Productive Morphology


Productive morphology is used to describe morphological processes of a language to make new words that are regular, common, and well-documented. Productive morphological processes can be formalized as rules.


  • Halkomelem: An example of a productive morphological process in Halkomelem is reduplication. As explained by Mellesmoen and Urbanczyck (2020), reduplication of the first CV sequence of a root is on of the common methods of creating new words in the imperfective aspect (p. 240). This is illustrated by the following rules, as provided by the authors:
    • Stem begins with a single consonant that is not /h/ or /ʔ/
    • The first consonant is followed by a full vowel (i.e., not a schwa)
    • Then, the imperfective allomorph is an exact copy of the first CV syllable.
    • Examples of this regular predictable productive morphological process are provided below:
Mellesmoen and Urbanczyck (2020, p. 240).
  • Secwepemctsín: Gibson (1973) describes the process of creating diminutives in Secwepemctsín as being a regular morphological process (p. 47-48). Diminutives are expressed by:
    • Reduplication of the consonant preceding the stressed vowel
    • The reduplicated consonant is inserted as an infix immediately after the stressed vowel.
    • Examples of this productive morphological process are provided below. It can be seen that the reduplicated portion of the stem occurs after the vowel, as is indicated by the underlined segments.
Gibson (1973, p. 48).