a word is made of three parts, prefix; root, stem, or base; and suffix.

precisely is pre + cise + ly (all three, prefix, root and suffix)
concise is con + cise (prefix and root)
scissors - cise (root)

so a word MAY be made of three elements. correct?
are root, stem and base all the same?
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I quote Trask:

'A root is the simplest form of a lexical morpheme, from which all other forms are built up. For example, the Latin verb meaning love has the root 'am-'; from this are formed the various stems, such as present 'ama-' and perfect 'amav-', from which in turn are constructed complete word-forms.'

'Base - the item to which an affix is added.'

To me, that suggests that a base is a vaguer word including the other two-- it seems a more useful word to refer to what is actually being used as a stem or root in a particular case.
A word is made of three parts, prefix; root, stem, or base; and suffix.

Not really. For example, the and banana.

(1)precisely is pre + cise + ly (all three, prefix, root and suffix)
(2)concise is con + cise (prefix and root)
(3)scissors - cise (root)

(1)Correct. 'Cise' is a bound base or you say bound base which need to be conjointed with other morphemes, that is, they can't form words themselves. 'Cise' is not a word. You need to attach a prefix 'pre.'


(3)From Online Etymology Dictionary
c.1384, sisoures, from O.Fr. cisoires (pl.) "shears," from V.L. *cisoria (pl.) "cutting instrument," from *cisus (in compounds such as L. excisus, pp. of excidere "to cutout"), ult. from L. cædere "to cut." In Scotland, shears answers for all sizes; but in England generally that word is used only for those too large to be worked by one hand. Spelling with sc- is 16c., from influence of M.L. scissor "tailor," from L. "carver, cutter," from pp. stem of scindere "to split." Sense in wrestling is from 1904. The verb scissor "to cur with scissors" is recorded from 1612; in the wrestling sense it is attested from 1968.

so a word MAY be made of three elements. correct?

You COULD say that.

are root, stem and base all the same?

No.Emotion: smile
Both root and stem belong to the catagory of base morpheme.
Root is called when all of the affixes are deleted. Eg. nation
Stem is called when the last affix is deleted. The examples could be very confusing though.

Here is the link, you may find it useful.

Does that help?

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let's take underling for example, under- is a prefix, -ling is a suffix, so where is the root, base, or stem?
Interesting supposition, BMO, but according to my sources, the root is 'under' (adv for 'in a state of subjection) + '-ling' (suffix for 'person concerned with'). '-Ling' has been added to nouns ('nestling'), verbs ('changeling', and adjectives ('darling' -- from 'dear') as well as adverbs.
All words can be base, but not all words can be root. So, a word which is attached one or more prefixes or suffixes is a root, while a base word does contain already at least one, but it can be added more (pref or suf). By the way stem words are words that cannot be added more affixes and which contains or not some of them.

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Agreed. Take for example irritable ' ir ' is a prefix when used in irresponsible, but in the case of irritable, it is used as an affix. And -able is the suffix. ^_^Emotion: star Prefix and Suffix are able to be 'heard' and 'see' whether it is accurate. (this is used for last resort) {my name is not anonymous, thank you Emotion: wink}
Affix = prefix or suffix. Ir of irritable appears to be neither, at least in English, as it comes from L. irritatus, from pp. stem of irritare 'excite, provoke.'
Interesting, but what if I have a situation where I intend to combine two noun roots to develop another noun?

For example, boat is as much a root as swain. When combining them, how are we to decipher whether boat is the prefix or swain is the suffix?
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