Date of Award

8-1-2013

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Applied Linguistics

First Advisor

Baertsch, Karen

Abstract

This study examines seven deverbal nominalizing suffixes through theoretical framework and previous research. They include the morphological aspects, productivity of suffixes, base-driven approach and phonological neutral and nonneutral suffixes. Learners participated in an instrument to account for their competence of verb-noun derivation. The participants presented knowledge of relational, syntactic and relatively distributional morphology. Also, some suffixes are more productive than others and that was shown through the level of accuracy of these suffixes. The suffixes -ing, -er, and (at)-ion are of high accuracy and thus productive. Whereas the suffixes -ment, -ent/-ant, -ence/-ance and -al are less accurate and less productive. The underlying reason behind the productivity and non-productivity of these suffixes is because of the phonological transparency factors. Suffixes that do not cause internal phonological changes in the base presented high accuracy and easily learned, while suffixes that require internal phonological changes posed challenges to learners. The -ment suffix is neutral, no internal change required, however; its accuracy went down in this study.

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