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Definisi Morfologi (The Definition of Morphology)

Bagi mahasiswa yang mengambil fakultas ilmu bahasa tentu sangat mengenal istilah morphology, meskipun kadang mereka kurang mencintai mata kuliah tersebut. Oke, to the point, Kata-kata seperti learn, learns, learned, dan learning menunjukkan sebuah hubungan dalam bentuk dan makna sejenis yang sistematis, karena pola-pola sejenis seperti kata-kata tersebut selalu ada dalam verb bahasa Inggris. Salah satu sub bidang dalam linguistics yang membahas pola-pola tersebut disebut morphology (Geert, 2005: 4). 

Dalam hal ini Geert (2005: 7) menjelaskan, “In present-day linguistics, the term ‘morphology’ refers to the study of the internal structure of words, and of the systematic form–meaning correspondences between words.” Lebih lanjut, menurut Geert morphology adalah kajian ilmu tentang susunan internal dari kata dan hubungan bentuk dan makna dengan kata tersebut. 

Sebenarnya banyak sekali penjelasan dari buku-buku referensi Bahasa Inggris yang menerangkan tentang definisi morphology hingga materi-materi yang menjelaskan tentang bidang ilmu ini, namun disini saya hanya mengutip beberapa referensi penting tentang dasar-dasar morphology menurut Geert yang saya rangkum seperti dibawah ini:

“Morphology, the study of the internal structure of words, deals with the forms of lexemes (inflection), and with the ways in which lexemes are formed (word-formation). New words are made on the basis of patterns of form-meaning correspondence between existing words. Paradigmatic relationships between words are therefore essential, and morphology cannot be conceived of as ‘the syntax of morphemes’ or ‘syntax below the word level’ (ibid:14)
“The two basic functions of morphological operations are (i) the creation of new words (i.e. new lexemes), and (ii) spelling out the appropriate form of a lexeme in a particular syntactic context.”

“Morphology serves to expand the lexicon, the set of established words of a language, but is not the only source of lexical units, and not even that of all complex words, which also arise through borrowing, univerbation, and word creation.”

“The established (simplex and complex) words of a language are listed in the lexicon, an abstract linguistic notion, to be distinguished from the notions ‘dictionary’ and ‘mental lexicon’. Morphological rules have two functions: they specify the predictable properties of the complex words listed in the lexicon, and indicate how new words and word forms can be made.”

“Morphology as a subdiscipline of linguistics aims at adequate language description, at the development of a proper language typology, and at contributing to debates on the organization of grammars and the mental representation of linguistic competence.”

Kutipan-kutipan diatas bisa sobat dan sobit semua terjemahkan terserah anda yang Bahasa Inggrisnya lebih mahir daripada saya. Namun yang pasti, seperti yang diungkapkan oleh Malmkjaer bahwa, While syntax is concerned with how words arrange themselves into constructions, morphology is concerned with the forms of words themselves.” 

Intinya adalah jika syntax membahas tentang bagaimana kata-kata disusun dalam sebuah kalimat, maka morphology membahas bentuk kata-kata tersebut. Keterangan yang sangat sederhana, namun sangat padat dan berisi, semoga bisa menjadi acuan yang bermanfaat untuk semua. Piss.


Booij, Geert. 2005. The Grammar of Words: An Introduction to Linguistic Morphology. Oxford University Press.

Malmkjaer, Kirsten. 2002. The Linguistics Encyclopedia: 2nd edition. London and New York: Routledge.

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