What is the base word in bookshelf?

We're learning about morphemes in my class, and I'm having trouble with the word bookshelf. Would the morphemes of it be book and shelf? If so, what would the base word be? I'm assuming book but idk why

5 Answers

Relevance
  • 3 weeks ago

    I'm thinking function before structure. Morphemes identify primarily with utility, then with the object. .

  • 3 weeks ago

    compounds can be difficult to interpret in the way you would like, but in this case it is pretty clear that "shelf" is the primary word. what type of shelf? a shelf for books. book would be acting as a noun adjective, in a way.

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    The base word is shelf. Book is effectively an adjective indicating the use of the shelf is for the storage of books.  Contrast with, say, mantelshelf  which is the shelf over a fireplace.

  • John P
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    I would consider "shelf" to be the base word, because shelves are available for many purposes, they are places where all sots of things can be stored or displayed.

    "Book" defines the type of shelf, or at least the use to which a certain set of shelves is put. At home I have many books on a set of shelves which were not sold as "bookshelves", but they happen to be suitable for the books which I put on them.

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • 3 weeks ago

    I would say 'shelf'.  It's a shelf.  'Book' only tells you what kind of shelf it is.  In fact, if you saw one, without the books, you might just say 'shelf'.  You might put something else on it, and then it wouldn't be a bookshelf at all!  It would still be a shelf.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.