24.900 | Spring 2022 | Undergraduate

Introduction to Linguistics

Problem Set 1

Due: Session 6

Part One

Consider the following Iñupiaq sentences: 

a. Kamiqaqtuq      
‘He/she has boots’ 

b. Qayaq kiñŋuruq      
‘The kayak is capsizing’ 

c. Itiqtutin      
‘You are awake’ 

d. Sialuktuq      
‘It’s raining’ 

e. Atigiqaqtuq      
‘He/she has a parka’ 

f. Qimmit niġirut      
‘The dogs are eating’ 

g. Iglu qatiqtuq      
‘The house is white’ 

h. Tiŋmiruŋa      
‘I am flying’ 

i. Kamikluqaqtutin      
‘You have pants’ 

j. Kamik maŋaqtuq      
‘The boot is black’ 

k. Niġirutin      
‘You are eating’ 

l. Qayaqaqtuŋa      
‘I have a kayak’ 

m. Atigi mikiruq      
‘The parka is small’

n. Aġnaq iglaqtuq      
‘The woman is laughing’ 

o. Qimmiq nakuuruq      
‘The dog is all right’ 

p. Iglut aŋirut      
‘The houses are big’ 

q. Qimmiqaqtuŋa      
‘I have a dog’ 

r. Aġnaq aquppiruq      
‘The woman is sitting’ 

s. Qayaq aŋiruq      
‘The kayak is big’ 

t. Igluqaqtutin      
‘You have a house’ 

u. Qaugat tiŋmirut      
‘The ducks are flying’ 

1. Make as complete a list as you can of the morphemes appearing in these sentences. You may sometimes not have enough information to be sure what the underlying form of a particular morpheme should be; at times like that, you can just list a couple of possible forms. 

2. If a morpheme has allomorphs, list the allomorphs, and try to explain what determines which form appears where. Don’t worry too much about how the rule conditioning the allomorphs should be stated; just describe it in ordinary English. If this were a problem set about Polish, for example, I’d want you to say something like “If g is at the end of a word, it turns into k”. 

3. How would you say the following in Iñupiaq? 

i. You are all right. 

ii. The parkas are white. 

Part Two 

Find out how to indicate that a noun is plural in the language that you’re working on. 

You should get translations for at least five sentences, with singular and plural nouns in them (so, at least ten sentences in all). For example, you could find out how to say pairs like:

1. The woman read the book. 

2. The women read the books. 

Give us the data you collect with glosses for each word in each sentence, followed by translations into English, like this: 

3. Ehpit ‘tokitomon wikhikon 

woman read book      
‘The woman read the book’ 

Answer at least the following questions: 

Question 1: List at least one allomorph for the plural morpheme (it’s entirely possible that there will only be one). You don’t have to find all the allomorphs to get full credit for this question. You may discover that your language just doesn’t mark plural on nouns: what you should do then is make at least two of your sentences ones in which the subject has to be interpreted as plural. For example, you could get translations of sentences like: 

4. The men are criticizing each other.      

5. The students met outside. 

These are sentences in which the subjects have to be plural (for example, *The man is criticizing each other doesn’t make sense). So you can use translations like this to demonstrate that some nouns are plural in your language, even if there’s no marking of plural. 

Question 2: Are the plural morphemes bound or free? 

Question 3a: If the plural morpheme is bound, what kind of bound morpheme is it? a prefix? a suffix? 

Question 3b: If the plural morpheme is free, are there any constraints on the place it appears in the sentence? e.g., can an adjective come between it and the noun?

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Spring 2022
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