The Kardashians Inspire Linguistics Student to Study Morphology

by susanedotcohen


During the Fall of 2012, I walked to the front of the classroom and wrote out the word Kimye on the board. Kimye is the name the media granted to Kim Kardashian and her boyfriend Kanye. After writing the name out, I performed a morphological analysis of it. Kim would be the free morpheme (can stand alone) and ye the bound (cannot stand alone). A morpheme is the smallest unit of linguistic meaning and my attempt to create morphemes out of this celebrity name was just an attempt to show I understood the material.

However, months later, I find myself analyzing Kimye completely differently. For research reasons, I will not reveal more about my work. What I will say is that the work I have done –  and continue to do – demonstrates that Keeping up with the Kardashians  has lead me to not only study morphology, but to study it very seriously. In other words (a pun! morphology deals with words!), the Kardashians have had an academic impact. Kris Jenner, thank you!

And Kris, if you would like a copy, let me know!