Root (definition)

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It can be combined with other derivational or inflectional affixes in order to change form, tense, or number, but the root itself cannot be broken down into any smaller parts. 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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External Links

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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.