Keywords: morphology, morpheme

Sign Definition

As a Noun

1. The smallest units of meaning in a spoken language (like words or parts of words), or a signed language (like signs or parts of signs). In English, for example, ‘boy’ is one word and one morpheme, but ‘boys’ is one word and two morphemes (boy + s). The ‘s’ adds the meanings ‘more than one, or plural’. Another example, ‘walk’ is one word and one morpheme, but ‘walked’ is one word and two morphemes. The ‘-ed’ adds the meaning ‘in the past’. In Auslan, for example, BELIEVE is one sign and one morpheme, but the sign BELIEVE-NOT is one sign and two morphemes. English = morpheme.
2. The study of the smallest units of meaning in a spoken language (like words or parts of words), or a signed language (like signs or parts of signs). English = morphology.