Once upon a time there was a lovely bound inflectional morpheme called Possessive -’s
Anyway, Poss -’s was quite happy being a bound morpheme merrily attaching himself to nominal lexical roots or nominal compounds to create constructions such as “[the [linguist’s] thesis]” and “[the [yogurt pot’s] lid]”. However, being a bound morpheme and attached at the lexical level our friend Poss -’s also created structures such as “[the linguist’s who I saw yesterday] book” and “[the student’s sitting in the corner] essay”.
One day, Poss -’s saw some prefixes attached to some of the other words in one of the constructions he was in. So, being brave and courageous, Poss -’s went off to talk to the prefixes. They were called things like Pre- and Post- (who were enemies), Uber-, Mega-, Super- and Ultra- (who were all brothers and all at least 6 foot 2), along with Anti- (who lived alone) and of course Un-, In-, Il-, Ir- and An- (who hated everything).
“How are you?” said Poss -’s to the prefixes. And they told him. “Do you like it here at the front of free morphemes?” Poss -’s asked. And they told him some more. Poss -’s enjoyed the conversations so much that he kept coming back and he soon got to know the prefixes very well. But of course it was a long way to travel over the sentence to get to the prefixes and when Poss -’s got home, he was very tired.
Some time later, Poss -’s noticed that there were occasionally lots of derivational morphemes messing around together at the ends of lexical units. Things like “-Isational” and “-Ification”. He went over to talk to these derivational morphemes. “How are you?” he asked. And they told him. But of course it was a long way to travel over the sentence to get to the stacked derivational morphemes and when Poss -’s got home, he was very tired.
Finally, occasionally, he could see there was a family of infixes sitting in the middle of adjectives. They were called -flamin’-, -bloomin’- and other names besides. There were always on their own but they were abso-
Well, after all these travels, Poss -’s wasn’t very happy sitting on the ends of lexemes all the time: he wanted more adventure. But he also remembered how tired he had been travelling here and there over sentences. So, he made the brave decision to detach himself from his nominal lexical free morpheme and instead reattach himself at the phrasal level. Now he could be in many more places, even right at the end of nominal phrases like “the linguist who I saw yesterday’s book” and “the student sitting in the corner’s essay”. Poss -’s was so happy with his new flexibility that he even had a party and invited all the other bound morphemes. Even Un-, In-, Il-, Ir- and An- came and everyone had a morphologically great time.