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ab + solute/ + ly ➔ absolutelyRootsBasesA matrix is a kind of a portrait of a morphological family (words that share a base element). We can think of the matrix as analogous to the “immediate family” (parents and children). On that analogy, an etymological family (words that share a root) is like an “extended family” - a family that includes the immediate family, but also cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents etc.

Discuss these terms with reference to the the diagram on the next page where every word represented within the oval is in the “extended family” that derives from the same historical root and -- but that extended family can contain multiple immediate families (morphological families).

At right and on the following page are resources I created for a different SWI lesson.

Some semantic interpretations:

See how you can relate the sense and meaning given for the Latin root solv(ere) and the present day English words that derive from that root to the climate crisis.

Some possible orthographic investigations :

Construct a matrix for the base <solve> and another for the base <solute> and place in the appropriate box on the next page.

See if you can find words in this etymological family which do not have a base <solve> or <solute> and write those in the oval on the next page to show they share the root, but not the bases in the rectangles.

Many sources use the terms “root” and “base” interchangeably.

By contrast, in structured word inquiry, “root” is reserved for etymological contexts and “base” is strictly a morphological term.

In other words, in structured word inquiry, the term “base” refers to present day English morphological structures and “root” refers only to the historical source of present day English words. 

WW Newsletter 99 Greta Speech 36


Comments (1)

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I recently received this lovely message from an environmental group called Sofar Ocean.

I was delighted to find they discovered this Real Spellers post that so clearly targets their interests and that the were asking about linking to each others' work. Absolutely! This kind of connection just reinforces the value of using structured word inquiry instruction as a means of deepening understanding of content areas.

Also, I've posted this comment in this special 'interactive format' of my original post that Real Spellers webmaster Matt Berman put together. The text of my original piece is the same, but Matt has created this format so that the reader can click on the identified words (at right) for resources, and those links can also be found in the text of the post. I hope to collaborate with Matt for more of these interactive kinds of posts. If you like to print off and study such documents on paper, you can go to the original post for the WordWorks Newsletter #99 at THIS LINK.

Below is the message from Sofar Ocean and the link to their work. Let's keep the col + labor + ate/ + ing going!

Hi there,

I’m Alexander from the Sofar Ocean editorial team. We connect the world’s oceans to provide insights to science, society, and industry for a more sustainable planet.

I’m reaching out because your post caught our attention as we were searching for ocean temperature, marine ecosystem, environmental disaster, climate crisis, coral reef ecosystem-related topics.

I was wondering if you can link it to our piece How Does Climate Change Affect the Ocean since we are of the same wavelength and have the same type of readers.

You may tag it/backlink it to any relevant text in any of your articles that you deem relevant. As a token of good faith, the Sofar Ocean team would be happy to campaign your website and content across our social media channels.

Let me know what you think.


Alexander Brown

Peter Bowers
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