Studying Understanding Morphology, by Haspelmath, couldn't find a reference to the concept of "free morpheme".

Is that concept standard among linguists? What would be a better alternative, in any case ?


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A lot of modern linguists use the concept of "free morpheme," which refers to morphemes that can occur as words on their own, as opposed to "bound morphemes," which can only occur in words that have at least one other morpheme. For example "happy" is a free morpheme in English, as it can occur as a word with no other morphemes involved, while "un-" is a bound morpheme, which can only occur in words like "unhappy" with other morphemes involved.

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