A. Definition of Morpheme
A morpheme is a short segment of
language that meets three criteria:
1)It is a word or a part of a word that has
2)It cannot be divided into smaller
meaningful parts without violation of
its meaning or without meaningless
3)It recurs in differing verbal
environments with a relatively stable
The word straight
1-it is a word and can be found listed in
any dictionary.
2-cannot be divided without violation of
3-straight recurs with a relatively stable
meaning, straighten- a straight line.
Exercise 8-1
Exercise 8-2
Exercise 8-3
B.Free and Bound
A free morpheme is one that can be uttered
alone with meaning. For instance ,
A bound morpheme, unlike the free, cannot
be uttered alone with meaning.
Another classification of morphemes puts
them into two classes:
Bases and affixes.
1)A base morpheme is the part of a word
that has principal meaning :denial,
lovable. Bases are very numerous and
most of them are free morphemes; but
some are bound , like- sent in consent. A
word may contain one e.g.
base and several
Exercise 8-4
Exercise 8-6
Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary:
1):{phot - , photo - (light) ; xer - , xero (dry); bi-, bio - (life) ; mis -, miso (hate) ; ge-, geo-(earth); biblio(book); - meter (measure) ; tele -, tel (distant) ;
- Phil ,- phile(lover) ; - logy science or
study of}
D . Difficulties in Morphemic
1)The first difficulty is that you have your
own individual stock of morphemes.
For example, Tom may think of
automobile as ,one morpheme
meaning “car", whereas Dick may
know the morphemes auto(self)and
mobile (moving), and recognize them in
other words like autographs
D.Difficulties in Morphemic
2)The second difficulty is that
may know a given morpheme but
in the degree to which they are
Agentive suffix (spelled –er, -or, -ar) meaning”
one who, that which," and recognize it in words
of its
. in
singer andin
but what
professor and sweater.
D.Difficulties in Morphemic
3)Another problem results from
fact that metaphors die
language changes.
Morpheme –prehend –In apprehend
(=to arrest or seize)
An affix is a bound morpheme that
occurs before or within or after a
There are three kinds,:
1-prefixes,2-infixes, 3-suffixes.
1)Prefixes are those bound morphemes that
occur before a base, as in import, prefix,
reconsider. Prefixes in English are a small
2)Infixes are bound morphemes that
have been inserted within a
word. In English these are
rare. Occasionally they are
additions within a word, But
infixes in English are most
commonly replacements, not
They occur in a few noun plurlas, like
the-ee- in geese, replacing the –ooof goose.
Exercise 8-9
3)Suffixes are bound morphemes that
occur after a base, like shrinkage,
Suffixes may pile up to the e.g.
number or
three or four , whereas prefixes are
commonly single, except for the
negative un-before another prefix.
Exercise 8-10
F.Inflectional Affixes
The inflectional affixes can be schematized
as follows:
F.Inflectional Affixes
The words to which these affixes are
attached are called stems .The stem
includes the base or bases and all the
derivational affixes. playboys is playboy
and that of beautified is beautify.
The inflectional suffixes differ from the
derivational suffixes in the following ways:
1-They do not change the part of speech.
Example: cold , colder(both adjectives)
F.Inflectional Affixes
2-They come last in a word.
Examples: shortened.
3-They go with all stems of a given part of
Examples: He eats , drinks.
4-They do not pile up; only one ends a
Examples: working.
Exercise 8-12
G.Derivational Suffixes
The characteristics of derivational suffixes:
1.The words with which derivational suffixes
combine is an arbitrary matter. To make a
noun from the verb adorn we must add
Exercise 8-13
G.Derivational Suffixes
2.In many cases, but not all, a derivational
suffix changes the part of speech of the
word to which it is added. The noun act
becomes an Exercise
adjective by8-14
the addition of –
G.Derivational Suffixes
3.Derivational suffixes usually do not close
off a word: that is, after a derivational suffix
one can sometimes add another
derivational suffix.
Exercise 8-15
G.Derivational Suffixes
The derivational paradigm is a set of related words
composed of the same base morpheme and all the
derivational affixes that can go with this base.
Exercise 8-17
H.Suffixal Homophones
1-The inflectional morpheme {-ER cp}has
two homophones.
a. The first is the derivational suffix
{ER n},which is attached to verbs to form
nouns like hunter, fisher.
b.The second derivational –er morpheme
appears at the end of words like chatter,
This {-ER rp} coveys the meaning of
H.Suffixal Homophones
2-The verbal inflectional suffix {-ING vb} has
two homophones in –ing.
a. The first one is the nominal derivational
suffix {-ING nm},which is found in words like
meetings, weddings.
b.The second homophone of {-ING vb} is the
adjectival morpheme {-ING aj} , as in a
charming woman.
The verbal {-ING vb} can usually occur after as
well as before the noun it modifies ,e.g.,
I saw a burning house.
Exercise 8-19
H.Suffixal Homophones
3) The verbal inflectional {-D} has 1
homophones a)in the adjectival
derivational {-D aj},as in:
Helen was excited about her new job.
b.The verbal {-D pp}does not accept
such modifiers.
Exercise 8-20
H.Suffixal Homophones
4) a. The adverbial derivational suffix
{-LY av} is added to most
adjectives to form adverbs of
manner, as in rich, richly.
b.Derivational suffix {-LY aj} an
adjectival morpheme .
Exercise 8-22
Exercise 8-23

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