Morphemes || Kinds of Morpheme || English linguistics


In linguistics, a morpheme is the smallest component of word, or other linguistic unit, that has semantic meaning. According to the Yule(1985),

" A morpheme is a small or minimum unit of meaning or grammatical function."

Morphology deals with morphemes. Morpheme is a minimum unit so it never break.

For examples: 

      The word "Buyers" 

This word made up three morphemes.

      {Buy}+{er} + {s}

 These are the minimum unit.

There are two kinds of morphemes. These are:

1. Free morpheme

2. Bound morpheme

Free morpheme

A morpheme that can stand alone. It does not need anything attached to it to make a word. It can be a word by itself.

For examples:

"Dog" is a free morpheme.

Stopped={stop} + {ed}

    Here, {stop}= free morpheme

There are two kinds of free morpheme.

1. lexical

2. functional

Lexical Morpheme:

Lexical word are known as open class. Such as Noun, Verb, Adverbs, Adjectives.

Functional Morpheme:

Functional word are used as open closed class. For examples, Preposition, conjunctions, Pronouns, Determiners.

Bound Morpheme:

A morpheme that cannot stand alone. It cannot be used a word by itself.

For examples: 

Stopped={stop} + {ed}

Here, {ed} = Bound morpheme.

Note: Bound morphemes are suffix/ Prefix. So, suffix/prefix are bound morpheme.

There are two kinds of bound morphemes. These are:

1. Derivational

2. Inflectional morphemes


It create new words. It may change new words. Sometimes it maintains class. For Examples,

Read (v) + er = Reader (n)  [ class changing ]

Boy (n) + hood = Boyhood (n) [ class maintaining ]

Inflectional Morphemes: 

a. Don't create new word.

b. Don't change word class.

 There are 8 inflectional morphemes in English. These are-

1. s  [ Plural morpheme ]

2. 's  [ Possessive or Ownership ]

3. s [ 3rd person Present Singular ]

4. ed [ Past Tense ]

5. ing [ Present Participle]

6. en [ Past Tense ]

7. er [ Comparatives ]

8. est [ Superlatives ]

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