Sunteți pe pagina 1din 17


What is Morphology?
The study of forms i.e. the subdisciplines of

inflections as well as of the study of word classes and their classificational criteria.
Routledge Dictionary of Language and Linguistics

It is the branch of grammar that studies the

structures or forms of words, primarily through the use of morpheme construct.

Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics - David Crystal

The study of grammatical structure of words

and the categories realized by them.

Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics

What is Word?
Word is a speech sound or a series of

speech sounds that symbolize and communicate meaning.

Word = Sound + Meaning

Terms in Morphology
Morpheme Allomorph


meaningful linguistic unit, minimal, unable to be further divided or broken into smaller meaningful parts.

Example: Readable = read+able > 2 morphemes Unhappiness = un+happy+ness > 3 morphemes

Two forms of words

Simple forms
They consist of single free morpheme. These are unable to be analyzed further into smaller, meaningful segments. Ex. an, the, that, boy, happy, take, dog, but, etc.

Complex forms
Words that have more than one morpheme i.e. a base and a derivational affix. Ex. Unhappy, replacement, readability, boyhood, enable etc.

Compound forms
they consist of two (or more) free stems which are independent words by themselves. Ex. Over-ripe, elevator-operator, happy-go-lucky etc.

One of the various distinct forms of a


Ex. 1: English Plural Suffixes
- s : books, marks - es: beaches, dishes - en: oxen, children

Ex. 2: Negative Prefixes - im- : impossible - il- : illegal - ir- : irresponsible - un- : ungraceful - in- : independent - dis- : disagree

Two Classifications of Morphemes

Free Morpheme Bound Morpheme

Free Morpheme

A free morpheme is independent. It can occur alone by itself as a word in the language Ex. man, love, sincere, good, bad

Bound Morpheme

A bound morpheme is dependent. It is always attached to another morpheme. Ex. Affixes: enlarge, quickly, widen Base: cranberry

Classes of Word

Open Class Closed Class

Open-Class Words
Major parts of speech > content words, e.g.

nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs

They are changeable from one part of speech

to another
The open classes are open to affixations

Closed-Class Words
They belong to grammatical or functional

classes > function words They are not derivable. They are closed to affixations.
Ex. auxiliaries, conjunctions, pronouns, determiners, prepositions, and interjections.

Branches of Morphology
Inflectional Morphology Concerned with the changes in the form and meaning of words It does change the form and meaning but does not change the word class

Derivational Morphology Concerned with the derivation of new words from older ones It essentially changes the word class


Bou nd

Nouns, Adj. & Verbs Man Horse Lion Happy Red

Fre e
Conj. Prepositions, Prn & Articles

Makes new words & changes grammatical category.

Indicate grammatical function of a word. (Eng -08) Cats Dogs A takes/(ing) Smiled/Eaten Fastest/Taller

And On That The

Goodness Careful Foolish Badly