In morphology, a word’s dependent does not appear on its own and cannot contribute the core meaning of a word. Dependents only occur with a head and act as a modifier to the head. Dependents can contribute some “additional” information of a word, such as grammatical information.


  • Skwxwú7mesh: Jacobs (2011) provides examples where dependents of words in Skwxwú7mesh can be observed.
    • In 1a), the bolded morpheme, /-at-/, can be described as a dependent to the head, as it is contributing some “additional” information to the word. In this case, transitivity.
    • In 1b), the bolded morpheme, /-nexw-/, is a dependent to the head, also contributing additional information to the word’s core meaning. In this example, the dependent conveys a ‘limited control transitivity’ of the word (p. 2).
Jacobs (2011, p. 1).