Morphology is a part of linguistics, that deals with the structure and form of words. The term morphology is derived from Greek and is a combination of two terms i.e., ‘morph’ and ‘ology’.
The term ‘morph’ means ‘form’ and the term ‘ology’ means ‘the study of’. It was the German linguist August Schleicher who used the term for the first time for the study of the structure or form of words.
Morphology analyses different parts of words, such as root, stem, prefix, suffix, etc. It deals with the smallest unit of language called morphemes. Morphemes can be a word or parts of a word. There are various types of morphemes in the English language. However, let us look at bound vs free morphemes to understand what morphemes are.
As the name suggests, bound morphemes will not make sense or will not be having a meaning as long as it is not attached to another morpheme. On the contrary, free morphemes will have a meaning even when it stands on their own.
Let us look at some examples of free and bound morphemes.
Articles, conjunctions, propositions, pronouns, etc are all examples of free morphemes. For instance, a, an, he, she, under, for, above so on and so forth. There are many examples of bound morphemes, including prefixes like un-, in-, and suffixes like -ed, -es, etc.
Consider the word “friendly”. In this word, ‘friend’ is a free morpheme, and ‘-ly’ is a bound morpheme.
In Biology, morphology is the study of the structure and form of organisms. It also deals with the characteristics of the structure and form.