Language is a way of communication through speaking, writing, and reading. Like Mathematics, language deals also with rules and formulas to create a plausible result. Hence, the rules of language in English are the foundation of learning the language.

On this blog, we will explore the spectrum of the rules of language in English and what are the principles behind these rules.

Morphology as a rule of language

rules of language in english-morphology

Morphology is a rule of language in English that studies the inside structure of words. It came from the Greek word “morph”- meaning ‘shape, form’, and -ology which means ‘the study of something’.

Morphemes are the building blocks of morphology.

The structure of morphemes is divided into two: simple words and complex words.

Simple Words

Simple word has no internal structure and it cannot be broken down into smaller parts that can carry small functions. In other words, it has only one morpheme.

Examples:

Work    Run

Build    Dance

Complex Word

Complex word, on the other hand, has an internal structure and can be broken down into smaller functions. It consists of two or more morphemes.

Examples:

Worker            Post-natal

Infamous         Happiness

Take note, complex words form through the combination of suffixes and root words.

Types of Morphemes

Free Morphemes

A free morpheme is a simple word, consisting of one morpheme that can stand alone.

Examples:

tree     work

high    chair

wrap   food

Bound Morphemes

A bound morpheme is a compound morpheme, consisting of two or more morphemes. Also, it is usually formed using affixes (suffix and prefix).

Prefix

The prefix is placed at the beginning of a word. The form is prefix + base word= new word.

Example:

  • De + form = Deform
  • Re + write = Rewrite
  • Non + abstract= Nonabstract

Suffix

The suffix is usually added at the end of the sentence. The form is base word + suffix = new word. In addition, suffix has three types. These are noun suffix, verb suffix, adjective suffix, and adverb suffix.

Noun Suffix

Examples:

  • Happy + ness = Happiness
  • Work + er = Worker
  • Organize + ion = Organization
  • Beauty + ful = Beautiful
  • Govern + ment= Government
  • Arrive + al = arrival
  • Sister + hood = Sisterhood
  • Free + dom = Freedom
  • Insist + ence = Insistence
  • Bag + age = Baggage
  • Capital + ism = Capitalism
  • Equal +ity = Equality
  • Rob + ry = Robbery
  • Friend +ship = Friendship

Verb Suffix

Examples:

  • Hard + en= Harden
  • Industry + ize= Industrialize
  • Beauty + ify= Beautify
  • Irate + ate= Irritate

Adjective Suffix

Examples:

  • Cloud +y= Cloudy
  • Cause + ious= Cautious
  • Month +ly= Monthly
  • Hope +less= Hopeless
  • Hope +ful= Hopeful
  • Brazil + ian= Brazilian
  • Produce + ive= Productive
  • Child + ish= Childish
  • Metal + ic=Metallic
  • Drink + able= Drinkable
  • Brute + al= Brutal
  • Gold +en= Golden

Adverb Suffix

Examples:

  • Formal + ly= Formally
  • Clock + wise= Clockwise
  • Down + ward(s)= Downward/s

Syntax as a rule of language in English

The syntax is a rule of language in English that deals with the grammatical structure of words and phrases to create coherent sentences. It is vital because even though it has few forms of phrases and sentence it can form many ideas.

However, what is a sentence?

A sentence is a common language in English and dominates the entirety of the discipline itself. Furthermore, the basic definition of a sentence is a word or group of words that conveys a complete thought or idea.

We should know the different parts of a sentence in order to know how to form the correct pattern of a sentence.

Parts of a Sentence

Subject

A subject is a noun or a pronoun that is used as the topic of the sentence.

Examples:

  • She is a teacher.
  • My parents are both professionals.
  • We are strong believers of equality and feminism.

Predicate

A predicate contains a verb and the things that talk about the subject.

Examples:

  • She is a teacher.
  • My parents are both professionals.
  • We are strong believers of equality and feminism.

Types of syntax

The language in English construction focuses more on active voice sentence rather than a passive voice sentence. It is because an active voice has a strong impact on writing and speaking. In order to create an active voice sentence, we need to know the different types of syntax.

Simple Syntax

The simple syntax has one simple sentence or it has one complete thought or ides.

Example:

  • She is a teacher.
  • My parents are both professionals.
  • We are strong believers of equality and feminism.

Compound Syntax

The compound syntax composes of compound sentences, have two sentences in one idea.

Examples:

  • She is a teacher and she is also an artist.
  • My parents are both professionals but they are also non-conformant.
  • We are strong believers of equality and feminism nevertheless we follow some ideologies opposite to our own beliefs.

Complex Sentences

A complex syntax possesses a complex sentence, one independent clause and one independent clause a subordinating clause.

Examples:

  • The boy jumped even though he was nervous.
  • Pancakes are delicious but not with chocolate syrup.
  • Computers have come a long way since they first came on the market.

Compound-complex Syntax

A compound-complex is composed of compound-complex sentences containing two independent clauses and more dependent clauses.

Examples:

  • Even though he was nervous, the boy jumped and he landed across the stream.
  • When I grow up, I want to be a ballerina, and my mom is proud of me.
  • We won the game, but my uniform was muddy because it rained the entire time.

Semantics as a rule of language in English

rules of language in english- semantics

Semantics is a rule of language in English that deals with the study of the word meaning, however, it also deals with the emotion or expression that comes with the word.

Seme is the unit of meaning despite how small or large the word is. To know the meaning of the word we will use different techniques. These techniques are the following:

Connotation

A connotation defines a word based on the emotion or expression implied.

Examples:

  • “My enemy is such a dog.” – In this sense, the word dog connotes a bad attitude.
  • “That priest is a dove at heart.” – Here, the dove implies purity
  • “There’s no place like home.” – In this line, home means comfort and security.

Denotation

Denotation defines a word based from the established source like the dictionary.

Examples:

  • “I love my dog.” – In this sense, the word dog connotes a domesticated animal.
  • “The dove is flying in the sky” – Here, the dove implies a white flying bird.
  • “This is my home.” –  The home may refer to the actual building someone lives in.

Antonyms

Using antonyms enable you to know the meaning of the word using the opposite meaning thereof.

Examples:

  • When there is light so there is no darkness.
  • She is a good girl hence she hates bad people.
  • The happy couple became sad because they always fight.
  • Our smart classmate avoids dull people because she finds them useless.
  • I love hot places so I don’t want to go out when there is snow because it’s cold.

Synonyms

Knowing the synonym, the same definition helps you know the relative meaning or the exact definition of the word.

Examples:

  • I love summer because it is hot.
  • She is a good person because she is kind to everyone.
  • They are happy because they always have a good laugh.
  • The ruthless king is on the verge of eviction because he is doing heinous crimes.
  • Our smart classmates prefer to talk to brainy people because they understand each other.

Pragmatics as a rule of language in English

Pragmatics is a rule of language in English which deals with the study of how context affects meaning, such as how sentences are interpreted in certain situations (or the interpretation of linguistic meaning in context). Linguistic context is a discourse that precedes a sentence to be interpreted and situational context is knowledge about the world.

As a conclusion, rules of language in English should not be set aside because it will help you attain the highest proficiency there is. So, keep on exploring and learning these rules of language in English today, tomorrow, and the comings days to come.

Phonology as a rule of language in English

rules in language in English-phonology

Phonology is a rule of language in English which studies the patterns of sounds in a language and across languages. The phonology is divided into smaller sound units called phonemes.

Natural classes of phonemes

The natural class is a group of speech segments that have some features in common. It is divided into two: consonants and vowels.

Consonants

Nasal

To produce nasal consonant, lower the soft palate and close your mouth and let the air escape through the nose.

M Consonant

When you are doing the M consonant, just lightly press your lips together while producing the sound using your vocal cords. Even Although most of the air moves over your soft palate, some air moves through the nose, and it feels like it is vibrating through your nasal passage. This is why the M consonant is referred to as a nasal sound.

Examples:

  • mother
  • money
  • welcome
  • drum
  • missionary

N Consonant

The N consonant sound is produced through parting your lips slightly. Let the tongue touches the roof your mouth just behind your teeth. You should feel a vibration in your nose.

Examples:

never    nothing

any        guns

then      downtown

Ng Consonant

You can’t study the N sound without also studying the ng sound (IPA symbol: /ŋ/). This is the third nasal sound in English. It is also produced by moving air through your nasal passage, but the tongue placement is different than the N sound. Your tongue is raised and further back in your mouth

Examples:

sang      ring

singer    cling

Voiced

Voiced consonants require the use of the vocal cords to produce their signature sounds. To produce voiced consonants, you tighten and relax your vocal cords as you speak, letting your vocal cords modulate the flow of the breath expelled from the lungs. The best way to know when you are producing voiced consonant is when there is a vibration produced in your throat.

Examples of voiced consonants are B, D, G, J, L, M, N, Ng, R, Sz, Th (as in the word “then”), V, W, Y, and Z.

Examples:

book    love

then    zipper

Voiceless consonants

The voiceless consonant does not use the vocal cords. In producing it, you just allow the air to flow freely from your lungs to your mouth, where the tongue, teeth, and lips will do the modulation of the sound.

Examples of voiceless consonants are Ch, F, K, P, S, Sh, T, and Th (as in “thick”).

Examples:

channel        fan

thanks         shoes

sorry            kick

Vowels

Vowels are pronounced using the throat, to produce the sound and the mouth, to modulate the sound.

Rounded

To produce rounded vowels, the lips should be drawn together and form a circular opening letting the air be released.

Examples:

note       book

well        fork

High Vowels

The high vowels are produced when you put or arched your tongue towards the roof of your mouth.

Examples:

machine     rule

beet             bed

Low Vowels

To articulate low vowels, let your tongue be relatively flat and low in the mouth and with the mouth open a little bit bigger compared to high vowel sounds.

Examples:

bat          bought

glad         had

Mid vowels

Mid vowels are the combination of a high and low vowel. So it means, your tongue is at the middle of your mouth.

Examples:

pet         bait

cut         boat

Diphthongs

Diphthongs are two vowels sounds that are located in the same syllable. There are eight diphthongs these are;

  • /eɪ/ as in day, play, say, sway
  • /aɪ/ as in sky, try, dry, lie
  • /ɔɪ/ as in soy, ploy, coy
  • /ɪə/ as in beer, ear, pier
  • /eə/ as in bear, stair, air
  • /ʊə/ as in tour, poor, ore
  • ʊ/ as in oh, so,  phone
  • /aʊ/ as in brown, now, plow

Let’s Answer It!

Direction: Read carefully and choose the item which has the correct answer.

1. This is a rule of language that deals with the word meaning.

Correct! Wrong!

2. What do you call the smallest unit of sound?

Correct! Wrong!

3. It is an affix added at the beginning of the word.

Correct! Wrong!