2

Complex words contain whether a bound and a free morpheme (eg unhappy) or two bound morphemes (eg intervene). In the first case (eg unhappy) the complex word is polymorphemic because it includes a free,lexical morpheme (eg "happy"). But when the complex word consists of bound morphemes, is it polymorhemic?

  • 2
    If it's got more than one morpheme it's polymorphemic whether they'r free or bound. I gather tho that some use bimorphemic for a word consisting of two morphemes, and polymorphemic for those consisting of more than 2 morphemes. – Gaston Ümlaut Mar 11 '16 at 10:53
  • I can't see how the the two terms could be anything but synonymous. – curiousdannii Mar 11 '16 at 15:41
  • 1
    I presume you are talking about Complex vs Compound words right? A complex word consists of a stem and an affix which the affix does not have any meanings alone, a compound word on the other hand has an affix which has a meaning standing alone. poly-morphemic, as the name suggests, is a word which has either a suffix or prefix. and yes all the complex words are polymorphemic. – Andrew Ravus Mar 11 '16 at 17:27
  • 1
    There is a non-technical concept of "complex word", which includes words like "abyss", "thesaurus", meaning "fancy", or "difficult meaning". Linguists, though, would only use "complex" as applied to "word" to refer to polymorphemicity. The answer to the titular question is "it depends on what you mean by 'complex'". – user6726 Mar 11 '16 at 18:40
  • Since no answer was given by the OP I turned my comment into an answer, because giving the answer in the comments is against the rules. – Andrew Ravus Apr 3 '16 at 21:27
3

I presume you are talking about Complex vs Compound words.

A complex word consists of a stem and an affix which the affix does not have any meanings alone.

A compound word on the other hand has an affix which has a meaning standing alone.

Poly-morphemic, as the name suggests, is a word which has either a suffix or prefix. and yes all the complex words are polymorphemic

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.