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Morphology Home
These routines chop words into prefixes, head words/roots, and suffixes in various ways that have proven useful in language learning research. They make use of PERL's ability to identify linguistic patterns through its powerful Regular Expressions regexes. (These routines are experimental - 98% accurate/95% complete in August 2014).


  1. Affix Levels x Frequency List Builder (Affixes + independent headwords - unCLEAR)
    Nation and his colleagues have worked out a hierarchy of derivational affixation relevant to learning English as a second language, according to which affixes are most used, most transparent, and most likely to be known at different stages of learning. These are the basis of the different family lists. This program lets you track five sets of affixes (or all of them together) through 20 k-lists (this being effectively the whole non-specialist lexicon of English).

    NOTE that only affixes attached to a stable real independent word are handled at this point in this program's development (enflame but not enter or even endure).

  2. 14 Master Words x Frequency search (Affixes + Greco-Latin roots - conCEIVE)
    An influential notion in some ESL circles postulates that the morphological components of just 14 words are re-used in as many as 14,000 further words. Thus, if learners knew the morphology of these 14 words... Test this idea against the entire lexicon of general English. (Ref: Thompson, E. (1958). The “Master Word” approach to vocabulary training. Journal of Developmental Reading, 2 (1), 62-66.)
  3. Lextutor's main English and French concordancers
    - plus most routines that access them (such as List_Learn) include a full family or lemma members frequency list at the bottom of the input FOR KEYWORD sorted FAMILY (LEMMA in French) and STARTS-WITH searches. Click here for example.

    • Recent English versions of Vocabprofile include a TYPES:FAMILIES index. Used longitudinally, this index is a powerful indicator of interlanguage morphology development (used to effect in a study by Horst & Collins (2006).

Based on research by Brown (1975) and Bauer & Nation (1993). Perl regexes by Tom Cobb - Université du Québec à Montréal