DERIVATIONAL MORPHEMES IN ENGLISH
This paper describes morphemes which are the smallest units of language which have meaning, especially derivational morphemes. Derivation is one of the kinds of word formation. Derivational morphemes are bound morphemes or affixes which derive or create new words by either changing the meaning or the part of speech or both. English derivational morphemes can be classified into two namely derivational prefixes and derivational suffixes. Most of the English prefixes do not change part of speech although they are derivational. The derived words undergo the change of meaning. On the contrary, Most of derivational suffixes change part of speech.
Language consists of two aspects namely form and meaning. In relation to meaning, the smallest meaningful unit in language is morpheme. Morpheme is defined as the smallest meaningful unit of a language (Lim Kiat Boey, 1975 : 37). Words are made up of morphemes. The word teachers, for example, consists of three meaningful units or morphemes, teach, –er, and –s. The morpheme teach forming the word teachers has the lexical meaning; the morpheme –er means the doer of teaching; the morpheme –s has plural meaning. We can identify the meaning of the morpheme teach although it stands alone but we cannot identify the meaning of morphemes –er and –s in isolation. We can identify the meaning of the morpheme –er and –s after they combine to the morpheme teach. The morphemes which can meaningfully stand alone are called free morphemes while the morphemes such as –er and –s, which cannot meaningfully stand alone are called bound morphemes. Bound morphemes must be attached to free morphemes. Bound morphemes are also called affixes which can be classified into prefix, infix, and suffix. English only has two kinds of bound morphemes namely prefixes and suffixes. There are not infixes in English. Bound morphemes are classified into two namely derivational and inflectional morphemes. This article tries to discuss derivational morphemes. These morphemes are complicated so that understanding what derivational morphemes are is important.