• Morph (form) + ology (science of)• Morphology (the science of word forms)• The study of the internal structure of words, and• The rules by which words are formed
• Look at the following words• Likely unlikely developed undeveloped• un- is a prefix that means No.• -ly in ‘likely’ is an adverbial suffix.• -ed in ‘developed’ is a suffix morpheme.
• Definitions:A morpheme is the minimal unit of meaning.• Example: un+system+atic+al+ly• Note: morphemes ≠ words
• One morpheme boy (one syllable) desire, lady, water (two syllables) crocodile (three syllables) salamander (four syllables), or more syllables• Two morphemes boy + ish desire + able• Three morphemes boy + ish + ness desire + able + ity• Four morphemes gentle + man + li + ness un + desire + able + ity• More than four un + gentle + man + li + ness anti + dis + establish + ment + ari + an + ism
a morpheme can have different phonetic forms in different environments. a unit of meaning can vary in sound without changing meaning.Examples: Roots [S], bees [Z], coaches [Ә S]the negative prefix in has several allomorphs: In-capable Il-logical Im-probable Ir-reverentMore examples of allomorphs:Hunted [Әd], banned [d], fished [t]Can you think of more?
"Take the morpheme plural. Note that it can be attached to a number of lexical morphemes to produce structures like cat + plural, bus + plural, sheep + plural, and man + plural. In each of these examples, the actual forms of the morphs that result from the morpheme plural are different. Yet they are all allomorphs of the one morpheme. So, in addition to /s/ and /əz/, another allomorph of plural in English seems to be a zero- morph because the plural form of sheep is actually sheep + ∅. When we look at man + plural, we have a vowel change in the word . . . as the morph that produces the irregular plural form men." (George Yule, The Study of Language, 4th ed. Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010)
Electric usually has final /k/; but has final /s/ in electricity. The morpheme electric has two allomorphs: electri/k/ and electri/s/-; the second occurs only when the suffix -ity is attached to the word. Words such as life, shelf, leaf have a final /f/ in most forms, but when they are pluralized, the base has a final /v/: lives, shelves, leaves. Thus these words have two allomorphs.
The form of a morpheme is based on its function; spelling is irrelevant. Homophones are different morphemes that have the same morphological form. Rabbits [s] plural morpheme Rodrigo’s [s] genitive case Drives [s] 3rd person singular morpheme More Homophones: sale, sail; read (past), red; two, to, too...
In all languages, discrete linguistic units combine rule-governed ways to form larger units• Sound units combine to form morphemes,• morphemes combine to form from words• word combine to form phrases• phrases combine to form sentences
• Humans can understand words that have never been heard before• Human can also create new words• For example, a writable CD a rewritable CD an unrewritable CD
• Bound morphemes • Free morphemes • Root morphemes • Stem morphemes • Derivational morphemes • Inflectional morphemes • Affixes: prefixes and suffixes • Grammatical morphemesMorphemes can also be classifiedas content and function ones