Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In linguistics, morphology is the study of the smallest units of grammatical combination that are interpreted in form (sound) and meaning. Contemporary theories of morphology challenge traditional views that are often presupposed by investigations into the neurobiology of language. In particular, there is no fundamental distinction between the combination of morphemes within words and the combination of words within phrases, nor is there a binary distinction between inflection and derivation. Taking morphology to concern the connection between syntactic hierarchies of morphemes and their phonological packaging into words and phrases, rather than an independent subcomponent of grammar, contemporary theories like distributed morphology abandon the idea of full-form storage in a mental lexicon in favor of a full decomposition approach, whose processing implications are supported by recent evidence from psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics. A major implication of full decomposition for neurolinguistics is that experiments on single word processing actually implicate the entire grammar: syntax, phonology, and semantics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNeurobiology of Language
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780124078628
ISBN (Print)9780124077942
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Language
  • Morpheme
  • Morphology
  • Neurolinguistics
  • Syntax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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