Introduction to Morphology - Resource Guide 3

Today's newsletter is our third Resource Guide, and it's for teaching an introduction to morphology. 

Why this topic is useful

Morphology is the study of the internal structure of words. Studying morphology can help us understand how different languages create new words and modify existing words. We'll look at how words go together in our resource guide to constituency next Friday. 

Introductory Videos & Podcasts

Derivational & Inflectional Morphology


  • Tom Scott: Long and Short Words: Language Typology
    A short, engaging explanation of how different languages engage in word-building with an on-screen narrator and graphics. Length: 4m36s. Captions: human-edited (English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Slovakia, Spanish, Thai). 

  • TheTrevTutor: Word Creation
    This video explores different processes used in English to create words, including compounds, clipping, blending, back-formation, acronyms/initialisms, and coinage. Length: 7m56s. Captions: auto-generated.

Blog posts/diagrams


  • Essentials of Linguistics, Chapter 6 (Anderson) 
    Chapter 6 of this open access textbook covers morphology, including words and morphemes (§6.1), allomorphs (§6.2), inflectional morphology (§6.3), derivational morphology (§6.4)  and a chapter on inflectional morphology in some Indigenous languages of Canada (§6.5). Includes video for the sections on inflectional and derivational morphology. Captions: human-edited.


  • Morphology Exercises
    A series of mini-quizzes that have you break down English words into their morphemes, identify inflectional and derivational morphemes, and identify morphemes in another language given a list of phrases in that language and their translations.

  • What Is Morphology?
    An explanation with text and video of how to draw word trees.

Something fun

All the resources listed above are excellent, but the best way to teach morphology is using koalas. Click through to the link for images to cover infixes and circumfixes as well. 

All Things Linguistic via Astronautical Linguist.

In other news

This week we had our first 3 Links guest-contributed post. Thanks Rebecca Woods (Newcastle University) for the 3 Links for Semantics and Pragmatics! If you know of three (or even just one!) great linguistics resource online you can use this form to let us know. Sharing (resources, not personal space) is caring.

See you on Monday for 3 Links about psycholinguistics, and stay tuned for next Friday's Resource Guide on constituency. 

Kate, Lauren, Gretchen and Liz. 

This Resource Guide is also available on (where you can subscribe for email updates to future issues), and as a google doc or pdf


About Mutual Intelligibility

Mutual Intelligibility is a project to connect linguistics instructors with online resources, especially as so much teaching is shifting quickly online due to current events. It's produced by Lauren Gawne and Gretchen McCulloch, with the support of our patrons on Lingthusiasm. Our 3 Links editor is Liz McCullough, and our Resource Guide contributor is Kate Whitcomb (Layman's Linguist).

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