Wallahua’alam bisshowwab.

MORPHOLOGY means analysing the word (structure), or the study of the internal structure of words and of the rules by which words are formed. Then, it brings us to question, “What is a word?” Hayo, lho.

WORDS are important part of linguistic knowledge and consitute a component of our mental grammar. Words are the smallest free forms in language. A free form is an element that can occur in isolation or whose position with respect to neighboring categories is not completely fixed. Words are not usually produced morpheme by morpheme as speakers talk. Words are stored as single cognitive units andselected from memory as wholes for speech.

WORD CLASSES (based on the characters)

  • Content Words / Opened Class
    1. Nouns (nomina, kata benda) : apple, Dude Harlino, dresses, garden
    2. Verbs (kata kerja) : cry, cooked, read, going
    3. Adjectives (kata sifat) : good, clear, tranquil, handsome
    4. Adverbs (kata keterangan) : quickly, well 
  • Function Words / Closed Class 
    1. Conjunction (kata hubung) : because, therefore, but, and, or
    2. Prepositions (kata depan) : under, in, on, at
    3. Articles (kata seru) : wow, hey, ugh, aww
    4. Pronouns (kata ganti) : they, we, she, it, himself, ourselves, themselves

MORPHEMES are the minimal units of meaning. Morpheme is the most important component of word strucuture or the morpheme is the smallest unit of language that carries information about meaning and (or) function.

Morpheme –> meaning
Morphemes –> meaning and function 

WORD CLASSES (based on the relation with morpheme)

  • Simple or Monomorphemic Words, consists of only one morpheme. The examples are happy, desire, and like.
  • Complex or Polymorphemic Words, consists of more than one morpheme. The examples are unhappy, desirable, and likely.


  • Free Morphemes
    • They can stand alone as words
    • The examples : belied, break, lose
  • Bound Morphemes
    • They never occur as words on their own
    • The examples : dis-, un-, -able, -s


  • Root (kata dasar), it is the core of word and carries the major component of its meaning. A root may or may not stand alone as a word. Sometime, the roots typically belong to content words.
  • Base, it is the element to which an affix is added.

Let’s see the example. The word “desirability” has root “desire” and the base “desirable”. Hmmm. Then, let’s try to analyse the word structures.

Straightened (verb)
Straighten (verb) – ed (affix)

Straight (adjective) – en (affix) – ed (affix)

Distressed (adjective)
Distress (noun) – ed (affix)
Dis (affix) – Stress (adjective) – ed (affix)

Yogyakarta, 5 Rabbiul Awwal 1439