We're looking at this, because we were trying to find the base in mercantilism. I (student) thought it was <merchant>, but really it is <mercantile>. We have not found much research. I'm hoping the community can help. 

I was also wondering why they call it mercantilism. Why not call it merchantism or merchism? 




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Hey Mike,

The key you need to guide your understanding is the difference between morphological and etymological families. I try to support that understanding with the idea of the "structure and meaning test" and the "circle and square" diagram.

Take a look at the "circle and square" diagram I made for an investigation that started with the question of how is <median[b]> related to <[b]middle[b]>?

Since there is no word sum that can be used to construct one of these words to the other, we know that they CANNOT share a base. But that does not they don't share a root!

My quick search of your words <[b]mercantile[b]>
[/b] and <merchant[b]>[/b] in Etymonline both pointed me to the etymological relative (in the same circle) <market[b]>[/b] That tells me that if I find the root of <<market[b]> I will find the root of BOTH <[b]mercantile[b]> and <[b]merchant[b]> .

Another recent SWI Investigation video I posted is on the word <[b]success[b]>
[/b]. I think watching the process of that investigation will help you. I'd love to see you and your students produce your own "circle and square" diagram of the nature of the orthographic relationship between your two words (etymological, not morphological) and other words you will find along the way. Let us know how it goes!

Comment was last edited about 3 years ago by Peter Bowers Peter Bowers
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Thank you for helping me (from my student) understand this.

Mr. Myers and I are going to work on what you have given us.

Thank you!

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