New morpheme-based spelling lists16 Replies
I’ve just added some morpheme-based word lists to the Spelfabet spelling lists.
Morphemes are meaningful word parts, and are listed in the following order: inflectional suffixes (part of grammar), prefixes, derivational suffixes, and bound bases from Germanic, Latin and Greek.
These lists have been harder to make than I’d expected, but also more interesting, because so many morphemes, er, morph.
For example, the ‘fact’ in factory has the same origin as the ‘fect’ in ‘confectionery’ and the ‘fic’ in ‘artificial’ and ‘fiction’. They’re all to do with making stuff, of course. I’ve therefore put them all on the same list, which starts like this:
Sometimes it’s hard to know how to classify morphemes, especially Greek ones. The Greek base ‘logue/log’, as in ‘catalogue’ and ‘analogous’, has the same origin as the -ology suffix in ‘biology’, ‘mythology’ and ‘psychology’, so I tried hard to keep them together, but in the end settled on two linked entries, here’s the bound base one:
If you’re using teaching resources like Word Sums or the Base Bank , you might notice that sometimes my lists have a single entry for a morphing morpheme (e.g. ‘vene’, ‘ven’ or ‘vent’ meaning ‘come’), whereas their resources have two entries. I don’t think this matters, and hope that those resources and my lists are complementary, since it’s easier to work with just one version of a morpheme (what linguists call an allomorph), but it can be interesting and useful to link other versions.
It will probably take a while for Google’s bots to crawl all over the new lists and make it possible to search for e.g. ‘spelfabet base logue’ and get the relevant list straight away. However, it’s been possible to Google e.g. ‘spelfabet igh as in night’ for years, so I’m hoping that soon the bots will do their work, and make it easy for teachers and others to find the morpheme-based spelling lists.
I’ll keep adding more morphing morphemes to the site as time permits, but wanted the lists made available before this week’s DSF Language, Literacy and Learning Virtual Conference, as I talk about morphology quite a bit in my session. Hope you’re looking forward to this conference as much as I am, and that you find my morpheme-based lists useful.