The first thing we have to establish about the term morpheme is that it has its etymological origin in Greek. Thus we can clearly verify that it emanates from the Greek morpheme which in turn is composed of two perfectly established parts.

In this way, on one side is the word morphe, which can be translated as “form”, and on the other hand we find the suffix –ma, which is equivalent to “result of action”.

Dependent Monemas

A morpheme is the minimum unit that can be parsed and that has grammatical meaning.

What is a morpheme

Morpheme is, in the field of linguistics, the minimum analyzable unit that has grammatical meaning. For instance: me, do not, you.

The morpheme, therefore, is a dependent moneme capable of expressing meaning. When attached to a lexeme (non-dependent moneme), the morpheme is the reference.

It could be said that the morpheme is the variable part of a word, which is composed, from the grammatical point of view, by morphemes and lexemes. The morpheme provides the grammatical value and is always associated with the lexeme, which has semantic value. Both the morpheme and the lexeme can be decomposed into phonemes, the minimal units of phonology that have no meaning (either grammatical or semantic).

Classification according to type

It is common to talk about what are grammatical morphemes. These we can establish that they can be divided into three large groups. Thus, specifically, we come across the following:

Gender morphemes. They are those that, as their name indicates, help us to know if the word in question before us is in masculine or feminine.

Number morphemes. In their case, what they do is help us to know if a word is in the singular or in the plural.

Endings. Under this name are the morphemes that are added to the lexeme of the verbs and that serve to indicate both the person and the time, the mode or the number.


Morphemes are dependent monemes.

Independent, dependent and free morphemes

Among morphemes, several types can also be distinguished according to the way they are attached to the word. The independent morphemes or clitic morphemes are those that admit a certain phonological independence with respect to the lexeme (such as prepositions, conjunctions and determiners).

The dependent morphemes or linked morphemesinstead, they are always attached to another moneme to complete their meaning. There are two subtypes of dependent morphemes: derivatives (which add nuances to the meaning and act in different semantic fields) and the inflectional (They point out accidents and grammatical relationships).

The derivative dependent morphemes, on the other hand, can be classified into prefixes (they precede the lexeme), infixes (they have no semantic content) or suffixes (postponed to lexeme).

The free morphemesFinally, they are those that can appear as independent words. For instance: light, sea, peace, flower, Sun.

A theater group

Besides all this we have to expose that there is a group called Morpheme. Specifically, it is a theater group from the Canary Islands.

This group carries out the staging of both works aimed at a more childish audience and others for adults. More exactly they represent the following shows: “Lazarillo de Tormes”, “Ugly Duckling”, “Cantos Canarios” …