I'm tasked with a morphological analysis of incrementing. I would say that crement is the base of increment and the root of the word. But I'm curious, because all my life I've been thinking about the words increment and decrement differently.1
Would the morpheme crement be referred to as a "cranberry morpheme" and if so, did it once mean something on its own in English? I've looked up some etymology, and understand the Latin origin of the words—incrementum and decrementum.
- Did the words come entirely as units from Latin? Or did we get the two morphemes in each individually and combine them?
- If they did come as units from Latin, can we still consider crement a cranberry morpheme, given that it did not ever exist on its own in English? Does it even make sense, then, to break it up into in + crement or is the word atomic? Can we consider, in morphological analysis, previous versions of words if they are in other languages?
1 For some reason, I've always thought of increment and decrement in the same way as I've thought of accelerate and decelerate (accelerate being a word on its own and decelerate being contrived to take away from accelerate and "opposite" it). I suppose I was entirely wrong, as both incrementum and decrementum existed in Latin, and crementum indeed means something.