Inflectional morphology


Inflectional morphology

Inflectional morphology is a part of the study of linguistics.

To apply an inflection is to change the form of a word so as to give it extra meaning. This extra meaning could be:

* Number
* Person
* Case
* Gender
* Tense
* Mood
* Aspect
* Politeness (as in the Japanese language)

Inflectional morphology manifests primarily in the form of a prefix, suffix, or vowel change. Circumfixes and infixes can also occur, but these are relatively rare.

An example of suffixes in inflectional morphology:

* "I have an apple" - apple singular
* "I have apples" - apples plural

The word "apples" differs from "apple" only in the sense that the former indicates more than one fruit. This distinction is mandatory in English, optional in Korean, and impossible in Japanese. Yet other languages require the speaker to distinguish the number two of something, called the dual form of a noun. Forms for higher numbers, such a trial and paucal have also been recognized.

An example of vowel changes in inflectional morphology:

* "I throw the pencil" - throw present tense
* "I threw the pencil" - threw past tense

Again, "throw" and "threw" are not different words. "threw" is the result of inflectional morphology being applied to the root word "throw".

English is relatively poor in inflectional morphology. Other Indo-European languages have a richer system of inflection morphology. Latin is a typical example of a language with a very rich system of inflectional morphology.

ee also

* Inflection


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • inflectional morphology — noun the part of grammar that deals with the inflections of words • Syn: ↑accidence • Hypernyms: ↑morphology …   Useful english dictionary

  • Morphology (linguistics) — For other uses, see Morphology. Linguistics …   Wikipedia

  • inflectional — adjective characterized by inflections indicating grammatical distinctions inflectional morphology is used to indicate number and case and tense and person etc. • Ant: ↑derivational • Derivationally related forms: ↑inflection …   Useful english dictionary

  • Oriya morphology — Oriya ଓଡ଼ିଆ oṛiā Spoken in India Region Orissa Native speakers 33 million (20 …   Wikipedia

  • Old Norse morphology — This article is part of a series on: Old Norse Dialects …   Wikipedia

  • Derivational morphology — changes the meaning of words by applying derivations. Derivation is the combination of a word stem with a morpheme, which forms a new word, which is often of a different class. For example, develop becomes development, developmental or redevelop …   Wikipedia

  • Ottawa morphology — Main article: Ottawa language Ottawa has complex systems of both inflectional and derivational morphology. Like other dialects of Ojibwe, Ottawa employs complex combinations of inflectional prefixes and suffixes to indicate grammatical… …   Wikipedia

  • Realizational morphology — Word and paradigm or Realizational morphology concentrates on the word form rather than segments of the word. WP morphology denies that morphemes are signs (form content pairs). Instead, inflections are stem modifications which serve as exponents …   Wikipedia

  • Inflection — In grammar, inflection or inflexion is the way language handles grammatical relations and relational categories such as tense, mood, voice, aspect, person, number, gender, case. In covert inflection, such categories are not overtly expressed.… …   Wikipedia

  • Ottawa dialect — Ottawa Nishnaabemwin, Daawaamwin Spoken in Canada, United States Region Ontario, Michigan, Oklahoma Ethnicity Ottawa people …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.