6.2 Lexical & Grammatical Morphemes

English Notes
BSL Video

Lexical & Grammatical Morphemes


Morphemes can be lexical or grammatical. Lexical morphemes are the "meaty" part of a word that has the clear meaning. Because they have their own meaning, they can stand by themselves. Grammatical morphemes have a job rather than a meaning. It is difficult to say what they mean but easier to say what they do.

Happy -> happily (here the extra morpheme makes the word an adverb)

Dog -> dogs (here the extra morpheme makes the word plural)

Child -> children (here the extra morpheme makes the word plural too)

Wait -> WAIT-FOR-AGES (here the extra morpheme adds the idea of “a long time” to the action).


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