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see grammargrammar,
description of the structure of a language, consisting of the sounds (see phonology); the meaningful combinations of these sounds into words or parts of words, called morphemes; and the arrangement of the morphemes into phrases and sentences, called syntax.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the minimal meaningful part of an utterance and one of the basic units of a language system. The characteristics of morphemes are meaningfulness—morphemes convey lexical or grammatical meaning; repeatability—morphemes retain the same (or similar) meaning and the same (or similar) form when they appear in different contexts; and nonreducibility— morphemes cannot be further divided into parts having the same characteristics. The morpheme is also defined as the smallest meaningful part of a word and as a class of morphs possessing specific characteristics.

The detection of a morpheme begins with the division of utterances in a language into morphs; then, morphs similar in content and form and found in complementary or noncontrastive distribution (not causing differences of meaning) are combined into a single morpheme. For example, the Russian morpheme drug, “friend,” has the morphs drug~druzh~druz’ This level of analysis, which establishes the allomorphs of a single morpheme, is called identification. Identification is followed by the classification of the morpheme. According to their position in the language system, morphemes are divided into free morphemes capable of behaving as independent words, such as English day, German Tag, and Russian tikh; bound morphemes that occur only as part of a word, such as the plural formant -s in English days, or the adjectival ending -ii in Russian tikhii, “quiet“); and relatively bound morphemes that may occur in both free and bound form, such as Russian do, used as preposition and as prefix, in doletef do reki, “to fly up to the river.”

Morphemes are divided by function into auxiliary (affixal) and nonauxiliary (radical), of which the former are usually bound and the latter free. As a rule, the number of affixal morphemes is limited to a few dozen, while the number of radical morphemes is unlimited. Affixal morphemes are divided according to types of meaning conveyed, into derivational (word-forming), relational (word-altering, or inflectional), and relational-derivational (form-creating). The last two categories are often combined under the term “word-altering.”

Morphemes may convey meaning not only by their phonological presence in a given word but also by their absence (zero ending, zero allomorph). For example, the Russian word stol, “table,” is construed as nominative singular since it lacks the morphemic plural marker -y (Russian stoly, “tables“) as well as any relational morphemes indicating oblique case (the sign for zero ending is -#, as in stol[-#]). Most linguists regard the morpheme as a unit that correlates linguistic expression with linguistic content, that is, as a two-sided semiotic unit. Less often, the morpheme is regarded as the smallest unit of linguistic expression.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(3) The term overcharacterization is elsewhere considered to be more lexically-oriented to refer to the addition of a superfluous suffix in the coining of a new word, while the terms hyperdetermination and hypercharacterization have a morpho-syntactic bias (Gardani 2015: 538).
According to the author, non-anchoring genitives show a tendency to lose some nominal morpho-syntactic properties (15) and, above all, they "provide a powerful tool for qualifying entities by focusing on various aspects--material they are made up of, age, size, purpose, temporal and locational characteristics and so on" (Koptjevskaja Tamm 2000: 141), that is a word formation strategy well acknowledged in many Romani varieties.
We use also tools of terminological extraction such as: R.TeMiS, and TreeTagger for the Morpho-syntactic labelling and Protege OWL for the implementation of the ontology.
Instead, we propose seven broad classes of Bengali compound noun MWEs considering their morpho-syntactic flexibilities, as follows:
The linguistic section consisted of the main phonetic-phonological, morpho-syntactic, and lexico-semantic features.
Finally, the chapter by Crespo Garcia (1999) offered a description of the students' main morpho-syntactic errors when writing the exam.
In the previous study (see Garcia-Madruga et al., 2007), the Morpho-Syntactic anaphora test showed significant correlations with reasoning measures, higher than RST, but all the correlations were small (the highest was .36).
There are a number of studies examining the linguistic properties of e-mail and other computer mediated communication (Baron 2001; Yates 1996); however, less is known about SMS lexical, morpho-syntactic and vernacular verities in cell phone messaging.
In [6] there are two main categories of generalized context patterns: morpho-syntactic (e.g., noun phrases, verb phrases, prepositional phrases) and terminological (i.e., term occurrences).
* morpho-syntactic disambiguation to determine the exact grammatical category of a word according to its context,