10-1 Have you noticed that English speakers sometimes say the data are important while others say the data is important? What is the difference in these two sentences and why do speakers prefer one over the other?
10-2 Conjugate the verb to shine: Today I shine, Yesterday I ____, I have ____. Now do the same with to show, to slay, and to weave. For each verb say whether you used regular forms, like Today I play, Yesterday I played, I have played, or irregular forms, like Today I begin, Yesterday I began, I have begun.
This Chapter Begins With An Overview Of The Grammatical Categories And Functions In Use In Spanish Today And The Forms Used To Express Them. This Is Followed By A Look At The Processes That Have Led To Changes In These Functions And Forms. You Will Learn How Speakers Create New Forms From Existing Elements And Also How They Reshape Existing Forms Through Analogy.
What Are Morphemes and Paradigms?
We have seen in Chapters 6–9 on phonological changes how speakers change their language by changing their pronunciation of certain sounds. In this chapter and the next four, Chapters 10–14, we will consider morphological changes in the history of Spanish, the ways in which speakers change the forms they use. The key to understanding morphology is first to realize that the forms in Spanish, like those of other languages, are organized into patterns or paradigms (los paradigmas). The next step is to learn to analyze these patterns. Therefore, the best way to understand morphology is to become a “pattern-seeking device” that learns to detect and analyze patterns in the forms in Spanish that express grammatical functions.
One paradigm that you are no doubt familiar with is a verb conjugation, such as the conjugation of the present indicative of the verbs dormir and cantar:
When we compare these two paradigms, we can see that certain forms are associated with certain functions. It is easy to see that the stem of the verb, duerm- or dorm- for dormir and cant- for cantar, indicates the meaning of the verb, its lexical content, whether ‘sleep’ or ‘sing,’ and that the verb endings indicate grammatical person, such as the first person singular -o of duermo and canto.