Morphemes

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  • Topic: Morpheme, Affix, Word
  • Pages : 2 (799 words )
  • Download(s) : 47
  • Published : March 26, 2013
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As stated in the video, morphology is the process to understand the words and how they work in a particular language. If we examine this definition, it’s clear that the root of every language is the word; therefore, if we want to truly understand a language we need to understand what a word is. The dictionary defines a word as “a sound or a combination of sounds, or its representation in writing or printing that symbolizes and communicates a meaning and may consist of a single morpheme or of a combination of morphemes”, simple enough to understand, except for that last part. So, to understand what a word is, we need to know what a morpheme is; here we go: a morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit a word can be broken into. Not so difficult to understand. Let’s try some examples, let’s use the word “love”. We know what love is, we can feel it, we can see it in someone else’s eyes; so it’s safe to say that the word “love” has a meaning on its own, therefore, is a morpheme. What about the word “trees”? Let’s think this carefully. We know what a tree is; we can walk to a park and see one, but “trees”? Common sense tells me that this word means more than one tree. So let’s count: if I say, 2 trees, I have one tree and another tree. We can see that the word “trees” has no meaning; instead it uses the meaning of the word “tree” to create its own definition as a group of them. Then, we can say that the word “trees” is formed by: tree + s. We know that “tree” is a morpheme (same reasoning used for “love”) and consequently, following the definition of a word; “s” needs to be a morpheme too. Now we know what a morpheme is but, why is “s” a morpheme? And that’s the next point we are going to talk about. We have two kinds of morphemes in English. The first one is the free morphemes. They can stand alone as meaningful words; some examples of them are: love, tree, house, cat, dog, fly, butter, cup, etc. We can define these morphemes as they are. The second kind of morphemes...
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