What You Should Know About Morphological Processes

The morphological process is the process by which a word is adjusted to conform to a certain context. To put it simply, it is the process of changing the form and function of a word to fit a context, sometimes to the extent of changing the meaning and/or grammatical function. These processes are not just used in the English language—other languages use it too.

Kinds of Morphological Process

What are morphemes? These are short segments of language the hold meaning. Morphemes can be combined in different ways to convey meaning and fulfill a certain function. Listed below are the different kinds, along with descriptions.

Concatenative – morphemes (like suffixes and prefixes) are placed in specific parts of a word 

·         Affixation – a process that happens when a morpheme is connected to a root word (prefix, suffix, infix, cirumfix). In the English language, affixation is commonly used to construct words. Affixations indicate inflections on a word.

·         Reduplication – this is the process in which a morpheme is attached to a root or stem word after said morpheme has been changed—either copied or reduplicated. Reduplication can be either complete or partial.

·         Suppletion – words that result from this morphological process do resemble each other phonologically.

Non-concatenative – a process that involves interchanging the internal properties of morphemes are alternated. In this process, the root word and the new words resemble each other semantically.

·         Stress Placement and Tone – the function and meaning of a word can change by making adjustments to its stress and tone. 

·         Incorporation – maintaining the grammatical function in the process of combining one word with another.

The Importance of Learning and Teaching Morphological Processes

When you are learning a language, it is important to acquaint yourself with grammatical rules, parts of speech, and other conventions. For example, the meanings and functions of root and stem words evolve through a process called the morphological process. Some of these rules are also used in other languages.

Teaching students as early as third grade about morphemes will instill in them analytical skills. They will study the composition of words and how they can be connected to express meaning. Knowing how a word can evolve encourages a deeper understanding of a language and promotes the improvement of one’s vocabulary.

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