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Sun Dec 9, 2018, 05:30 PM

Morphology of "antidisestablishmentarianism",

an unusually long English word which means opposition to the separation of Church and State, especially in England.

According to Wiktionary,
antidisestablishmentarianism < anti- +‎ disestablishmentarian +‎ -ism.

The morphology is ambiguous, i.e., we could draw different trees. We could have either

antidisestablishmentarianism < anti- +‎ disestablishmentarianism
disestablishmentarianism < disestablishmentarian +‎ -ism
disestablishmentarian < disestablishment +‎ -arian


antidisestablishmentarianism < antidisestablishmentarian +‎ -ism
antidisestablishmentarian < anti- +‎ disestablishment +‎ -arian,

with another ambiguity. We could have either

antidisestablishmentarian < antidisestablishment +‎ -arian
antidisestablishment < anti- +‎ disestablishment


antidisestablishmentarian < anti- +‎ disestablishmentarian,
disestablishmentarian < disestablishment +‎ -arian.

According to Wiktionary, the rest of the morphology is unambiguous:

disestablishment < dis- +‎ establishment
establishment < establish + -ment,

but a possible alternative is

disestablishment < disestablish + -ment
disestablish < dis- +‎ establish.

The word is only slightly bastardized. Most of the roots are Latin, but the first and last are Greek:

anti- < Ancient Greek ἀντι-, and

-ism < Ancient Greek -ισμός or -ισμα.

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Reply Morphology of "antidisestablishmentarianism", (Original post)
Lionel Mandrake Dec 2018 OP
Igel Dec 2018 #1
Lionel Mandrake Dec 2018 #2

Response to Lionel Mandrake (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2018, 11:03 PM

1. In Ed Keenan's mathematical linguistics class he pointed out

that a variety of construction grammar makes the ambiguity unimportant, an artifact of the morphology theory used to construct the derivation.

Completely trashes bracketing paradoxes. Which is what this is a great example of.

Ed Keenan, the linguist, long gone from the world. I'm not sure about the Ed Keenan, Slavist of "Slovo" fame. He might still be kicking.

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Response to Igel (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 10, 2018, 06:14 AM

2. Edward L. Keenan,

the historian of medieval Russia, died in 2015.

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