Morphology

Difference Between Morpheme and Allomorph with details

Morpheme

A morpheme is a minimal unit of meaning in a language. It can be defined as the smallest, meaningful, morphological unit in a language that cannot be further divided or analyzed. In linguistics, morphemes are classified into two categories. They are free morpheme and bound morpheme. A free morpheme is a word, that is, a free morpheme is a meaningful unit. Some examples of free morphemes include Difference Between Morpheme and Allomorph

hat, believe, cheap, talk, red, new, cow, deliver, legal, etc.

Note that all free morphemes are words, but not all words are morphemes.

Bound morphemes

are the units that cannot stand alone. On their own, they have no meaning. It always has to be added to other morphemes to give a meaning. The underlined parts in the following words are bound morphemes.

Hats

Disbelieve

Cheaply

Talked

Reddish

Bound Morphemes can be further divided into two categories called derivational and inflectional morphemes. Derivational morpheme is a morpheme that is added to the (the base form) of the word to derive a new word.

Example 1:

Danger ⇒  Dangerous

Beauty  ⇒ Beautiful

Example 2:

Visible ⇒ invisible

Believe ⇒ Disbelieve

Derivational morphemes

often change the word class of a word. (as in example 1)

Even if the word class remains unchanged, the meaning of the word will undergo a significant difference. (as in example 2)

Inflectional morphemes

do not cause a change in the meaning or word class, they merely serve as grammatical markers. They indicate some grammatical information about a word.

Danced –Past Tense

Vans  – Plural

Raining  Progressive

Allomorph

Allomorph is a variant form of a morpheme. It can be simply described as a unit of meaning that varies in sound without changing its meaning. Allomorph is an alternative pronunciation of a morpheme in a particular context. Difference Between Morpheme and Allomorph

For instance, the plural morpheme in English, generally written as {s} has 3 allomorphs.

/s/ as in cats

/z/ as in dogs

 /ɪz/ as in boxes

The past form morphemes also have three allomorphs.

/d/ as in slammed

/t/as in slipped

/ɪd/ as in stilted

Difference Between Morpheme and Allomorph

1-Definition

Morpheme is the minimal unit of meaning in a language.

Allomorph is a unit of meaning that varies in sound without changing its meaning.

2-Nature

Morphemes can be a word or part of a word.

Allomorphs are often a part of a word.

3-Area

Morphemes are concerned with the structure and meaning of words.

Allomorphs are concerned with the sound of words. Difference Between Morpheme and Allomorph

4- Main Difference

Morphology is the study of words and their structure. Morpheme is the smallest meaningful morphological unit in a language. Allomorph is a variant form of a morpheme. The main difference between morpheme and allomorph is that morpheme is concerned with the meaning and structure of a word whereas allomorph is concerned with the sound.

 

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button