Sign Base Morphology


Sign base morphology here refers to those morpheme-base morphological frameworks which assume that every morpheme is a linguistic sign, a mutually implied pairing of sound and meaning. Although this notion is associated with Saussure because of his famous illustration of the the coffee-bean containing the word for 'tree' and a picture of a tree, Baudouin de Courtenay (1895) and Bloomfield (1933) are more directly responsible for introducing the concept to the discipline. Saussure, in fact, went to great pains to point out the problems with the assumption of sign-based morphology and never used the term 'morpheme' in his lectures.