Morphology: Terms

Morphology: Terms
the module of the grammar that contains information regarding words their structure and meaning
minimal meaning-bearing unit (sound-meaning unit)
 bound morpheme
a morpheme that never occurs alone (i.e., is not a word) - re-write
 free morpheme
a morpheme that may occur alone (i.e., is a word) - re-write
Morphological rules
rules for combining morphemes to form stems and words
minimal free form
Homonyms (homophones)
morphemes which sound the same but have different meanings.
bear vs. bare
morphemes which sound different but have the same meanings
walk vs. stroll
Open class
the class of lexical content words; a category of words that commonly adds new
words, e.g., nouns, verbs, adjectives
Closed class
a category, generally a functional category, that rarely has new words added to it,
e.g., prepositions, pronouns, conjunctions, determiners
Function word
a word that does not have a clear lexical meaning but has a grammatical function;
function words include conjunctions, prepositions, determiners, pronouns,
auxiliaries, complementizers
Word constituents
the lexical/semantic "center" of a word; the morpheme that remains when all
affixes are stripped from a complex word; the invariant of a group of related
morphemes which are added to other morphemes (especially roots, stems)
 a suffix follows the root/stem
 a prefix precedes the root/stem
 a infix is inserted into the root/stem
the base to which affixes are attached to create a more complex form that may be
another stem or a word; the items produced by derivational morphology
desire : desir-able : un-desirable
pick : pick-s : pick-ed
Derivational morphology
creates the dictionary of stems from roots, other stems, and derivational affixes.
Inflectional morphology
adds inflectional affixes to stems to form words (as they are used in sentences)
full set of inflected forms of a given stem
 declension
paradigm of nominal forms (nouns, adjectives, numerals, pronouns)
 conjugation
paradigm of verbs
the reapplication of rules to the results of their prior applications
Morphophonemic alternation
variation in the phonemic shape of a morpheme
phonemic variants of a single morpheme which are in complementary distribution
Compound words
words containing more than one root
 training course
 middle-aged
 online
 cover-up
a process that forms new words from two or more independent words containing
more than one root
 pay phone
 breakup
a process that forms new words from two or more independent words containing
more than one root
 pay phone
 breakup
extremely irregular morphophonemic variation in which the morpheme's variants
have entirely different shapes
 good : bett-er : b-est
Suppletive forms
a term used to refer to inflectional forms in which the regular rules do not apply
 better, best
 went, gone
 am, are, is
 was, were