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The smallest distinctive unit of a language having a definite grammatical function. For example, unhappiness contains three morphemes: un- (a morpheme denoting negation) + happi (happy) + -ness (a morpheme denoting a state); and Helen's brother is crying contains six: Helen + 's (a morpheme denoting possession) + brother + is + cry + ing (a morpheme indicating the present participle). See also allomorph, bound form, pseudomorpheme. Compare kinemorph. [From Greek morphe form + a suffix on the model of phoneme]

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