In linguistics, functional morphemes, also sometimes referred to as functors, are building blocks for language acquisition. A functional morpheme (as opposed to a content morpheme) is a morpheme which simply modifies the meaning of a word, rather than supplying the root meaning. Functional morpheme are generally considered a closed class, which means that new functional morphemes cannot normally be created.

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  • In linguistics, functional morphemes, also sometimes referred to as functors, are building blocks for language acquisition. A functional morpheme (as opposed to a content morpheme) is a morpheme which simply modifies the meaning of a word, rather than supplying the root meaning. Functional morpheme are generally considered a closed class, which means that new functional morphemes cannot normally be created. Functional morphemes can be bound, such as verbal inflectional morphology (e.g., progressive -ing, past tense -ed), or nominal inflectional morphology (e.g., plural -s), or free, such as conjunctions (e.g., and, or), prepositions (e.g., of, by, for, on), articles (e.g., a, the), and pronouns (e.g., she, him, it, you, mine). In English, functional morphemes typically consist of consonants that receive low stress such as /s,z,w,ð/. These phonemes are seen in conjunction with short vowels, usually schwa /ə/. Gerken (1994) points out that functional morphemes are indicators of phrases. So, if the word the appears, a noun phrase would be expected to follow. The same occurs with verb phrases and adjective phrases and their corresponding word endings. Functional morphemes tend to occur at the beginning or end of each phrase in a sentence. The previous example of beginning a noun phrase with the indicates a functional morpheme, as does ending a verb phrase with -ed. (en)
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  • In linguistics, functional morphemes, also sometimes referred to as functors, are building blocks for language acquisition. A functional morpheme (as opposed to a content morpheme) is a morpheme which simply modifies the meaning of a word, rather than supplying the root meaning. Functional morpheme are generally considered a closed class, which means that new functional morphemes cannot normally be created. (en)
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  • Functional morpheme (en)
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