Morphology

Difference between inflectional and derivative morpheme

Inflectional morpheme

An inflectional morpheme is a non-dependent morpheme , that is, it is added to the end of a word to provide grammatical information in the form of an ending. That said, it should be clear that we find two types of inflectional morphemes, nominal and verbal . Let’s see what they consist of: Difference between inflectional and derivative morpheme

Nominal inflectional morpheme

Includes the gender and number morpheme:

  • Nominal inflectional morpheme of gender: dog / bitch
  • Nominal inflectional morpheme of number: dog / dogs

Verbal inflection morpheme

Provides information about the verb:

  • We marched / marched / marched

What is a derivative morpheme

For its part, the derivative morpheme is added to a root or lexeme to include changes in meaning . That is, they end up constituting words with new meanings. The derivative morpheme cannot constitute words by itself, so it needs the addition of elements, which usually affect its grammar.

Thus, also in this case we find different types of derivative morphemes:

  • Derivative morpheme prefix , which is the one that goes before the stem or lexeme: against-time.
  • Derivative interfix morpheme , which is located in the middle: café-teria.
  • Derivative suffix morpheme : goes to the end of the lexeme or root: play-era.

The main differences

1-The inflectional morpheme is regular

One way to distinguish an inflectional morpheme is related to its regularity . That is, it is easy to imagine its meaning. So they become predictable. An a usually means feminine gender, an o is for the masculine gender, an s means plural, etc.

On the other hand, the derivative morpheme is much less predictable. As we have seen in the example, counter-time is a problem, but password is a key.

2-The inflectional morpheme is richer

It can also be said that the inflectional morpheme is very rich . That is, there are a number of words in Spanish with different genders, or with plural. As we saw in the example, we can say dog, bitch, dogs, bitches … Thus, with many more, especially names. Cat, cat, cats, cats …

On the other hand, the derivative morpheme is much more restricted . In other words, and returning to the example, against cannot be added to a large number of words: setback, password, time trial … There are more, but not many more.

3-The inflectional morpheme expresses meaning

Typically, many derivative morphemes can be expressed with various expressions . For example, a password can be a secret number . But with the inflectional morpheme the same does not happen. Its meaning does not admit detours. Difference between inflectional and derivative morpheme

4-The inflectional morpheme does not vary the grammar

An inflectional morpheme never varies the grammar of a word. However, it is something that can happen with the derivative morpheme. Going back to our example, against is a preposition, but setback becomes a noun.

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