Who does Morphology?

  • Anyone with an interest in the field
  • Anyone who considers themself a `Linguist`

Morphology is the study of word formation. Therefore:

  1. Linguists must understand morphology before being able to study other Linguistic areas such as Syntax and Language Acquisition
  2. Morphology can be referred to as one of the Key Foundations for linguistic study

4 key researchers

  1. Mark Aronoff
  2. Andrew Spencer
  3. Peter Matthews
  4. Leonard Bloomfield


mark aronoff

Mark Aronoff

  • Morphologist and Professor at The State University of New York at Stony Brook.
  • 2005: President of The Linguistic Society of America.
  • Research explores almost all aspects of Morphology and its relations to phonology, syntax, semantics and psycholinguistics.
  • Key textbooks include: ‘What is Morphology’ and ‘Morphology by itself’

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

  • 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.

Peter Matthew’s ‘Concise Dictionary of Linguistics’ is an interesting book, including key information about Morphology as well as other sub-disciplines of Linguistics. Click on the link below to find out more details about the book.


leonard bloomfield

Leonard Bloomfield

  • American linguist who led the development of Structural Linguistics. 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.



[1] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Matthews_(linguist)> [Accessed 30.04.2012].
[2] Bloch, B., (1949). Leonard Bloomfield. Language. 25(2). pp: 87-98.
[3] Langendoen, D. T., (1998). ‘Bloomfield’. In: Wilson, R. and Keil, F. (ed). The MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. pp. 90-91.

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