Original Articles

Notes on morphology with special reference to Tswana

Published in: South African Journal of African Languages
Volume 14, issue 1, 1994 , pages: 15–23
DOI: 10.1080/02572117.1994.10587025
Author(s): C., J.H. Krüger, Republic of South Africa


The aim of this article is to determine and to classify the various types of morphemes found in the word structure of Tswana; and to determine how they are hierarchically structured in word. These issues are investigated by comparing and evaluating the views of a number of linguists who have focused on morphology. Special attention is given to the component called the stem (or base), i.e. that meaningful part of a word which is neither a grammatical morpheme nor a root, and which therefore occupies some sort of in-between status. Reasons are given for acknowledging the notion of stem (word correlate) as an intermediary morphological component. It is concluded that a hierarchical morphological analysis which mirrors word-formation processes cannot be conducted without acknowledging the existence of the stem. The acknowledgement of the stem as a morphological component does not affect the status of the word in any way.

Get new issue alerts for South African Journal of African Languages