Morpheme

From Glottopedia
Revision as of 19:07, 15 June 2008 by Luo (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

A morpheme is the smallest meaning -bearing unit of language.

Examples

Kangaroo is one morpheme. Kangaroos is two morphemes, kangaroo and plural -s. The -s expresses the meaning 'many' or 'more than one' in this example.

Polysemy

Morpheme may also be used for 'grammatical morpheme', see morpheme (i.e. grammatical morpheme).

Synonym

Origin

The term morpheme was coined by Jan Baudouin de Courtenay in c. 1880. It is based on Greek morph- 'form' and the suffix -eme, on the analogy of the term phoneme. See Mugdan (1986) for detailed discussion.

related terms

Reference

Mugdan, Joachim. 1986. Was ist eigentlich ein Morphem?

Other languages

German Morphem Spanish morfema Chinese 语素