* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
LINGUIST List logo Eastern Michigan University Wayne State University *
* People & Organizations * Jobs * Calls & Conferences * Publications * Language Resources * Text & Computer Tools * Teaching & Learning * Mailing Lists * Search *
* *
LINGUIST List 22.2346

Fri Jun 03 2011

Qs: Early Sense of the Word 'Morpheme'

Editor for this issue: Danielle St. Jean <daniellelinguistlist.org>

We'd like to remind readers that the responses to queries are usually best posted to the individual asking the question. That individual is then strongly encouraged to post a summary to the list. This policy was instituted to help control the huge volume of mail on LINGUIST; so we would appreciate your cooperating with it whenever it seems appropriate.

In addition to posting a summary, we'd like to remind people that it is usually a good idea to personally thank those individuals who have taken the trouble to respond to the query.

To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at http://linguistlist.org/LL/posttolinguist.cfm.
        1.     Stephen Anderson , Early Sense of the Word 'Morpheme'

Message 1: Early Sense of the Word 'Morpheme'
Date: 01-Jun-2011
From: Stephen Anderson <srayale.edu>
Subject: Early Sense of the Word 'Morpheme'
E-mail this message to a friend

Wells (1947:8) says that "the term morphème was current in
Saussure's day, but with a specialized significance: the 'formative'
elements of a word (affixes, endings, etc.) as opposed to the root." On
the other hand, there is consensus that the word was invented by
Baudouin de Courtenay, and his 1895 definition is "that part of a word
which is endowed with psychological autonomy and is for the very
same reason not further divisible. It consequently subsumes such
concepts as the root (radix), all possible affixes, (suffixes, prefixes),
endings which are exponents of syntactic relationships, and the
like" (translation from Stankiewicz's Anthology).

I vaguely recall something like the usage Wells reports, but I can't find a
source. In particular, everything in Baudouin, Kruszewsky, and other
work of that vintage seems to use Baudouin's general sense rather
than the limited one. Can anyone enlighten me about some early
linguist who used 'morpheme' in a way that excluded roots?
Steve Anderson

Linguistic Field(s): Discipline of Linguistics
                            History of Linguistics

Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Page Updated: 03-Jun-2011

Supported in part by the National Science Foundation       About LINGUIST    |   Contact Us       ILIT Logo
While the LINGUIST List makes every effort to ensure the linguistic relevance of sites listed on its pages, it cannot vouch for their contents.