Stem

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Stem is a term which is commonly used for the uninflected part of a word. A stem is a morphological constituent to which affixes may be attached or to which morphological operations may be applied.

  • "A stem is any morpheme or combination of morphemes to which an affix can be added." (Gleason 1955:59)

Example

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If we take the plural form disagreements, the form disagreement is called the stem. In languages such as Ancient Greek, in which words belong to different declensional or conjugational classes (marked by a theme or extension), the stem includes these extensions. For example, Ancient Greek declension I nouns are formed by adding the vowel a to the root géphur+a- 'bridge', while declension II nouns are formed by adding the vowel o to the root hípp+o- 'horse'. The inflectional endings for case and number are added to these forms. Traditionally, the forms géphura- and hippo- are called stems, while géphur- and hipp- are called roots.

Links

Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics

Reference

Gleason, H. Allan. 1955. An introduction to descriptive linguistics. New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Other languages

German Stamm