#EngClass: Inflection

One of the branches of linguistic is morphology, that is the study of words, how they are formed, and their relation to other words in the same language. In morphology, inflection (also spelled ‘inflexion’) is a process of word formation.

In order to express grammatical categories, such as tenses, numbers, persons, animacy, definiteness, or others, a word is often modified. This modification is called ‘inflection.’

Inflection as described by Britannica.com (https://www.britannica.com/topic/inflection)

The inflection of verbs is called ‘conjugation.’
Example:
‘I have been WAIT all morning’ inflected to be ‘I have been WAITING all morning.’
Adding the suffix -ing to the verb ‘wait’ to form present perfect continuous tense is a type of conjugation.

The inflection of other parts of speech, such as nouns, adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, determiners, participles, prepositions and postpositions, numerals, or articles is called ‘declension.’
Example:
‘I have so many book’ inflected to be ‘I have so many books.’
Adding -s to the noun ‘book’ for it to become its plural form is a type of declension.

‘My house is a lot SMALL than my parents’ house’ inflected to be ‘my house is a lot SMALLER than my parents’ house.’
Adding -er to form a comparative degree is also a declension.

Regular and irregular inflection
Does inflection only come with affixes (imbuhan)?

Not always. We have regular and irregular inflection.
Example:
1. The verb is ‘swim.’
The past form is ‘swam.’
The participle form is ‘swum.’
This is also an inflection, but an irregular one.

2. One CHILD —> many CHILDREN
One WOMAN —> many WOMEN
The changing of the nouns to their plural forms in the example is also an inflection.

Words that follow the regular pattern of inflection, such as adding affixes, are considered regular inflection. Other words that don’t necessarily follow the regular pattern are considered irregular inflection.

Conclusion: inflection is any type of word modifications.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 23 May 2021.

RELATED ARTICLE(S):
#EngClass: Irregular Plural Nouns (REVISIT)
#EngClass: Parts of Speech
#EngClass: Present Perfect Tense vs. Simple Past Tense
#EngClass: Suffix
#EngClass: Understanding the Basics of English Grammar

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