Linguistics Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

What are the aims and functions of morphology?

The aims and functions of morphology are to help us accurately read and understand component parts of words: roots, prefixes, and suffixes. Morphology helps us determine, for example, that the root word of homes is home, and the e belongs to the root word, while in the word catches, the e combines with the s to form the plural ending.

Expert Answers info

Seth Oelbaum, M.F.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseEditor, Professional Writer

bookB.A. from Columbia College Chicago

bookM.F.A. from University of Notre Dame

calendarEducator since 2020

write660 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Law and Politics, and Social Sciences

Before I can tell you about some possible aims and functions of studying morphology, you and I should probably establish a clear meaning of morphology.

Morphology is a Greek word. Morph means “shape” or “form.” As for “ology,” that means study. With morphology, in the context of linguistics, a person studies the shape and form of words.

One of the answers to your question might be in the word itself. You could say one of the functions or aims of morphology is to study the form and shape of words. You could reason that studying the structure and configuration of human words leads to a greater understanding of human language and perhaps humans in general.

Another key part of morphology is morphemes. Morphemes are the tiniest elements of a language. They’re words that can’t be broken up or divided into smaller parts. They’re words that are already at their smallest. For example, “cat” is a morpheme. You can’t make “cat” into a smaller word. “Cats,” alas, is...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 1,012 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Adam Worcester eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write131 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Business, and History

Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write5,917 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

check Approved by eNotes Editorial