Root (definition)

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Roots are the base form of words that cannot be further analyzed into morphemes. Not to be confused with stem. For example, given the word “sing-er” the verb sing is the root, and –er is the derivational affix, which changes the word into a noun. Or in the word “child-ren” Child is the root, and –ren is the inflectional affix that indicates the plural.

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  • Crystal, D. (2008) Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. 6th Edition. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Matthews, P. H. (1997) The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.