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 Post subject: paradigm vs syntactic word
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 6:15 pm
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I have two questions in connection with the test. What is the difference between paradygm and sintactic word? What is the difference between ablaut and umlaut? Thank you very much!
A syntactic word (note the spelling) is a single word like takes or taken. A paradigm (note the spelling again) is a set of syntactic words that belong to the same lexeme. That is, takes, taken, as well as take and took together form the paradigm of the lexeme TAKE (which is spelt in capitals to distinguish it from the syntactic word take).

Ablaut and umlaut are both vowel changes observed in the paradigm of a lexeme. sing—sang—sung exemplifies ablaut, fall—fell, or mouse—mice, goose—geese, man—men exemplify umlaut, but these are historical relics in English, that is, you have to know the changes that occurred to vowels in more than a thousand years in order to fully understand the difference. You can read about umlaut and ablaut if you’re really interested. But do not expect any such questions in the test.

[edit: here are two easier papers about ablaut and umlaut]

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