The morphology of the English language

The morphology of the English languageThis article is about the morphology of the English language. It outlines the main categories of morphology and gives the examples for each category.

The morphology of the English language is a part of English grammar which studies the structure of the English word, its components and functions and the formation of the word. The English morphology is studying the word’s root, affixes, suffixes, bases, inflections and phonemes.

1. The root is the main part of the English word. It doesn’t have any prefixes, suffixes, etc.

  • Kind
  • Mix
  • Fix

2. Affixes are added to the root and change its meaning. Affixes are prefixes that are placed in front of the root. Suffixes are placed at the end of the word, and infixes are inserted in the middle of the word.

  • Tide – tidy untidy
  • saxomaphone

The word base is the part of a word without an ending.

  • Look – looked

3. The morpheme is a minimal language unit which has its meaning. The morpheme could be a prefix, a suffix or an ending. The morpheme has a meaning, but it cannot be used outside the word.

4. The phoneme is the smallest unit of the language sound system.

5. The word is a part of speech which expresses an independent concept.

The morphology studies the word from the viewpoint of the part of speech. There are the following parts of speech in English: noun, adjective, verb, pronoun, numeral, adverb, interjection, conjunction, preposition and articles.

The parts of speech can be divided into formal words and independent words.

  • Numeral, verb, noun, adverb, pronoun, adjective refer to the independent words.
  • Conjunctions and prepositions refer to the formal words. They don’t have an independent meaning and are meaningful only within the word combination.
  • Interjections are neither formal nor independent words. The reason is because they have a specific meaning and role.