• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Ideal in introductory courses dealing with grammatical structure and linguistic analysis, Introduction to Typology overviews the major grammatical categories and constructions in the world's languages. Framed in a typological perspective, the constant concern of this primary text is to underscore the similarities and differences which underlie the vast array of human languages.

Morphemes
Morphemes

The minimal unit that bears meaning in language is called the morpheme. In a word such as uncovers, there are three morphemes: cover, which is the verbal root of the word, the prefix un-, and the suffix -s. Each of these parts of the word contributes meaning to the whole. As the root, cover establishes the central notion that is being expressed—namely, that some entity (it could be a blanket, dust, or a hand) is resituated so as to occlude the surface of a second entity (a bed, a table, a drawing, etc.). The morpheme un- indicates that the process of covering has previously occurred and is now being reversed to remove the occlusion. The contribution of the morpheme -s is to identify certain ...

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