Section 4: Introduction to Words

Section 4 is the starting point for analyzing grammar in context effectively, at the smallest level: WORDS.

Section 4 has three primary sub-sections:

Morphemes - Morphemes are the smallest unit of meaning in a language. A morpheme is either a FREE morpheme or a BOUND morpheme (but never both). Words can be made up of one of three combinations: 1) a single free morpheme; 2) a free morpheme plus one or more bound morphemes; or 3) two or more bound morphemes. This sub-section will describe, primarily, bound morphemes as either derivational or inflectional.

Form-Class Words - Form-class words are open-ended, not limited in the number of their members, as new words are being invented all the time. New inventions, observations, sciences, sports, ideas, etc. require us to constantly create new form-class words. This sub-section will describe form-class words as nouns, verbs, adjectives, or adverbs. 

Structure-Class Words - Structure-class words are mostly closed, relatively small groups of words. Words like ofouthis, and the cover all the grammatical bases and can be used to describe any relationship between form-class words.

The primary goal for this sub-section is to help you develop analytical strategies at the WORD level. This means an ability to identify and analyze in context:

  • derivational affixes used to create various form-class words 
  • inflectional morphemes
  • nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in a sentence or a passage
  • structure-class words in a sentence or passage, such as determiners, auxiliaries, qualifiers, prepositions, conjunctions, relatives, and interrogatives 

Once you have read all of the pages in this section, you can develop your anlaytical skills further by reading through the ANALYZING EXAMPLES page, then working your way through the Section 4 Practice Exercises.