Word

In linguistics, a word is the smallest element that can be uttered in isolation with objective or practical meaning.

This contrasts deeply with a morpheme, which is the smallest unit of meaning but will not necessarily stand on its own. A word may consist of a single morpheme (for example: oh!, rock, red, quick, run, expect), or several (rocks, redness, quickly, running, unexpected), whereas a morpheme may not be able to stand on its own as a word (in the words just mentioned, these are -s, -ness, -ly, -ing, un-, -ed). A complex word will typically include a root and one or more affixes (rock-s, red-ness, quick-ly, run-ning, un-expect-ed), or more than one root in a compound (black-board, sand-box). Words can be put together to build larger elements of language, such as phrases (a red rock, put up with), clauses (I threw a rock), and sentences (He threw a rock too, but he missed).

The term word may refer to a spoken word or to a written word, or sometimes to the abstract concept behind either. Spoken words are made up of units of sound called phonemes, and written words of symbols called graphemes, such as the letters of the English alphabet.

Definitions/meanings

Summary

The difficulty of deciphering a word depends on the language. Dictionaries categorize a language's lexicon (i.e., its vocabulary) into lemmas. These can be taken as an indication of what constitutes a "word" in the opinion of the writers of that language. The most appropriate means of measuring the length of a word is by counting its syllables or morphemes.[1] When a word has multiple definitions or multiple senses, it may result in confusion in a debate or discussion.[2]

Semantic definition

Leonard Bloomfield introduced the concept of "Minimal Free Forms" in 1926. Words are thought of as the smallest meaningful unit of speech that can stand by themselves.[3] This correlates phonemes (units of sound) to lexemes (units of meaning). However, some written words are not minimal free forms as they make no sense by themselves (for example, the and of).[4]

Some semanticists have put forward a theory of so-called semantic primitives or semantic primes, indefinable words representing fundamental concepts that are intuitively meaningful. According to this theory, semantic primes serve as the basis for describing the meaning, without circularity, of other words and their associated conceptual denotations.[5]

Features

In the Minimalist school of theoretical syntax, words (also called lexical items in the literature) are construed as "bundles" of linguistic features that are united into a structure with form and meaning.[6] For example, the word "koalas" has semantic features (it denotes real-world objects, koalas), category features (it is a noun), number features (it is plural and must agree with verbs, pronouns, and demonstratives in its domain), phonological features (it is pronounced a certain way), etc.

Word boundaries

The task of defining what constitutes a "word" involves determining where one word ends and another word begins—in other words, identifying word boundaries. There are several ways to determine where the word boundaries of spoken language should be placed:

  • Potential pause: A speaker is told to repeat a given sentence slowly, allowing for pauses. The speaker will tend to insert pauses at the word boundaries. However, this method is not foolproof: the speaker could easily break up polysyllabic words, or fail to separate two or more closely linked words (e.g. "to a" in "He went to a house").
  • Indivisibility: A speaker is told to say a sentence out loud, and then is told to say the sentence again with extra words added to it. Thus, I have lived in this village for ten years might become My family and I have lived in this little village for about ten or so years. These extra words will tend to be added in the word boundaries of the original sentence. However, some languages have infixes, which are put inside a word. Similarly, some have separable affixes; in the German sentence "Ich komme gut zu Hause an", the verb ankommen is separated.
  • Phonetic boundaries: Some languages have particular rules of pronunciation that make it easy to spot where a word boundary should be. For example, in a language that regularly stresses the last syllable of a word, a word boundary is likely to fall after each stressed syllable. Another example can be seen in a language that has vowel harmony (like Turkish):[7] the vowels within a given word share the same quality, so a word boundary is likely to occur whenever the vowel quality changes. Nevertheless, not all languages have such convenient phonetic rules, and even those that do present the occasional exceptions.
  • Orthographic boundaries: See below.

Orthography

In languages with a literary tradition, there is interrelation between orthography and the question of what is considered a single word. Word separators (typically spaces) are common in modern orthography of languages using alphabetic scripts, but these are (excepting isolated precedents) a relatively modern development (see also history of writing).

In English orthography, compound expressions may contain spaces. For example, ice cream, air raid shelter and get up each are generally considered to consist of more than one word (as each of the components are free forms, with the possible exception of get).

Not all languages delimit words expressly. Mandarin Chinese is a very analytic language (with few inflectional affixes), making it unnecessary to delimit words orthographically. However, there are many multiple-morpheme compounds in Mandarin, as well as a variety of bound morphemes that make it difficult to clearly determine what constitutes a word.

Sometimes, languages which are extremely close grammatically will consider the same order of words in different ways. For example, reflexive verbs in the French infinitive are separate from their respective particle, e.g. se laver ("to wash oneself"), whereas in Portuguese they are hyphenated, e.g. lavar-se, and in Spanish they are joined, e.g. lavarse.[8]

Japanese uses orthographic cues to delimit words such as switching between kanji (Chinese characters) and the two kana syllabaries. This is a fairly soft rule, because content words can also be written in hiragana for effect (though if done extensively spaces are typically added to maintain legibility).

Vietnamese orthography, although using the Latin alphabet, delimits monosyllabic morphemes rather than words.

In character encoding, word segmentation depends on which characters are defined as word dividers.

Morphology

Happy Valentines Day
Letters and words

Morphology is the study of word formation and structure. In synthetic languages, a single word stem (for example, love) may have a number of different forms (for example, loves, loving, and loved). However, for some purposes these are not usually considered to be different words, but rather different forms of the same word. In these languages, words may be considered to be constructed from a number of morphemes.

In Indo-European languages in particular, the morphemes distinguished are

Thus, the Proto-Indo-European *wr̥dhom would be analyzed as consisting of

  1. *wr̥-, the zero grade of the root *wer-.
  2. A root-extension *-dh- (diachronically a suffix), resulting in a complex root *wr̥dh-.
  3. The thematic suffix *-o-.
  4. The neuter gender nominative or accusative singular suffix *-m.

Philosophy

Philosophers have found words objects of fascination since at least the 5th century BC, with the foundation of the philosophy of language. Plato analyzed words in terms of their origins and the sounds making them up, concluding that there was some connection between sound and meaning, though words change a great deal over time. John Locke wrote that the use of words "is to be sensible marks of ideas", though they are chosen "not by any natural connexion that there is between particular articulate sounds and certain ideas, for then there would be but one language amongst all men; but by a voluntary imposition, whereby such a word is made arbitrarily the mark of such an idea".[9] Wittgenstein's thought transitioned from a word as representation of meaning to "the meaning of a word is its use in the language."[10]

Archaeology shows that even for centuries prior to this fascination by philosophers in the 5th century BC, many languages had various ways of expressing this verbal unit, which in turn diversified and evolved into a range of expressions with wide philosophical significance. Ancient manuscripts of the Gospel of John reveal in its 5th chapter the Rabonni Y'shua chastising the pharisees expecting to find life in writings instead of himself. This perhaps could have led to John's introduction in chapter of a description in the Greek translation as "the logos". A famous early scientist, scholar and priest, Thomas Aquinas, influenced Cartesian philosophy and mathematics by interpreting such passages consistently with his philosophy of logic.

Classes

Grammar classifies a language's lexicon into several groups of words. The basic bipartite division possible for virtually every natural language is that of nouns vs. verbs.

The classification into such classes is in the tradition of Dionysius Thrax, who distinguished eight categories: noun, verb, adjective, pronoun, preposition, adverb, conjunction and interjection.

In Indian grammatical tradition, Pāṇini introduced a similar fundamental classification into a nominal (nāma, suP) and a verbal (ākhyāta, tiN) class, based on the set of suffixes taken by the word. Some words can be controversial such as slang in formal contexts, misnomers due to them not meaning what they would imply or polysemous words due to the potential confusion of its multiple senses.[11]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Taylor, John (2015). The Oxford Handbook of the Word. p. 93.
  2. ^ Chodorow, Martin S., Roy J. Byrd, and George E. Heidorn. "Extracting semantic hierarchies from a large on-line dictionary." Proceedings of the 23rd annual meeting on Association for Computational Linguistics. Association for Computational Linguistics, 1985.
  3. ^ Katamba 11
  4. ^ Fleming 77
  5. ^ Wierzbicka 1996; Goddard 2002
  6. ^ Adger (2003), pp. 36–37.
  7. ^ Bauer 9
  8. ^ Note that the convention also depends on the tense or mood—the examples given here are in the infinitive, whereas French imperatives, for example, are hyphenated, e.g. lavez-vous, whereas the Spanish present tense is completely separate, e.g. me lavo.
  9. ^ "Locke ECHU BOOK III Chapter II Of the Signification of Words". Rbjones.com. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  10. ^ "Ludwig Wittgenstein (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)". Plato.stanford.edu. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  11. ^ De Soto, Clinton B., Margaret M. Hamilton, and Ralph B. Taylor. "Words, people, and implicit personality theory." Social Cognition 3.4 (1985): 369–82

References

  • Adger, David (2003). Core Syntax: A Minimalist Approach. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-924370-9.
  • Barton, David (1994). Literacy: An Introduction to the Ecology of Written Language. Blackwell Publishing. p. 96.
  • Bauer, Laurie (1983). English Word-formation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-28492-9.
  • Brown, Keith R. (Ed.) (2005) Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2nd ed.). Elsevier. 14 vols.
  • Crystal, David (1995). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (1 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-40179-1.
  • Fleming, Michael; et al. (2001). Meeting the Standards in Secondary English: A Guide to the ITT NC. Routledge. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-415-23377-4.
  • Goddard, Cliff (2002). "The search for the shared semantic core of all languages" (PDF). In Cliff Goddard and Anna Wierzbicka. Meaning and Universal Grammar: Theory and Empirical Findings. Volume I. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. pp. 5–40. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-01-07. Retrieved 2010-01-07.
  • Katamba, Francis (2005). English Words: Structure, History, Usage. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-29893-3.
  • Plag, Ingo (2003). Word-formation in English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-52563-3.
  • Simpson, J.A. and E.S.C. Weiner, ed. (1989). Oxford English Dictionary (2 ed.). Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-861186-2.
  • Wierzbicka, Anna (1996). Semantics: Primes and Universals. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-870002-9.
Acronym

An acronym is a word or name formed as an abbreviation from the initial components of a phrase or a word, usually individual letters (as in "NATO" or "laser") and sometimes syllables (as in "Benelux").

There are no universal standards for the multiple names for such abbreviations or for their orthographic styling. In English and most other languages, such abbreviations historically had limited use, but they became much more common in the 20th century. Acronyms are a type of word formation process, and they are viewed as a subtype of blending.

Allah

Allah (; Arabic: الله‎, translit. Allāh, IPA: [ɑɫˈɫɑː(h)] (listen)) is the Arabic word for God in Abrahamic religions. In the English language, the word generally refers to God in Islam. The word is thought to be derived by contraction from al-ilāh, which means "the god", and is related to El and Elah, the Hebrew and Aramaic words for God.The word Allah has been used by Arabic people of different religions since pre-Islamic times. More specifically, it has been used as a term for God by Muslims (both Arab and non-Arab) and Arab Christians. It is also often, albeit not exclusively, used in this way by Bábists, Bahá'ís, Mandaeans, Indonesian and Maltese Christians, and Mizrahi Jews. Similar usage by Christians and Sikhs in West Malaysia has recently led to political and legal controversies.

Cunt

Cunt is a vulgar word for the vulva or vagina and is also used as a term of disparagement. Reflecting different national usages, cunt is described as "an unpleasant or stupid person" in the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, whereas Merriam-Webster states that it is a "usually disparaging and obscene" term for a woman or an "offensive way to refer to a woman" in the United States. The Macquarie Dictionary of Australian English gives "a contemptible person". In Britain, New Zealand, and Australia, it can also be used as a neutral or, when used with a positive qualifier (e.g., good, funny, clever), a positive way of referring to a person.

The earliest known use of the word, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, was as part of a placename of a London street, Gropecunt Lane, c. 1230. Use of the word as a term of abuse is relatively recent, dating from the late nineteenth century. The word appears not to have been taboo in the Middle Ages, but became taboo towards the end of the eighteenth century, and was then not generally admissible in print until the latter part of the twentieth century. The term has various derivative senses, including adjective and verb uses. Feminist writer and English professor Germaine Greer argues that cunt "is one of the few remaining words in the English language with a genuine power to shock".

Dharma

Dharma (; Sanskrit: धर्म, translit. dharma, pronounced [dʱɐɽmɐ] (listen); Pali: धम्म, translit. dhamma, translit. dhamma) is a key concept with multiple meanings in Indian religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and others. There is no single-word translation for dharma in Western languages.In Hinduism, dharma signifies behaviours that are considered to be in accord with Ṛta, the order that makes life and universe possible, and includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and "right way of living". In Buddhism, dharma means "cosmic law and order", and is also applied to the teachings of the Buddha. In Buddhist philosophy, dhamma/dharma is also the term for "phenomena". Dharma in Jainism refers to the teachings of tirthankara (Jina) and the body of doctrine pertaining to the purification and moral transformation of human beings. For Sikhs, the word dharm means the path of righteousness and proper religious practice.The word dharma was already in use in the historical Vedic religion, and its meaning and conceptual scope has evolved over several millennia. The antonym of dharma is adharma.

English language

English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and eventually became a global lingua franca. It is named after the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes that migrated to the area of Great Britain that later took their name, as England. Both names derive from Anglia, a peninsula in the Baltic Sea. The language is closely related to Frisian and Low Saxon, and its vocabulary has been significantly influenced by other Germanic languages, particularly Norse (a North Germanic language), and to a greater extent by Latin and French.English has developed over the course of more than 1,400 years. The earliest forms of English, a group of West Germanic (Ingvaeonic) dialects brought to Great Britain by Anglo-Saxon settlers in the 5th century, are collectively called Old English. Middle English began in the late 11th century with the Norman conquest of England; this was a period in which the language was influenced by French. Early Modern English began in the late 15th century with the introduction of the printing press to London, the printing of the King James Bible and the start of the Great Vowel Shift.Through the worldwide influence of the British Empire, and later the United States, Modern English has been spreading around the world since the 17th century. Through all types of printed and electronic media, and spurred by the emergence of the United States as a global superpower, English has become the leading language of international discourse and the lingua franca in many regions and professional contexts such as science, navigation and law.English is the third most-spoken native language in the world, after Standard Chinese and Spanish. It is the most widely learned second language and is either the official language or one of the official languages in almost 60 sovereign states. There are more people who have learned it as a second language than there are native speakers. English is the most commonly spoken language in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, and it is widely spoken in some areas of the Caribbean, Africa and South Asia. It is a co-official language of the United Nations, the European Union and many other world and regional international organisations. It is the most widely spoken Germanic language, accounting for at least 70% of speakers of this Indo-European branch. English has a vast vocabulary, though counting how many words any language has is impossible. English speakers are called "Anglophones".

Modern English grammar is the result of a gradual change from a typical Indo-European dependent marking pattern with a rich inflectional morphology and relatively free word order to a mostly analytic pattern with little inflection, a fairly fixed SVO word order and a complex syntax. Modern English relies more on auxiliary verbs and word order for the expression of complex tenses, aspect and mood, as well as passive constructions, interrogatives and some negation. Despite noticeable variation among the accents and dialects of English used in different countries and regions—in terms of phonetics and phonology, and sometimes also vocabulary, grammar and spelling—English-speakers from around the world are able to communicate with one another with relative ease.

Etymology

Etymology () is the study of the history of words. By extension, the term "the etymology (of a word)" means the origin of the particular word and for place names, there is a specific term, toponymy.

For Greek—with a long written history—etymologists make use of texts, and texts about the language, to gather knowledge about how words were used during earlier periods and when they entered the language. Etymologists also apply the methods of comparative linguistics to reconstruct information about languages that are too old for any direct information to be available.

By analyzing related languages with a technique known as the comparative method, linguists can make inferences about their shared parent language and its vocabulary. In this way, word roots have been found that can be traced all the way back to the origin of, for instance, the Indo-European language family.

Even though etymological research originally grew from the philological tradition, much current etymological research is done on language families where little or no early documentation is available, such as Uralic and Austronesian.

The word etymology derives from the Greek word ἐτυμολογία (etumología), itself from ἔτυμον (étumon), meaning "true sense", and the suffix -logia, denoting "the study of".In linguistics, the term etymon refers to a word or morpheme (e.g., stem or root) from which a later word derives. For example, the Latin word candidus, which means "white", is the etymon of English candid.

French language

French (le français [lə fʁɑ̃sɛ] (listen) or la langue française [la lɑ̃ɡ fʁɑ̃sɛːz]) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

French is an official language in 29 countries across multiple different continents, most of which are members of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), the community of 84 countries which share the official use or teaching of French. It is spoken as a first language (in descending order of the number of speakers) in France, Canadian provinces of Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick as well as other Francophone regions, Belgium (Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital Region), western Switzerland (cantons of Bern, Fribourg, Geneva, Jura, Neuchâtel, Vaud, Valais), Monaco, parts of the United States (Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont), partly in Luxembourg and in northern Italy (region of Aosta Valley), and by various communities elsewhere. In 2015, approximately 40% of the francophone population (including L2 and partial speakers) lived in Europe, 35% in sub-Saharan Africa, 15% in North Africa and the Middle East, 8% in the Americas, and 1% in Asia and Oceania. French is the fourth most widely spoken mother tongue in the European Union, Of Europeans who speak other languages natively, approximately one-fifth are able to speak French as a second language. French is the second most taught foreign language in the EU. French is also the 18th most natively spoken language in the world, 6th most spoken language by total number of speakers and the second most studied language worldwide (with about 120 million current learners).As a result of French and Belgian colonialism from the 16th century onward, French was introduced to new territories in the Americas, Africa and Asia. Most second-language speakers reside in Francophone Africa, in particular Gabon, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritius, Senegal and Ivory Coast.French is estimated to have about 76 million native speakers and about 235 million daily, fluent speakers and another 77 to 110 million secondary speakers who speak it as a second language to varying degrees of proficiency, mainly in Africa. According to the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), approximately 300 million people worldwide are "able to speak the language", without specifying the criteria for this estimation or whom it encompasses. According to a demographic projection led by the Université Laval and the Réseau Démographie de l'Agence universitaire de la francophonie, the total number of French speakers will reach approximately 500 million in 2025 and 650 million by 2050. OIF estimates 700 million by 2050, 80% of whom will be in Africa.French has a long history as an international language of literature and scientific standards and is a primary or second language of many international organisations including the United Nations, the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the World Trade Organization, the International Olympic Committee, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. In 2011, Bloomberg Businessweek ranked French the third most useful language for business, after English and Standard Mandarin Chinese.

Fuck

Fuck is an obscene English-language word which often refers to the act of sexual intercourse but is also commonly used as an intensifier or to denote disdain. While its origin is obscure, it is usually considered to be first attested to around 1475. In modern usage, the term "fuck" and its derivatives (such as "fucker" and "fucking") can be used as a noun, a verb, an adjective, an interjection or an adverb. There are many common phrases that employ the word as well as compounds that incorporate it, such as "motherfucker," "fuckwit" and "fucknut".

Gay

Gay is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual. The term was originally used to mean "carefree", "cheerful", or "bright and showy".The term's use as a reference to homosexuality may date as early as the late 19th century, but its use gradually increased in the mid-20th century. In modern English, gay has come to be used as an adjective, and as a noun, referring to the community, practices and cultures associated with homosexuality. In the 1960s, gay became the word favored by homosexual men to describe their sexual orientation. By the end of the 20th century, the word gay was recommended by major LGBT groups and style guides to describe people attracted to members of the same sex.At about the same time, a new, pejorative use became prevalent in some parts of the world. Among younger speakers, the word has a meaning ranging from derision (e.g., equivalent to rubbish or stupid) to a light-hearted mockery or ridicule (e.g., equivalent to weak, unmanly, or lame). In this use, the word rarely means "homosexual", as it is often used, for example, to refer to an inanimate object or abstract concept of which one disapproves. The extent to which these usages still retain connotations of homosexuality has been debated and harshly criticized.

Longest word in English

The identity of the longest word in English depends upon the definition of what constitutes a word in the English language, as well as how length should be compared. In addition to words derived naturally from the language's roots (without any known intentional invention), English allows new words to be formed by coinage and construction; place names may be considered words; technical terms may be arbitrarily long. Length may be understood in terms of orthography and number of written letters, or (less commonly) phonology and the number of phonemes.

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office (or simply Office) is a family of client software, server software, and services developed by Microsoft. It was first announced by Bill Gates on August 1, 1988, at COMDEX in Las Vegas. Initially a marketing term for an office suite (bundled set of productivity applications), the first version of Office contained Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint. Over the years, Office applications have grown substantially closer with shared features such as a common spell checker, OLE data integration and Visual Basic for Applications scripting language. Microsoft also positions Office as a development platform for line-of-business software under the Office Business Applications brand. On July 10, 2012, Softpedia reported that Office is used by over a billion people worldwide.Office is produced in several versions targeted towards different end-users and computing environments. The original, and most widely used version, is the desktop version, available for PCs running the Windows and macOS operating systems. Office Online is a version of the software that runs within a web browser, while Microsoft also maintains Office apps for Android and iOS.

Since Office 2013, Microsoft has promoted Office 365 as the primary means of obtaining Microsoft Office: it allows use of the software and other services on a subscription business model, and users receive free feature updates to the software for the lifetime of the subscription, including new features and cloud computing integration that are not necessarily included in the "on-premises" releases of Office sold under conventional license terms. In 2017, revenue from Office 365 overtook conventional license sales.

The current on-premises, desktop version of Office is Office 2019, released on September 24, 2018.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word (or simply Word) is a word processor developed by Microsoft. It was first released on October 25, 1983 under the name Multi-Tool Word for Xenix systems. Subsequent versions were later written for several other platforms including IBM PCs running DOS (1983), Apple Macintosh running the Classic Mac OS (1985), AT&T Unix PC (1985), Atari ST (1988), OS/2 (1989), Microsoft Windows (1989), SCO Unix (1994), and macOS (formerly OS X; 2001).

Commercial versions of Word are licensed as a standalone product or as a component of Microsoft Office, Windows RT or the discontinued Microsoft Works suite. Microsoft Word Viewer and Office Online are freeware editions of Word with limited features.

Morphology (linguistics)

In linguistics, morphology () is the study of words, how they are formed, and their relationship to other words in the same language. It analyzes the structure of words and parts of words, such as stems, root words, prefixes, and suffixes. Morphology also looks at parts of speech, intonation and stress, and the ways context can change a word's pronunciation and meaning. Morphology differs from morphological typology, which is the classification of languages based on their use of words, and lexicology, which is the study of words and how they make up a language's vocabulary.While words, along with clitics, are generally accepted as being the smallest units of syntax, in most languages, if not all, many words can be related to other words by rules that collectively describe the grammar for that language. For example, English speakers recognize that the words dog and dogs are closely related, differentiated only by the plurality morpheme "-s", only found bound to noun phrases. Speakers of English, a fusional language, recognize these relations from their innate knowledge of English's rules of word formation. They infer intuitively that dog is to dogs as cat is to cats; and, in similar fashion, dog is to dog catcher as dish is to dishwasher. By contrast, Classical Chinese has very little morphology, using almost exclusively unbound morphemes ("free" morphemes) and depending on word order to convey meaning. (Most words in modern Standard Chinese ["Mandarin"], however, are compounds and most roots are bound.) These are understood as grammars that represent the morphology of the language. The rules understood by a speaker reflect specific patterns or regularities in the way words are formed from smaller units in the language they are using, and how those smaller units interact in speech. In this way, morphology is the branch of linguistics that studies patterns of word formation within and across languages and attempts to formulate rules that model the knowledge of the speakers of those languages.

Phonological and orthographic modifications between a base word and its origin may be partial to literacy skills. Studies have indicated that the presence of modification in phonology and orthography makes morphologically complex words harder to understand and that the absence of modification between a base word and its origin makes morphologically complex words easier to understand. Morphologically complex words are easier to comprehend when they include a base word.Polysynthetic languages, such as Chukchi, have words composed of many morphemes. The Chukchi word "təmeyŋəlevtpəγtərkən", for example, meaning "I have a fierce headache", is composed of eight morphemes t-ə-meyŋ-ə-levt-pəγt-ə-rkən that may be glossed. The morphology of such languages allows for each consonant and vowel to be understood as morphemes, while the grammar of the language indicates the usage and understanding of each morpheme.

The discipline that deals specifically with the sound changes occurring within morphemes is morphophonology.

Neologism

A neologism (; from Greek νέο- néo-, "new" and λόγος lógos, "speech, utterance") describes a relatively recent or isolated term, word, or phrase that may be in the process of entering common use, but that has not yet been fully accepted into mainstream language. Neologisms are often driven by changes in culture and technology, and may be directly attributable to a specific person, publication, period, or event. In the process of language formation, neologisms are more mature than protologisms.

Nigger

In the English language, the word nigger is an ethnic slur typically directed at black people. The word originated in the 18th century as an adaptation of the Spanish negro, a descendant of the Latin adjective niger, which means black. It was used derogatorily, and by the mid-20th century, particularly in the United States, its usage became unambiguously pejorative, a racist insult. Accordingly, it began to disappear from popular culture, and its continued inclusion in classic works of literature has sparked controversy. Because the term is considered extremely offensive, it is often referred to by the euphemism "the N-word".

Part of speech

In traditional grammar, a part of speech (abbreviated form: PoS or POS) is a category of words (or, more generally, of lexical items) which have similar grammatical properties. Words that are assigned to the same part of speech generally display similar behavior in terms of syntax—they play similar roles within the grammatical structure of sentences—and sometimes in terms of morphology, in that they undergo inflection for similar properties.

Commonly listed English parts of speech are noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, preposition, conjunction, interjection, and sometimes numeral, article, or determiner. Other Indo-European languages also have essentially all these word classes; one exception to this generalization is that the Slavic languages as well as Latin and Sanskrit do not have articles. Beyond the Indo-European family, such other European languages as Hungarian and Finnish, both of which belong to the Uralic family, completely lack prepositions or have only very few of them; rather, they have postpositions.

Other terms than part of speech—particularly in modern linguistic classifications, which often make more precise distinctions than the traditional scheme does—include word class, lexical class, and lexical category. Some authors restrict the term lexical category to refer only to a particular type of syntactic category; for them the term excludes those parts of speech that are considered to be functional, such as pronouns. The term form class is also used, although this has various conflicting definitions. Word classes may be classified as open or closed: open classes (like nouns, verbs and adjectives) acquire new members constantly, while closed classes (such as pronouns and conjunctions) acquire new members infrequently, if at all.

Almost all languages have the word classes noun and verb, but beyond these two there are significant variations among different languages. For example,

Japanese has as many as three classes of adjectives, where English has one (not to be confused with the seven types of English adjectives, or the fact that English adjectives can modify both nouns and pronouns);Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese have a class of nominal classifiers; andMany languages do not distinguish between adjectives and adverbs, or between adjectives and verbs (see stative verb).Because of such variation in the number of categories and their identifying properties, analysis of parts of speech must be done for each individual language. Nevertheless, the labels for each category are assigned on the basis of universal criteria.

Portmanteau

A portmanteau ( (listen), ) or portmanteau word is a linguistic blend of words, in which parts of multiple words or their phones (sounds) are combined into a new word,

as in smog, coined by blending smoke and fog, or motel, from motor and hotel. In linguistics, a portmanteau is defined as a single morph that represents two or more morphemes.The definition overlaps with the grammatical term contraction, but contractions are formed from words that would otherwise appear together in sequence, such as do and not to make don't, whereas a portmanteau word is formed by combining two or more existing words that all relate to a singular concept. A portmanteau also differs from a compound, which does not involve the truncation of parts of the stems of the blended words. For instance, starfish is a compound, not a portmanteau, of star and fish; whereas a hypothetical portmanteau of star and fish might be stish.

Profanity

Profanity is socially offensive language, which may also be called curse words, cuss words, swear words, crude language, coarse language, oaths, blasphemous language, vulgar language, lewd language, choice words, or expletives.

Used in this sense, profanity is language that is generally considered by a culture to be strongly impolite, rude or offensive. It can show a debasement of someone or something, or show intense emotion.

In its older, more literal sense, "profanity" refers to a lack of respect for things that are held to be sacred, which implies anything inspiring deserving of reverence, as well as behaviour showing similar disrespect or causing religious offense.

Synonym

A synonym is a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another lexeme (word or phrase) in the same language. Words that are synonyms are said to be synonymous, and the state of being a synonym is called synonymy. For example, the words begin, start, commence, and initiate are all synonyms of one another. Words are typically synonymous in one particular sense: for example, long and extended in the context long time or extended time are synonymous, but long cannot be used in the phrase extended family. Synonyms with the exact same meaning share a seme or denotational sememe, whereas those with inexactly similar meanings share a broader denotational or connotational sememe and thus overlap within a semantic field. The former are sometimes called cognitive synonyms and the latter, near-synonyms, plesionyms or poecilonyms.

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