General linguistic terminology (bound morph(eme))
jester at PANIX.COM
Thu May 27 14:10:17 UTC 2004
I wonder if we can drift a little afield to discuss some
general linguistic terminology.
A correspondent recently asked if there is a name for
linguistic forms that can only occur with an affix
(except perhaps in jocular use), as "emptive" (no
"pre-"), "gruntle" (no "dis-"), and so forth. My
first thought was "bound morpheme". I looked this up
in the CGEL and didn't find anything relevant; the
Oxford English Grammar gives "bound morph". I had
never heard this before, and Google gives only a
small number of examples, though from technical-ish
sources. There are a lot more examples of "bound
Is "bound morph" a favored term in linguistics, and if
so, what's the inspiration for the switch from "morpheme"?
I was also concerned with the applicability: I usually
see this in reference to affixes, such as -ly or -ed.
Is it acceptable to use "bound morph(eme)" in relation
to roots? If so, would they be called "bound root
morph(eme)s"? Or is there another term?
 Interested readers are highly recommended to seek out Jack
Winter's superb piece "How I Met My Wife," in The New Yorker,
25 July 1994, which sustains for an entire page a stream of
such and similar forms. Links to presumably illegal copies may
be found on Google and won't be reproduced here.
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