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Friday, June 8, 2012

THE CONCEPT OF MORPHEME


THE CONCEPT OF MORPHEME

  1. Definition
A morpheme can be loosely defined as a minimal unit having more or less constant meaning associated with more or less constant form.
Morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit in the grammar of language.
  1. Concept of Morpheme
There are three points to note with respect to morphemes.
First, they are distinct from semantic feature, in that morphemes have a more or less constant form, which is usually reflected by they spelling.

Ex ; the sense of the words man, boy, stallion, and colt.
Second, the definition of morpheme as a minimal unit with more or less constant meaning associated with more or less constant form should be taken as a general rule of thumb rather than a hard and fast criterion
Ex : the word boys and girls.
            Boys → boy + s
            Girls → girl + s
Where the –s in each word represent the same plural morpheme (the plural morpheme is often symbolized (PLU) rather than (S) to distinguish it from other morphemes spelled with – s, such as the possessive morpheme in boys)
Third, it is important to note that identical spelling don’t necessary indicate the same morpheme
Ex :      buyer and shorter
            Buyer  → means something like “one who”
            Shorter            → comparative morpheme

  1. Lexical and Grammatical Morpheme
The distinction between lexical and grammatical morphemes is not well defined, although many linguists seem to agree that is a useful division to make
            Lexical morphemes have a sense (i.e. meaning) is and of them selves.
- Nouns           : boy
- Verb              : boy
- Adjective      : big
Grammatical morphemes, on the other hand, don’t really have a sense in and on themselves. Instead they express some sort of relationship between lexical morphemes.
- preposition    : at, on, beside etc
- article            : a, an and the
- conjunction   : but, and, both etc.

  1. Free and Bound Morphemes
In contrast to the division between lexical and grammatical morphemes, the distinction between free and bound morphemes is straight forward. Free morphemes are those that can stand alone as words. They may be laxical (serve, press) or they may be grammatical (at, and).
Bound morphemes, on the other hand, cannot stand alone as word. Like wise, they may be lexical (clued) as in exclude, include and preclude or they may be grammatical (Plu) plural as in boys, girls and cats.
  1. Inflectional and Derivational Morphemes

Morphemes
 




                                Lexical                                                   Grammatical


                Free                        Bound                        Free                                    Bound
 

                                                                                                                                                               
                                                                           Preposition    Inflectional              derivational
                Noun                                                Article
                Verb                                                 Conjuctions
                Adjective                                              


                Compress              Subvert  at
                Depress  Invert                     the
                Oppress  Convert and
                Suppress
Inflectional Affixed

Inflectional affixe
Root
Example
Plural
Possesive
Comparative
Superlative
Present
Past
Past Participle
Present Participle
Noun
Noun
Adjective
Adjective
Verb
Verb
Verb
Verb
Boys
Boy’s
Older
Olderst
Walks
Ealked
Driven
driving

Derivational Affixes
-          Suffix (ize)
→ ize  + noun = verb                                adj + ize =
Ex :                                                            ex :
      Critize                                                       normalize
      Simanize                                                    realize
      Rubberize                                                  finalize
      Vulcanize                                                  vitalize
-          Suffix (Ful)
→ noun + ful = adjective
      Ex.
            Helpful
            Careful
-          Suffix (ly)
→ noun + ly = adjective
      Ex :
            Friendly
            Manly




-          prefix (Un)
→ unhappy
      Ex :
            Unforgettable
-          prefix (dis_
→ dislike
      Distrust
-          prefix ( a )
→ asymmetrical
      Asexual
-          prefix (anti)
      → anti castro

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