Questions tagged [words]

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

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14 votes
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How to distinguish a polysynthetic language from other languages? When is something a word?

For example, the probably most quoted sentence in a polysynthetic langauge (from Yupik): tuntussuqatarniksaitengqiggtuq: tuntu- ssur- qatar- ni- ksaite- ngqiggte- uq reindeer- hunt- FUT- ...
Silvus's user avatar
  • 143
9 votes
2 answers

How many words can be considered "core words"?

First of all I apologize but my English skills are by far below the complexity of the question I need to ask. I am not a specialist and my question is not related to a single language. I would like to ...
Lorenzo's user avatar
  • 91
3 votes
2 answers

Are different inflectional forms of a word different words or the same word?

At some point, I gained the notion that inflections of a word didn't constitute different words, but rather different forms of the same word. This Wikipedia article however, says the process of ...
A. Kvåle's user avatar
  • 215
4 votes
4 answers

word2vec: Why does the famous equation |king⟩+|woman⟩-|man⟩≃|queen⟩ hold?

I am looking for a human understandable explanation of a famous feature of word vectors, namely the equation |king⟩+|woman⟩-|man⟩≃|queen⟩ How does it come that this equation holds? This question ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers

Is music a language?

I am a musician. I read an article in the NY Times that suggested both words and musical melodies follow Zipf's Law. I had never really thought about it before, but I started wondering do linguists ...
Stan Shunpike's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers

Verb pairs similar to "buy" and "sell"?

"buy" and "sell" that are basically the same action/event, but reverse arguments (subject of one, the object of the other): X sold his car to Y. Y bought a car from X. Is there a any special name ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 141
6 votes
3 answers

A distance on words

I am not an expert in linguistics at all; more of a physicist instead. So I don't know if there are any defined distances on words D(W1, W2) that really represents how the human memory works; for ...
K. Sadri's user avatar
  • 161
0 votes
1 answer

In languages with "small words", how do they conceptualize of these units?

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. ...
Lance's user avatar
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0 votes
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Is a word form defined solely by its grapheme sequence? Can two lexemes have a shared word form?

If one lexeme has a word form "goes", and another lexeme has a word form "goes", are those two word forms considered by linguists to be the same? In other words, is a word form defined solely by its ...
Nathan Wailes's user avatar