A Detailed Note on Affixes in English – Bound , Inflectional Morphemes

Write a Detailed Note on Affixes in English Language – Roots or Stems – Bound Morphemes and Inflectional Morphemes

All affixes are bound morphemes as they can not occur together. Free morphemes are considered the separate words in English language. When we use them with bound morphemes, the basic word form involved is known as the root or the stem.

We have unlimited no of root morphemes in a language. In the word Unidentified, identify is the root word whereas un and ed are affixes.

The word having only free root morpheme is called mono-morphemic such as girl, pen. When the words consist of more than one root, we call them poly morphemic such as boy-friend, head constable etc. These words can take place with or without affixes and we often call them compound words.

The affixes are of three types which are – Prefix, Infix and Suffix. Check their examples –

Prefix – They come before the root words. re, dis, un etc in the words re-exam, disinterest and uncertain.

Infix – Infixes are found very rarely in English language. We can find them in the plural formation such as feet, geese etc.

Suffix – They come at the end of the root words. See the examples –

  • The plural formative suffixes are -s, -es, -en in the words boys, classes, oxen.
  • The verb paradigm affixes such as -ing, -d, -ed as in riding, died, hooked etc.
  • Comparative and Superlative endings as in -er and -est as in higher and highest.
  • Miscellaneous endings such as -less, -ness, -hood etc as in helpless, busyness, brotherhood etc.

What are Inflectional Morphemes ?

They are also called Inflectional Suffixes. They are those when affixed to words do not change their status. For example, taller and tallest are adjectives. English has 8 inflectional morphemes which you can read from the examples below –

  1. Tom‘s brother is a doctor. – ‘s
  2. He likes you. – s
  3. Her sisters are beautiful. – s
  4. Joseph killed a mouse. – ed
  5. She was watching a movie. – ing
  6. He is smarter than his brother. – er
  7. She was taken to the nearest hospital. – n and est

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