In linguistics, the internal construction system of words and its study. Languages vary widely in the number of morphemes a word can have. English has many words with multiple morphemes (e.g., replacement is composed of re-, place, and -ment). Many American Indian languages have a highly complex morphology; other languages, such as Chinese, have a simple one. Morphology includes the grammatical processes of inflection, marking categories like person, tense, and case (e.g., the -s in jumps marks the third-person singular in the present tense), and derivation, the formation of new words from existing words (e.g., acceptable from accept).
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