The online dictionaries I've tried so far do not seem to indicate if a morpheme is bound or is free. Is there any (free?) online dictionary that provides such information? If not, is there a list of the most common bound morphemes?

  • 1
    Interesting question, but I suspect that there are no strictly bound morphemes in Chinese, because Chinese forms a continuum stretching into the past where words were overwhelmingly monosyllabic. Some morphemes are just not commonly used on their own today, but you may find their use in some classical expression which leaks into the modern language occasionally.
    – dROOOze
    Commented Dec 30, 2019 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


As far as I know, this is not a free combination. China has official word statistics. This is used to guide everyday language. The use of words is generally restricted by these official data. If some morpheme combinations are used privately, the resulting words may be too strange to be understood by anyone. Put another way, the combination of morphemes in Chinese is constrained by words or idioms. Free morpheme combinations can only be used for personal use, or in certain situations (such as emergencies or colloquial expressions). You can check this online Chinese word website http://www.xh.5156edu.com/

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