By Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy

What precisely are phrases? Are they the issues that get indexed in dictionaries, or are they the fundamental devices of sentence constitution? Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy explores the consequences of those diverse methods to phrases in English. He explains some of the ways that phrases are concerning each other, and indicates how the background of the English language has affected note constitution. issues comprise: phrases, sentences and dictionaries; a be aware and its elements (roots and affixes); a note and its types (inflection); a observe and its family (derivation); compound phrases; be aware constitution; productiveness; and the old assets of English observe formation.

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In effect, without realising it, we pay attention to these phonological characteristics of the noun when deciding which allomorph to use – though ‘decide’ is hardly the right word here, because our ‘decision’ is quite unconscious. Another very common suffix with phonologically determined allomorphs is the one spelled -ed, used in the past tense form of most verbs. Its allomorphs are [t], [d] and [d] or [əd]; determining their distribution is left as an exercise, whose solution is provided at the end of the book.

But if one compares (1) with (9), alongside the unacceptable examples (4) and (5), one can see that perform itself deserves to be called a grammatically conditioned variant too: (9) These pianists perform in the local hall every week. The fact that the verb appears with no suffix in (9), where the subject these pianists is plural, is just as much a matter of grammar as the fact that the verb appears with -s in (1), where the subject is singular. But it is awkward and confusing to describe perform in (9) as a form of itself !

The complete list of such nouns in English is not long, but it includes some that are extremely common. What this means for the dictionary entries for , ,  and the others is that, although nothing has to be said either about the fact that these nouns possess a plural form or about what it means, something does have to be said about how the plural is formed. Thus, for example, a dictionary entry for  will look like this: tooth noun (plural teeth). One of a set of hard white structures set in the jaw and used for biting and chewing.

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