From what I understand the lexeme or lemma of a word carries the sense information of the word, and hence for an inflected form like tablets, it can have a different lemma, each one for each sense of the word.

But does the inflected form "tablets" have multiple stems ("tablet" and "tablets"), or is it just the stem "tablet". i.e. does it only have 1 stem irrespective of the number of senses the inflected form carries?

  • 2
    This is a good question, but it is not really related to inflected forms per se, is it? Apart from inflected forms you can wonder whether the senses "pill", "electronic device", "writing material", etc., should be subsumed under one or more lemmata.
    – Keelan
    Aug 20, 2020 at 10:07
  • @Keelan I guess it matters in cases like "hang", the preterite of which may be "hung" or "hanged". Aug 20, 2020 at 14:59
  • 1
    In those cases it's clear. In the case of regular nouns or verbs, though, it may simply not be clear. The question then has the same solution as Schrödinger's cat. You can have it either way you like in the analysis, until real data makes the decision for you, and the state tensor collapses.
    – jlawler
    Aug 20, 2020 at 17:44
  • The canonical example for SC. is the slit experiment. If there's one slit for light to pass, the shadow will look linear (single morpheme, single meaning), but if there's two openings for one source to illuminate (single morpheme, many possible interpretations): holy cow what's going on? We don't know which way it will go! Of course, if the source is highly diffuse, all ways will be goed, interference is extinguished and begins to look regular (many different morphemes, many meanings, pidgeon hole principle), unless the source is finely tuned (many morphemes, single meaning) we see paterns.
    – vectory
    Sep 6, 2020 at 0:30


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.