Other Morphemes

The morphemes we have looked at so far are called bound morphemes because they have to be bound to a word.  Other bound morphenes are ‘-ing’ and a plethora of prefixes, ‘in-,’ ‘im-,’ ‘un-,’ ‘extra-,’ ‘non-,’ and so that change the meaning of the word they are attached to.  “Credible” becomes “incredible,” “possible” becomes “impossible,” “likely” becomes “unlikely,” “special” becomes “extraspecial,” and “conforming” becomes “nonconforming.”

The words to which they are attached can be morphemes themselves or consist of other morphemes. “Possible” is a morpheme because you can’t break it down further.  However, “likely” consists of “like” and “-ly,” turing the original word into an adverb. “Conforming” is “conform” with an added “-ing.”

In most cases, there is no reason to break the words down in to morphemes. It is useful with “add an ‘s’” because, psychologically, the sound(s) have a meaning to us. We will see how the surrounding sounds influence the phoneme that is used for the plural morpheme and the third person singular.

Now we will learn the tools we need to understand how sounds are made and how they influence each other.