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  • Word Matrix: Anxi

    <Anxi> ‪”uneasy, troubled in mind” from Latin anxius Note: The base is <anxi>. The <i> is part of the base because...

    Heather JohnsonSeptember 28, 2019
  • Introducing ‘Structure and Meaning of Periphrastic Modal Verbs in Modern American English’

    If you have ever browsed my About Us page, you will know that I earned a BA in English studies with...

    Heather JohnsonSeptember 24, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Doodle

    While reading some books about the history of words earlier this year, I came across the word <fopdoodle>, which means “a...

    Heather JohnsonSeptember 10, 2019
  • Word Matrix: D (“set, put”)

    Back at the end of July, I investigated the words <add> and <addition>. I undercovered the base <d>, but I misidentified...

    Heather JohnsonSeptember 3, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Ply (“lay, fold, twist”)

    I recently came across a tweet in a Twitter conversation that argued that studying morphemes is not always helpful. A morpheme...

    Heather JohnsonAugust 20, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Stude

    <stude> “learn, examine, show zeal for” from Old French estudiier, from Medieval Latin studiare, from Latin studium “study, application,” originally “eagerness,”...

    Heather JohnsonJuly 28, 2019
  • Word Matrix: D (“give”)

    After returning from a two-week family vacation last weekend, I found my sleep schedule completely messed up. Instead of tossing and...

    Heather JohnsonJuly 26, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Marsupe

    <marsupe> “purse, pouch” from Modern Latin marsupialis “having a pouch,” coined from Late Latin marsupium “pouch, purse” Word Sums Marsupe +...

    Heather JohnsonJuly 21, 2019
  • The -ion Suffix, Connecting Vowel <i>, and Phonological Markers

    To begin, -*tion, -*sion, -*cion, and -*xion are not suffixes. Only -ion is a suffix. A suffix is a bound morpheme...

    Heather JohnsonJuly 5, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Galact

    <galact> “milk, milky” from Greek gala (genitive galaktos, stem galakt-) “milk” Word Sums Galact + ic -> galactic Extra + Galact...

    Heather JohnsonJune 17, 2019
  • Using Verbs and Verb Phrases as Adjunct Adverbials

    Notional grammars traditionally verbs as “words that denote actions and states of being.” A verb phrase consists of a verb plus...

    Heather JohnsonJune 15, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Cat

    <cat> “feline” from Old English catt Words Sums Cat Cat + s -> cats Cat + ed -> catted Cat +...

    Heather JohnsonJune 6, 2019
  • Adjectives Versus Verbs: Participial Adjectives

    As I have written many times before, the line between grammatical forms is blurry at best, especially among lexical categories like...

    Heather JohnsonJune 4, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Pter

    <pter> “feather, wing” from Greek pteron Word Sums Pter + ide + ine -> pteridine Pter + ide + ine +...

    Heather JohnsonMay 28, 2019
  • How to Diagram a Sentence: Form-Function Diagrams

    What is grammar? The popular notion is actual or presumed prescriptive notions about the correct use of a language. But linguistics...

    Heather JohnsonMay 20, 2019