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What is Morphology?


Morphology refers to a section of linguistics that focuses on study of words. It deals with the internal structure of words as well as touches partly on their definition. Morphology is also keen on looking at how persons using a certain language master complex words and how they create lexical items that did not exist before. Morphology is closely related to phonology, which focuses on pronunciation of words. Phonology is related to the study of lexical items whose patterns are interrogated by morphology and used to invent new terms. In addition, morphology is connected to semantics because of the fact that it focused on definition of words to determine their meaning. There are two types of morphology namely inflectional and derivational morphologies. Derivational morphology is defined by scholars as the type that focuses on the relationships that exist between varying words. It also looks at ways through which vocabularies are developed from certain elements. On the other hand, inflectional morphology has to do with the state or form that a word takes based on its grammatical role in a sentence. The English language tends to utilize derivational morphemes as opposed to inflectional morphemes.

The Role of Morphemes

In morphology, morphemes comprise the tinniest units that satisfy a grammatical function or satisfy meaning. For instance, the term house comprises a morpheme by itself and since it is capable of standing on its own, it is referred to as a free morpheme. The same term has two morphemes which are house, a free morpheme and s, a bound morpheme since it cannot exist alone because it cannot be defined. Free morphemes are subdivided further into lexical and inflectional morphemes. Lexical morphemes refer to words which have meaning such as adjectives, nouns and verbs. Inflectional morphemes are closed words such as pronouns and prepositions that do not have meaning of their own.

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Posted by on Nov 8th, 2014 and filed under Humanities, Language. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.