A Text Analysis Of Bound Morphemes In K-12 Science Texts And The Implications Of Bound Morphemes For English Language Learners’ Reading Comprehension


Spring 2017



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Anne Rogan

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Bridget Erickson

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Rachelle Kreuser


The purpose of this study was to determine the frequency of bound morphemes in science texts used in K-12 classrooms. The motivating factor for this capstone was to better understand why so many students struggle with the increased demands of academic language and unfamiliar vocabulary in science texts. Bound morphemes were chosen as the focal point because they appear frequently in academic language. A familiarity with bound morpheme structures helps readers to access unfamiliar words, which aids in reading comprehension (Kieffer & Leasaux, 2008). A quantitative research method was used and a random sampling of science books, one from each grade level, were analyzed. The frequency of inflectional and derivational morphemes was recorded. The major findings from this study were that bound morphemes generally increase in frequency by grade level. Further analysis showed how derivational morphemes became more prevalent than inflections in several higher-grade level texts.

Research Methodology

Text Analyses


ESL/ ELLs, Literacy

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