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III.

Types of
morpheme
Root
◦ The irreducible core of a word, with absolutely
nothing else attached to it. (Katamaba, 1993)
◦ Suppletion is a situation in which the
allomorphs of a morpheme are phonetically
unrelated.
◦ Morpheme is divided into two categories:
1. Free morpheme : Roots which are capable
of standing by itself are called free morpheme.
2. Bound morpheme : Roots which cannot
stand by themselves are called bound morpheme.

Affixes
◦ An affix is a morpheme which only occurs
when attached to some other morpheme or
morphemes such as a root or stem or base.
◦ There are three types of affixes. Those are
prefixes, suffixes, and infixes.

• Prefixes
◦ Prefix is an affix attached before a root, a stem
or a base. It can be seen in the below examples:
re-use re-write re-read
re-make
dis-like dis-honest dis-miss
dis-agree
un-tidy un-clear un-pack
un-lock
en-cage en-large en-danger
en-rich
in-complete in-appropriate in-accurate
in-consistent

2. Suffixes
◦ Suffix is an affix attached after a root or
stem or base. Below are some examples of
suffixes in English.

kind-ly clear-ly patient-ly


loud-ly
play-er wait-er write-er
sweep-er
tress-s car-s house-s
boy-s
wait-ed call-ed mention-ed
paint-ed

3. Infixes
◦ An infix is an affix inserted into the root
itself. Infixes are very common in Semitic
languages like Arabic and Hebrew but
infixing is somewhat rare in English.
However, infixation of sorts still happens in
contemporary English as it is shown in below
examples:
Kalamazoo (place name) --> Kalama-
goddam-zoo
Instantiate (verb) --> in-fucking-
stantiate
Kangaroo --> kanga-bloody-roo
Impossible --> in-fucking-possible
Guarantee --> guaran-friggin-tee

◦ As we can see in the present-day English,


infixation not of an infix morpheme but of an
entire wood (which may have more than one
morpheme, e.g. blood-y, fuck-ing) is actively
used to form words. Curiously, this infixation
is virtually restricted to inserting expletives
into words in expressive language that one
would probably not use in polite context.

Stem and Base


◦ Stem is that part of a word that is in existence
before any inflectional affixes (i.e. those affixes
whose presence is required by the syntax such as
markers of singular and plural number in nouns,
tense in verb etc.)
Noun stem Plural
cat -s
worker -s
◦ In other words, all roots are bases. Bases are
called stems only in the context of inflectional
morphology.

Stem Extenders
◦ Another kind of the structure building
elements is called stem extender.
◦ In English, empty formatives are
interposed between the root, base or stem
and an affix.
◦ Example:
child > children
–en can only be added after the stem has
been extended by attaching –r to child

Inflectional and
Derivational
Morphemes
◦ Affix morphemes are divided into inflectional
morphemes and derivational morphemes. They are
bound morphemes.
◦ Derivational morphemes form words either by
changing the meaning of the base to which they
are attached and by changing the word-class that
a base belongs to.
◦ Example:
Unkind > root: kind, base: kind, derivational
affix: -un (input: N, output: N)
◦ Inflectional morphemes form words either by
not changing the meaning of the base to which
they are attached or by not changing the word-
class of the base belongs to.
◦ Example:
Books–> root: book, base: book, inflectional
affix: -s (input=output: N)

Multiple Affixation
◦ Complex words are formed by creating
bases which contain several derivational
morphemes.
◦ The construction pre-anti-
denationalization is formed from root nation
through several series of affixation as follows:
nation --> nation-al --> national-ise -->
denationalis-at-ion --> anti-denationalization
--> pre-anti- denationalization.
◦ O'Grady et.al (1996) states that in
English, it is common to distinguish between
two sets of derivational affixes which we will
call class 1 and class 2.
◦ Class 1 affixes-most of which are Latinate-
normally trigger changes in the consonant or
vowel segments of the base with which they
occur. In addition, they usually also affect the
assignment of stress.
◦ Class 1 Affixes:

◦ Class 2 Affixes:

◦ Affixes (which are mostly native) tend to


be phonologically neutral, having no effect on
the segmental makeup of the base or on the
stress assignment.
◦ When class 1 and class 2 affixes appear in
the same word, the former type of morpheme
normally occurs closer to the root than the
later. Thus, while a class 1 affix can follow
another class 1 affix and while class 2 affix
can follow a class 1 or another class 2 affix, a
class 2 affix does not normally come before a
class 1 affix. The various possibilities are
illustrated below:
domest-ic-ity
Root 1 1
spac-ious-ness
Root 1 2
◦ However, the requirement that class 1 affixes
be closer to the root than class 2 affixes is not an
inviolable cast iron rule. There are a few cases
where class 2 affixes are paradoxically found next
to the root, and class 1 affixes on the periphery of
the word, as the examples below show.
like- abil- ity read-abil-ity
accept-abil-ity
root 2 1 root 2 1
root 2 1
(*like-ity-able *read-ity-able
*accept-ity-able)
root 1 2 root 1 2 root
1 2

Summary
◦ Morpheme may undergo some processes
in word-formation such as inflectional and
derivational. Both inflectional and
derivational modify and form word in
different way. Inflectional morpheme do not
change the class of word and meaning of a
root into which they are attached on the
other hand derivational morpheme change
either the meaning and word-class of the root
into which they are attached.

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