5 Facts About Morphology in Linguistics

Being a English Teacher you must have knowledge about Morphology in linguistics.We will discuss about that in this Article.

“Morphology is the branch of linguistics that studies the internal structure of words  for  identify the basic units that make up words”.

5 Facts About Morphology in Linguistics

The word “Morphology” was originally invented by the great German poet and philosopher Goethe. It was borrowed by a linguist August Schleicher  who believed that the language should be described by analogy with living organisms. It describes not only the formal properties of words and their constituent morphemes (sound structure, sequence), but also those grammatical meanings, which are expressed in words or morphological values.In modern sense it has three specific functions: categorizes words according to their function (noun, adjective, verb, adverb, etc.); studies variations of its forms, that is, their inflections; and explains the processes involved in the derivation and composition of words.

You must learn the process of Morphology in Linguistics

Process morphemic

The following will be discussed morphological processes with respect to  affixation, reduplication, composition, conversion, and internal modifications.


  • Prefix: affixes are affixed in the face of basic forms:   comforting
  • Infix: affixes are affixed in the middle of the basic forms:  finger 
  • Suffix: affixes that is embedded behind the basic forms:  section


Reduplication is a morphological process that repeats the basic form. For example, tables mean ‘many tables’. That is derivational to form new words.


Composition is the process of merging morpheme base with morpheme basis, whether free or bound. For example, a cat’s whiskers’ a plant ‘bulls eye’ fried eggs without the crushed ‘, and the eyes of the heart

Conversion, Modification 

The process of word formation of a word into other words without changes segmental elements

  • For example, in Arabic morpheme KTB basic frameworks ‘write’.katab ‘ writes of men’
  • Maktub ‘already written’
  • maktaba ‘bookstore’



It is a change and process in the form of morphological events in process morphology. For example, the prefix me – turned into mem.

Distinction between morphology and syntax:

Morphology explains the internal structure of words and word formation process while syntax describes how words combine to form phrases, sentences and phrases.

Classification of morphemes:

Classification of morphemes

The classification takes into account morpheme following features:

  1. the role of the morpheme in a word
  2. the value of the morpheme
  3. their place in the structure of the word
  4. the origin of the morpheme

Some types of morphemes:

Free morpheme

It is a morpheme that without the presence of another morpheme can appear in substitutions. In English for example, the form of home, eat, run, home, and both are included in the free morpheme. We can use these morphemes without having to first combine it with another morpheme.

Bound morpheme

This is a morpheme which does not have the potential to stand alone and which need presence of another morpheme to form speech. For example: beautiful, unsuccessful, confusing etc.

Segmental morphemes

Segmental morpheme is a morpheme formed by segmental phonemes, like the morpheme {seen}, {was}, {brush}, and {air}.

While the suprasegmental morphemes are formed by  linguistic items, such as stress, tone, duration, and so on.

by Abdullah Sam
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