Thursday, January 8, 2009

Morphemes Make Creative Words

A favorite blog of mine documents unusual and creative words that are found across the web. Even the name of the blog (Wordlustitude) exemplifies creativity with a word. One of the ways new words are created is by combining morphemes in different ways and by adding morphemes to existing words. A morpheme is the smallest meaningful unit of a language.

Following is a diagram of the different types of morphemes.

A free morpheme is what its name implies - a morpheme that can stand on its own as a word.

A bound morpheme must be attached to another morpheme.

A lexical morpheme is also called a content morpheme and can usually be defined with a synonym.

A grammatical morpheme is defined by its grammatical function and usually does not have a synonym.

A derivational morpheme creates (derives) a new word.

An inflectional morpheme changes the form of a word.

Here are some of my favorite words from Wordlustitude that come from the creative combination and/or addition of morphemes:


If you can't think of a word for something - create one.

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