Wordforms are the inflicted forms of lemmas, which are of infinitive in nature.

Is the above definition true?

1 Answer 1


No, it is not correct that way.

First of all, a lemma form is not necessarily infinitive: For Latin verbs, the 1st person singular present tense is chosen by convention as the lemma form, for nouns it is usually the nominative singular.

Second, there are a lot of words that don't inflect at all, think of prepositions (or postpositions), conjunctions, or adverbs. In their case, there is only one possible word form for a lemma.

A word form is any form of a word we see in an utterance, inflected or infinitive, identical to the lemma form or not. There are some fused word forms (e.g., German am = an + dem, Italian nella = in + la) made from two or even more lemmas. An we can have the opposite case: One lemma split into two words, as in the infamous German splitable verbs, e.g. ansehen ("to look at", lemma) sie sieht mich an "she looks at me" where sieht and an are the two parts of ansehen in this sample sentence.

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