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Level 251

Grammar Definitions: Advanced


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Base morpheme
The morpheme that gives a word its primary lexical meaning: helping, reflect.
Bound morpheme
A morpheme that cannot stand alone as a word. Most affixes are bound(helping, react); some base morphemes are also bound (concise, legal).
Free morpheme
A single morpheme that is also a complete word (in contrast to a bound morpheme, which is not).
Homonyms
Words and morphemes that have the same sound and the same spelling but have different meanings: saw/saw; farmer/brighter.
Homophones
Words that have the same sound, but with both different meanings and different spellings: sale/sail; to/too/two.
Morpheme
A sound or combination of sounds with meaning.
Morphology
The study of morphemes.
Phonology
The study of phonemes.
Prefix
An affix added to the beginning of the word to change its meaning (unlikely, illegal, prescribe, renew) or its class (enable, belittle).
Attributive adjective
The adjective in pronoun position: “my new coat”; “the big attraction.”
Collective noun
A noun that refers to a collection of individuals: group, team, family. Collective nouns can be replaced by both singular and plural pronouns, depending on the meaning.
Comparative degree
The variation in adjectives that indicate a noun’s comparison to another (“Bill is bigger than Tim”). Certain adverbs also have degree variations, with the comparative usually designated by more.
Flat adverb
A class of adverb that is the same in form as its corresponding adjective: fast, high, early, late, hard, long, etc.
Positive degree
The variations in adjectives that indicate the simple quality of a noun (“Bill is a big boy”).
Predicative adjective
The adjective that occupies a complement slot in the sentence as subject complement or object complement.
Proper noun
A noun with individual reference to a person, a historical event, or other name. Proper nouns are capitalized.
Expanded determiner
The determiner, together with pre- and postdeter- miners that qualify and quantify and in other ways alter its meaning.
Number
A feature of nouns and pronouns, referring to singular and plural.
Qualifier
A structure-class word that qualifies or intensifies an adjective or adverb: “We worked rather slowly”; “The work was very difficult.”
Singular
A feature of nouns and pronouns denoting one referent.
Antithesis
The juxtaposition of contrasting ideas: “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.”