Who does Morphology?

Basically, anyone who considers themself a 'Linguist' will have studied Morphology at some point. Defined as the study of word formation, Linguists must understand Morphology before being able to study other Linguistic Areas such as Syntax and Language Acquisition. You could say that morphology is one of the Key Foundations for linguistic study.

Many Linguists have closely studied morphology and carried out research into the sub-discipline however we will focus on 4 key researchers who have all written key publications in morphology and contributed significantly to this interesting and important area of Linguistics. 
If you would like to find out more about the following people, there is a link which will give you more details about their research and publications.

Mark Aronoff

      Taken from http://www.linguistics.stonybrook.edu/faculty/mark.aronoff
  • Aronoff is a Morphologist and Professor at The State University of New York at Stony Brook. 
  • In 2005 he was the President of The Linguistic Society of America.
  • Two of his key textbooks include: 'What is Morphology' and 'Morphology by itself' and has published a number of Journal Articles which show the breadth of his knowledge of morphology and demonstrate his extensive research into the sub-discipline.

The following link will take you to Mark Aronoff's profile on the Stony Brook University website. Here you can also download some of his papers:


Andrew Spencer

  • Currently a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Essex teaching morphology and phonology.
  • His main research interests are morphology and morphosyntax.
  • Spencer is the author of 'The Handbook of Morphology' in the Blackwell Handbooks of Linguistics. 

To find out more about Andrew Spencer's research and to view a list of his publications, you can visit his university profile by clicking on the link below.

Peter Matthews 

  • British Linguist and former Professor and Head of Department of Linguistics at the University of Cambridge.[1] 
  • One of his key publications on morphology includes 'Morphology: An Introduction to the Theory of Word Structure'. 
  • Another of Matthews' most significant works is 'The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics' published in 2007.
If you think you would like to study linguistics at University or if you just find it really interesting, Peter Matthew's 'Concise Dictionary of Linguistics' would be a book worth buying to help you on your way to becoming a budding linguist! The book includes key information about Morphology as well as other sub-disciplines of Linguistics. Click on the link below to view the book on amazon and to find out more details about it:

Leonard Bloomfield

Taken from http://www.glottopedia.de/index.php/Leonard_Bloomfield
  •  American linguist who led the development of Structural
    . His approach was scientific based.[2]
  • Supported the theory of Morpheme-based Morphology and considered a morpheme to be the minimal form with meaning but not the meaning itself. 
  • Was key to the development of the theory of Morphophonemics.[3]
  • One of his key works is 'Language', a highly influential textbook which he published in 1933. This textbook includes an extensive and detailed section on morphology.
  • Bloomfield was one of the founding members of the Linguistic Society of America and also its President in 1935. 
To find out more about Leonard Bloomfield and his morphological theories including the Theory of Morphophonemics, click on the following link.


The Linguistic Society of America:
 A professional society for linguists founded in 1924 with over 5,000 members. Its aim is to advance the scientific study of the human language.

Phonology, syntax, semantics and psycholinguistics: Other key sub-disciplines of linguistics. Phonology is the study of the structured system of sounds of a language. Syntax is the study of sentence structure and the rules which govern what is grammatical and what is not. Semantics is the study of the meaning of language. Psycholinguistics is the study of the relationship between language and the human mind. See other subsections of the website for more information on these topic areas.

Morphosyntax: Linguistic units that have morphological and syntactic (relating to sentence structure) properties. 

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics: For those who are new to studying linguistics, this dictionary offers coherent definitions and explanations of all aspects of Linguistics as well as Morphology.

Structural Linguistics: Studies language as a system of signs and explores the theory that these signs gain their meaning from their relationships and contrasts with other signs.

Morpheme-based Morphology:Theory that new words are formed from arranging morphemes (the smallest meaning-bearing unit of language.)

Morphophonemics: the study of the phonological realisation of the allomorphs of the morphemes of a language.