). For this question, I would prefer it if you did not give your
paragraphs or sentences labels like “(1)”, “(2)”, “(3)”, etc. Rather, you should ensure that your
sentences and paragraphs flow smoothly into one another, and to try to make it clear, without using
such labels, what the purpose of each paragraph or sentence is. Points (1)–(7) above are intended more
to provide a rough outline for your response, rather than a rigid structure, though you should still make
sure, before submitting your assignment, that you have done all seven of the things I ask you to do.
There is nothing preventing you from addressing additional points that I do not even cover in (1)–(7),
and in fact the best responses will usually provide a little bit of extra content.
Your response to this question should ideally be no more than 1 page long, though if you need
to go a little bit longer, that’s okay. The spacing between lines should be 1.5, the margins should be one
inch, and the response should be typed in 12pt Times New Roman.
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