Type or paste a DOI name into the text box. Not to be confused with Morphological typology. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. This the oxford handbook of linguistic typology pdf includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations.
This section may be confusing or unclear to readers. Please help us clarify the section. There might be a discussion about this on the talk page. While words, along with clitics, are generally accepted as being the smallest units of syntax, in most languages, if not all, many words can be related to other words by rules that collectively describe the grammar for that language. Phonological and orthographic modifications between a base word and its origin may be partial to literacy skills. Polysynthetic languages, such as Chukchi, have words composed of many morphemes. The Chukchi word “təmeyŋəlevtpəγtərkən”, for example, meaning “I have a fierce headache”, is composed of eight morphemes t-ə-meyŋ-ə-levt-pəγt-ə-rkən that may be glossed.
The discipline that deals specifically with the sound changes occurring within morphemes is morphophonology. The term “morphology” was coined by August Schleicher in 1859. The term “word” has no well-defined meaning. Instead, two related terms are used in morphology: lexeme and word-form.
Generally, a lexeme is a set of inflected word-forms that is often represented with the citation form in small capitals. Eat and Eater, on the other hand, are different lexemes, as they refer to two different concepts. Here are examples from other languages of the failure of a single phonological word to coincide with a single morphological word form. An extreme level of this theoretical quandary posed by some phonological words is provided by the Kwak’wala language. Amazonian, Australian Aboriginal, Caucasian, Eskimo, Indo-European, Native North American, West African, and sign languages. Given the notion of a lexeme, it is possible to distinguish two kinds of morphological rules.
Rules of the first kind are inflectional rules, while those of the second kind are rules of word formation. The distinction between inflection and word formation is not at all clear cut. There are many examples where linguists fail to agree whether a given rule is inflection or word formation. The next section will attempt to clarify this distinction. Word formation is a process where one combines two complete words, whereas with inflection you can combine a suffix with some verb to change its form to subject of the sentence.