Could I have examples…Dictionary unclear…Niece sent me a t-shirt…Do not touch Morpheme with bare hands Risk of Inflection

I think that a term meaning “minimal meaningful language unit” is appropriate here, but I cannot come up with anything beyond that.

bojon: Please query your niece to discover where she purchased that t-shirt. You’ll notice the part in italics is an inflectional morpheme. Simply, it’s the part of a word that is a “minimal unit of form and meaning or function.” The inflectional morpheme in this example is d. Its function is to indicated past tense.

Of course, there are other types of morphemes: s to indicate plural, ly to indicate adverb, al to indicate adjective, basic morphemes that carry the word’s essential meaning, etc.

I hope this helps you. Also, I’m serious–please find out from your niece where she got the shirt 'cause I’d love to buy one too!

This brought to you without notes from your friendly Linguistics major who’s slogging out what I hope is my final year as an undergrad.

Dratted misspellings. Please change “indicated” to “indicate” so it makes sense. Thanks.

Thanks, the t-shirt comes from Chicago Linguistics Society.

bojon: Thanks!

Looks like you had a superfluous morpheme there. A case of premature inflect-uation.

I’ll stop now…

Heh I should get me one of them shirts, that’s a pretty cute Ling geek joke.

– Dragonblink, who has been heard to utter à la Wayne’s World, “Yeah, and embedded clauses might fly out of my tree!”

PS Monty, you graduating in June too? Congrats! I’m crazy enough to be applying for doctorate programs in Linguistics, how bout you?

Dragonblink: Actually, I’ll have all the requirements for my major completed next quarter. The question for me is: shall I take a minor subject? I’ll also be applying for master’s, doctorates, and–this is probably the best idea–jobs!

Hello. Graduate student in linguistics speaking.

Examples of morphemes:

Judging from your posts, the linguistics majors among us should go into the t-shirt writing business. Sell them at a meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English and retire for life. Even your typos are funny!

I always wanted a t-shirt that said “Colorless green ideas dream furiously” just for the WTF value. Linguistics is great for that.

As others have mentioned, the t-shirt is a pun on a particular type of morpheme called an “inflectional” morpheme. Inflectional morphemes are classified by the fact that they do not change the class of the word to which they are attached* (run -> runs: both verbs). They are distinct from “derivational” morphemes which do change the class of the word to which they are attached (ex. quick -> quickly: adjective -> adverb). And both are distinct from “free” morphemes which may stand alone (ex. boy, girl, etc.). I concur wholeheartedly with the others, that is a very cool shirt.

BTW, Kizarvexius, it is commonly known that colorless green ideas sleep furiously. :wink: It is unknown whether or not they dream.

*Note my deliberate avoidance a sentence-ending preposition in the preceding sentence. Oh, the joys of education.

I would venture a guess that the t-shirt writing business is infinitely more lucrative than the language analysis business.

Upon further review…

It appears that our friend Bojon is not long with us. A big thank-you to Monty for discovering the origins of the shirt before the proverbial axe fell.

I will now cease from shamelessly padding my post count.

Is it safe to walk around Texas with a Chomsky quote on your T-shirt?

forgive the absurdly picky nitpick, but the phrase made famous by Chomsky is “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.”

I named a bar in one of my stories the “Iron Victoria”. If it’s ever published, mebbe someone will get the joke …

(“Queen Victoria is made of iron” is a common example of violating the conversational maxim that basically boils down to “Don’t talk nonsense.”)

Monty, if I had time for a minor I’d get one, but I’m working on two BAs at once (the other is in French) so I’m taking six classes a quarter already just to get everything done! If you have the time, go for it.

– Dragonblink, whose fellow Linguistics students have served Theta Rolls at a department party. Har har!

10 points credit for identifying the TeeVee trivia connection with this piece of Iron Victoriana:

"Ice cream has no bones."

Please, no Googling (although I didn’t find it in the first page of hits there.)

Well, at least he started an interesting Linguistics related thread before joining the band of the banned.

No, it is I who should thank you. {Remember which cartoon that line’s from?}

Pad? Apartment? What’s the difference?