What Is Morphology

What Is Morphology?

Morphology is the study of the structure of words and their relation to other words. Since a morpheme is the smallest linguistic piece ‘with a grammatical function, ’ it serves as a common unit of analysis. [1] Morphemes have different functions, such as forming new words, changing parts of speech, or adding specific grammatical meanings. This paper focuses on the functions of such morphemes as roots, suffixes, and prefixes and includes a brief morphological analysis of twelve words.

The word villager is formed with the help of two morphemes: village and –r, where the former is the root, an unit that cannot be divided into smaller morphemes, [2] and the latter is the suffix. In English, roots are primarily free morphemes that can function as words. [3] It really is noteworthy that will bound stems furthermore exist in the particular language (for example, philosopher). Nevertheless , the particular words under concern are constituted along with the help associated with free stems.

The second morpheme within the word villager is bound because it cannot functionality on its personal. Within the English vocabulary, bound morphemes are usually always attached with the root. The endsilbe ‑r is derivational since it provides a new semantic meaning to the particular word village. [4] This word, meaning ‘a the place’, is changed into a brand new one (villager or ‘a person arriving from a village’) by using an endsilbe which has the which means of a host to source. ’[5] Other good examples of the functionality of this endsilbe include Londoner, a southerner, and New Yorker.

At this time, you will need to add that a few affixes tend in order to be used along with particular parts associated with speech. For example, the particular suffix –er will be regarded as a good attribute of the noun, in fact it is not really associated with the particular shifts of term classes. When –er is added in order to a noun, this creates a noun with a fresh meaning. When it comes to the particular suffix –meant, the particular affix is usual with regard to nouns which are produced from verbs. This particular pattern can become illustrated by the particular following words government, improvement, and statement.

Another term to be looked at is the action-word records, which usually includes two morphemes too: the main (free morpheme) record and the inflectional suffix (bound morpheme) ‑s. Often, terms in the British language have several meanings, and this can be hard to understand which associations arise without the context. [6] The particular word under evaluation is an sort of this phenomenon, referred to as polysemy, and because such, it could be difficult to identify the precise function of the particular suffix. At the particular same time, the particular morphological characteristics stay exactly the same irrespective associated with the meaning from the word.

The suffix ‑s will not change the grammatical category but changes a few of its elements. For instance, it can have the meaning of plurality if we assume that the world record is a noun. This bound morpheme can serve to denote the doer of the action (third person, singular) if the word records function as a verb in a phrase. Therefore, the identification of the grammatical attributes of the term is pivotal regarding the morphological analysis because of the polysemy of English terms. Some other reasons for the use associated with ‑s like a sign of plurality are usually boxes, cats, plus dogs. For grammatical features associated with action-word forms, other pictures of the technique morpheme under evaluation write, swims, and claims.

The next term to consider will be prearrangements, the complex example containing of the morphemes pre‑ (bound morpheme), arrange (free morpheme), ‑ment (bound morpheme), and ‑s (bound morpheme). The main with this word will be arranged, plus it is a totally free morpheme. In conditions of the a part of speech, this term is an action-word. The prefix pre‑ is really a derivational morpheme since it adds the particular meaning (‘before’) to the main. Other exemplifications from the use of this particular prefix are prejudged and premature. [7]

The suffix ‑ment is yet a derivational morpheme since it adds the new connotation in order to the word: ‘a state that effects from a task. Within addition, this morpheme also transforms the particular verb prearrange right into a different part associated with speech, the noun prearrangement. As with regard to a similar use of the morpheme involved, refreshment or government can be stated. [8] Finally, the particular bound morpheme ‑s is an inflectional suffix that relates to the grammatical category of plurality. You are able to come upward with other situations such as governments or roots in order to illustrate the make use of of this morpheme.

One even more word to evaluate is useful, which consists associated with the free morpheme use and 2 bound morphemes ‑ful and ‑ly. In terms of identifying the part of speech, the root user is a verb. The morpheme ‑ful is derivational as it transforms the verb use into the adjective useful. This suffix has the denotation ‘marked by’; other examples of this function are helpful, wonderful, and playful. The bound morpheme ‑ly is also derivational as it turns the adjective useful into the adverb usefully. Such adverbs as playfully or rapidly can serve as a good demonstration of this use of the suffix under consideration.

Another complex word to examine is indirectness, which can be divided into the bound morpheme in‑, the root direct, and the bound morpheme ‑ness. The prefix in‑ is a derivational morpheme that adds a new connotation of negation to the word (‘not direct’). Another example of this function of the prefix is insubstantial. [9]

The derivational suffix ‑ness adds a new meaning (‘quality’) to the word and converts the adjective indirect into the noun indirectness. To illustrate the same function for this suffix, it is possible to look at such words as kindness or helpfulness. Deferral is a word consisting of two morphemes: the root defers and the bound morpheme ‑al. The suffix is a derivational morpheme with the meaning ‘action’ that turns the verb defer into the noun deferral. Other instances of the utilization of this suffix include referral, disposal, and disapproval.

The word dancing also consists of two morphemes: the root dance and the bound morpheme ‑ing. However, depending on the context, it is possible to analyze the suffix in more than one way. It is noteworthy that in both cases, the morpheme is derivational. The suffix ‑ing can transform the verb dance into either a participle or a noun that, depending on the intended meaning of the word, will perform different roles in a sentence. In order to demonstrate this use associated with ‑ing, this is possible in order to employ reading or even thinking.

Importantly, the stem might take several affixes to form the meaningful word plus can not be used along with some of all of them like a free design. The term inconceivable can be observed as a good example of this particular peculiarity of word-formation. Inconceivable is made up of three models: the bound morpheme in‑, the main conceive, and the endsilbe ‑able, a derivational suffix that changes verbs into adjectives, adding the significance of ‘ability. Therefore, the brand new word produced by adding ‑able to conceive, making conceivable, means ‘able in order to conceive. ’ Some instances of this functionality are loveable, solvable, and achievable. Because mentioned above, the particular prefix in‑ is really a derivational morpheme which has the meaning associated with negation (‘not conceivable’). Other words that will can in order to demonstrate the use associated with this prefix consist of inexpensive and intractable.

The term antiperspirant also offers three morphemes: the particular bound morpheme anti‑, the root perspire, and the limited morpheme ‑ant. The suffix under evaluation adds a significance implying an ‘agent’ towards the root, producing a new term. In this situation, the derivational endsilbe ‑ant changes the particular verb perspire in to the noun perspirant. To demonstrate this function from the suffix, other good examples to consider include such words as claimant or disinfectant. The derivational prefix anti‑ means ‘opposite’; the word antiseptic can be used as an illustration of the application of this morpheme.

The word hyperactivity consists of four morphological pieces: the bound morpheme hyper‑, the riot act, and the two bound morphemes ‑ive and ‑its. Interestingly, all the affixes in this word are derivational as they add meaning (in the case of hyper‑) or change the part of speech and add a new meaning (in the cases of ‑ive and ‑it). The suffix ‑ive transforms the verb act into an adjective, adding the meaning ‘condition’ (another example of this function is the word passive). The suffix ‑city changes the adjective active to the noun activity with the connotation ‘state’ (one more case is passivity). The derivational prefix hyper‑ is an illustration of an intensifying affix (other instances are hypertension or hypersensitive). [10]

The word overcooked can be divided into three morphological units: the bound morpheme over‑, the root cook, and the bound morpheme ‑ed. The derivational suffix ‑ed turns the verb cook into the adjective cooked (the word prepared presents a vivid illustration). The derivational prefix over‑ adds the meaning ‘excessive’ to the word cooked. Other words derived in a similar way are overdone and overlooked.

The final word to analyze is taken, which consists of two parts: the root take and the bound morpheme ‑en. The suffix ‑en is inflectional as it is used to improve some grammatical facets of the word. Within this case, the particular suffix in query is used to type a participle. Exactly the same function can become traced in such verbs as taking (taken), shake (shaken) and prove (proven).

In conclusion, it is necessary to note that the morphological analysis of English words sheds light on the functions that different morphemes can perform. Polysemy, a feature of the English language in which a word has multiple meanings, is often an attribute of many morphemes that may form different parts of speech or add new meanings to existing free morphemes. Another distinctive feature of the language is that the root is generally a free morpheme. It is also necessary to remember that more than one affix can be added to a root, so it is important to be attentive when identifying a free morpheme.

Reference List

Aronoff, M. and K. Fudeman, What Is Morphology? 2nd ed., Malden, Blackwell, 2011.

Baker, A. E. and K. Hengeveld, ‘The Language User, ’ in A. E. Baker and K. Hengeveld, (ed. ), Linguistics, Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell, 2012, pp. 29-56.

Bauer, L., ‘Concatenative Derivation’, in R. Lieber and P. Štekauer, (ed. ), The Oxford Handbook of Derivational Morphology, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014, pp. 118-136.

Fromkin, V., R. Rodman and N. Hyams, An Introduction to Language, 10th edn., Belmont, Wadsworth Cengage, 2014.

Haspelmath, M. and A. Sims, Understanding Morphology, London, Routledge, 2013.

Rainer, F., ‘Polysemy in Derivation’, in R. Lieber and P. Štekauer, (ed. ), The Oxford Handbook of Derivational Morphology, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014, pp. 338-353.

Schmid, H. J., ‘Morphology’, in N. Braber, L. Cummings and L. Morrish, (ed.), Exploring Language and Linguistics, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015, pp. 77-110.

Yule, G., The Study of Language, 6th edn., Cambridge, CUP, 2017.

  • M. Aronoff and K. Fudeman, What Is Morphology? 2nd edn., Malden, Blackwell, 2011, p. 2.
  • M. Haspelmath and A. Sims, Understanding Morphology, London, Routledge, 2013, p. 21.
  • Haspelmath and Sims, p. 21.
  • G. Yule, The Study of Language, 6th edn., Cambridge, CUP, 2017, p. 69.
  • H. J. Schmid, ‘Morphology’, in N. Braber, L. Cummings and L. Morrish (ed.), Exploring Language and Linguistics, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015, p. 99.
  • A. E. Baker and K. Hengeveld, ‘The Language User’, in A. E. Baker and K. Hengeveld (ed.), Linguistics, Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell, 2012, p. 40.
  • V. Fromkin, R. Rodman and N. Hyams, An Introduction to Language, 10th edn., Belmont, Wadsworth Cengage, 2014, p. 43.
  • Haspelmath and Sims, p. 100.
  • L. Bauer, ‘Concatenative Derivation’, in R. Lieber and P. Štekauer (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Derivational Morphology, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014, p. 118.
  • F. Rainer, ‘Polysemy in Derivation’, in R. Lieber and P. Štekauer (ed. ), The Oxford Handbook of Derivational Morphology, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014, p. 350.
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