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date: 26 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes the morphological structure of words in Mandarin Chinese. Word is defined as a syntactically free form, that is, a form that can stand independently in a syntactic slot. Most words in Chinese consist of one or two morphemes. Single-morpheme words are termed simple, while words consisting of two or more morphemes are termed complex. Morphemes in Chinese undergo virtually no morphophonemic alternation, that is, they retain their individual phonological shapes when they appear together with other morphemes in a word. Chinese has four morpheme types: content word, function word, bound root, and affix. The four morpheme types combine to yield the following four complex word types: compound, bound root word, derived word and inflected word.

Keywords: word, morpheme, bound root, content word, function word, inflected word, affix, derived word, compound, bound root word

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