What is Morphology?

Morphology is the study of the pieces of a word and how those pieces are put together to form that word. All words are made of morphemes; some of these individual morphemes have the ability to be words on their own (free morpheme), while others cannot stand alone and must be connected to a root word (bound morpheme). Examples of affixes or bound morphemes would be a prefix, which goes at the beginning of a word, or a suffix, which goes at the end of a word. Some of these affixes can actually change the meaning of a word; for example, adding the prefix anti to the root word depressant changes the root word to its opposite meaning. When an affix changes a word it is called a derivational affix. We also have affixes that change only the tense or plural of a word, we call these affixes inflectional. In English these are only suffixes, a prefix will never change the tense or make a word plural. An example of an inflectional suffix would be adding the suffix –ed to the word changed.