Morphology Q: 'Under' - free or bound?

Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2015 09:00 am
Hi everybody,

I'm currently studying morphology as part of a linguistics degree, and I've came across the word 'underscores'. I'm trying to figure out all of the morphemes, and whether they are free and bound. Obviously the 's' is bound, and the 'score' is free, but I'm not sure whether 'under' is free or bound?
My reasons for questioning this is because 'under' can stand alone as a meaningful unit of language, and therefore I would assume that it is free; however I do not believe it is a compound word, where two free morphemes merge together e.g. blackboard, as it just doesn't seem right? If this make sense, 'under' almost seems less important than 'score' but I just can't work out whether it is free or bound.

If anybody has got any additional information, or if I've confused some of the information that I have discussed, please let me know - I'd really appreciate it.
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Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2015 11:31 am
I do not believe it is a compound word

I'm no expert on morphology. I would just remark that "underscore" seems to be a more emphatic version of "underline". Therefore whatever morphological considerations you have for the "under" in underline should apply to both.
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