The languages I am thinking of are Vietnamese and Tibetan, but perhaps there are others. And I know that technically these two are classified on the opposite of the spectrum (analytic vs. agglutinative), but at least the romanization of both creates very small words of basically 1 syllable each. Chinese may be like this too.
In that sense, how do native speakers conceptualize of these "units"? Are they just syllables, just words, just morphemes, just something else? Do they all have "meaning" by themselves, or only meaning when combined? Do they think of them as "separated" or as part of a longer "concept"? I'm not talking how a linguist would think of them, but how does a native speaker think of them?
I am wondering because I know the definition of "word" is vague and almost impossible to define, yet is familiar in English (and the more and more I think of it, maybe word only is definable in English). So I am wondering what these languages with such short/primitive units think about when conceptualizing them. Are they thinking of words, or something else?
I have the same question for agglutinative languages with extremely long sentence-words, but I will separate that into a separate question so not too many questions in a single question.