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• A phoneme is the smallest phonetic unit in a language that is
capable of conveying a distinction in meaning.
• These units are identified within the International Phonetic
Alphabet (IPA).
• Australian English uses 47 symbols to describe the consonant,
monophthong and diphthong sounds used regularly by its
• A morpheme is the smallest linguistic unit that has semantic
• A morpheme can be an entire word, or its constituent parts.
• The way morphemes operate in language provides the subject
matter of morphology.
• Morphology refers to the branch of linguistics
concerned with word formation i.e. how words
are structured.
• The term morphology comes from the Greek
word ‘form’ or ‘shape’
Types of Morpheme
• There are two types of morpheme – free or bound.
• Free morphemes can exist on their own within a sentence –
school, boy, lady, like.
• Bound morphemes cannot exist on their own. They must
attach to a free morpheme as an affix (prefix or suffix): dis-,
anti-, -s.
Classes of Bound Morpheme
• There are two classes of bound morpheme – inflectional and
• Inflectional morphemes modify the grammatical class of words
by signaling a change in number, person, gender, tense, and so
on, but they do not shift the base form into another part of
• Derivational morphemes constitute the second class of
morphemes and they modify a word according to its lexical
and grammatical class. They result in more profound changes
on base words, which can include a change of word class.
Inflectional Morphemes
• Inflectional morphemes provide grammatical information, but
they do not change the meaning of a word or its part of
plural (nouns)
possessive (nouns)
comparative (adjectives)
superlative (adjectives)
3rd person singular present (verbs)
past tense (verbs)
present participle (verbs)
past participle (verbs)
Derivational Morphemes
• Derivational morphemes are affixes that can change the
meaning of a word to create a new one.
Vaccine + ate = Vaccinate
(Noun to Verb)
Sing + er = Singer
(Verb to Noun)
Quiet + ly = Quietly
(Adjective to Adverb)
Pink + ish = Pinkish
(Adjective to Adjective)