Word: Wikis

  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A word is the smallest free form (an item that may be uttered in isolation with semantic or pragmatic content) in a language, in contrast to a morpheme, which is the smallest unit of meaning. A word may consist of only one morpheme (e.g. wolf), but a single morpheme may not be able to exist as a free form (e.g. the English plural morpheme -s).

Typically, a word will consist of a root or stem, and zero or more affixes. Words can be combined to create other units of language, such as phrases, clauses, and/or sentences. A word consisting of two or more stems joined together form a compound. A word combined with an already existing word or part of a word form a portmanteau.

Word may refer to a spoken word or a written word, or sometimes, the abstract concept behind either. Spoken words are made up of phonemes, and written words of graphemes.

Contents

Definitions

Depending upon language in question, it can be either easy or difficult to identify or decipher a word. Dictionaries take upon themselves the task of categorizing 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.

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.[1] 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).[2]

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.[3] For example, the word "bears" has semantic features (it denotes real-world objects, bears), 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.
  • 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):[4] 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.

In practice, linguists apply a mixture of all these methods to determine the word boundaries of any given sentence. Even with the careful application of these methods, the exact definition of a word is often still very elusive.

  • 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 modern development (see also history of writing).

In English orthography, words may contain spaces if they are compounds or proper nouns such as ice cream or air raid shelter.

Vietnamese orthography, although using the Latin alphabet, delimits monosyllabic morphemes, not words. East Asian orthography (languages using CJK characters) also tend to delimit syllables rather than full words. Conversely, synthetic languages often combine many lexical morphemes into single words, making it difficult to boil them down to the traditional sense of words found more easily in analytic languages; this is especially difficult for polysynthetic languages, such as Inuktitut and Ubykh, where entire sentences may consist of a single word.

Morphology

In synthetic languages, a single word stem (for example, love) may have a number of different forms (for example, loves, loving, and loved). However, these are not usually considered to be different words, but 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 desinence *-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".[5] Wittgenstein's thought transitioned from a word as representation of meaning to "the meaning of a word is its use in the language."[6]

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 desinences taken by the word.

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Katamba 11
  2. ^ Fleming 77
  3. ^ Adger (2003), pp. 36–7.
  4. ^ Bauer 9
  5. ^ www.rbjones.com/rbjpub/philos/classics/locke/ctb3c02.htm
  6. ^ plato.stanford.edu/entries/wittgenstein

References

  • Adger, David (2003). Core Syntax: A Minimalist Approach. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 
  • 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 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 0-521-40179-8. 
  • Fleming, Michael et al. (2001). Meeting the Standards in Secondary English: A Guide to the ITT NC. Routledge. p. 77. 
  • Katamba, Francis (2005). English Words: Structure, History, Usage. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-29892-X. 
  • Plag, Ingo (2003). Word-formation in English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-52563-2. 
  • Simpson, J.A. and E.S.C. Weiner, ed (1989). Oxford English Dictionary (2 ed.). Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-198-61186-2. 

External links


Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
(Redirected to A Word article)

From Wikisource

A Word
by Gilbert Keith Chesterton

A word came forth in Galilee, a word like to a star;
It climbed and rang and blessed and burnt wherever brave hearts are;
A word of sudden secret hope, of trial and increase
Of wrath and pity fused in fire, and passion kissing peace.
A star that o'er the citied world beckoned, a sword of flame;
A star with myriad thunders tongued: a mighty word there came.

The wedge's dart passed into it, the groan of timber wains,
The ringing of the river nails, the shrieking of the planes;
The hammering on the roofs at morn, the busy workshop roar;
The hiss of shavings drifted deep along the windy floor;
The heat browned toiler's crooning song, the hum of human worth
Mingled of all the noise of crafts, the ringing word went forth.

The splash of nets passed into it, the grind of sand and shell,
The boat-hook's clash, the boas-oars' jar, the cries to buy and sell,
The flapping of the landed shoals, the canvas crackling free,
And through all varied notes and cries, the roaring of the sea,
The noise of little lives and brave, of needy lives and high;
In gathering all the throes of earth, the living word went by.

Earth's giants bowed down to it, in Empire's huge eclipse,
When darkness sat above the thrones, seven thunders on her lips,
The woes of cities entered it, the clang of idols' falls,
The scream of filthy Caesars stabbed high in their brazen halls,
The dim hoarse floods of naked men, the world-realms' snapping girth,
The trumpets of Apocalypse, the darkness of the earth:
The wrath that brake the eternal lamp and hid the eternal hill,

A world's destruction loading, the word went onward still--
The blaze of creeds passed into it, the hiss of horrid fires,
The headlong spear, the scarlet cross, the hair-shirt and the briars,
The cloistered brethren's thunderous chaunt, the errant champion's song,
The shifting of the crowns and thrones, the tangle of the strong.

The shattering fall of crest and crown and shield and cross and cope,
The tearing of the gauds of time, the blight of prince and pope,
The reign of ragged millions leagued to wrench a loaded debt,
Loud with the many-throated roar, the word went forward yet.
The song of wheels passed into it, the roaring and the smoke,
The riddle of the want and wage, the fogs that burn and choke.

The breaking of the girths of gold, the needs that creep and swell,
The strengthening hope, the dazing light, the deafening evangel,
Through kingdoms dead and empires damned, through changes without cease,
With earthquake, chaos, born and fed, rose,--and the word was "Peace."


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also word, and -word

English

Noun

Singular
Word

Plural
uncountable

Word (uncountable)

  1. Scripture; The Bible
  2. The creative word of God; logos

Anagrams

  • Anagrams of dorw
  • drow

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010
(Redirected to The Word article)

From BibleWiki


(Gr. Logos), one of the titles of our Lord, found only in the writings of John (John 1:1-14; 1 John 1:1; Rev. 19:13). As such, Christ is the revealer of God. His office is to make God known. "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him" (John 1:18). This title designates the divine nature of Christ. As the Word, he "was in the beginning" and "became flesh." "The Word was with God " and "was God," and was the Creator of all things (comp. Ps.33: 6; 107:20; 119:89; 147:18; Isa. 40:8).

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

what mentions this? (please help by turning references to this page into wiki links)

Facts about The WordRDF feed

Simple English

A word is something spoken by the mouth, that can be pronounced. It is also a collection of letters used together to try to communicate a meaning, and these can also usually be pronounced. Some words have more than one meaning, for example 'spring' can refer to the season, or the object. Some words have different pronounciations, for example, 'wind' (the noun) and 'wind' (the verb) are pronounced differently. Some words have different spellings for example 'color' and 'colour', which are both correct. Some words can be only one letter, for example "a" and "I" in English. Besides English, every other language also has its own words.

For example, hello is a word.

Microsoft Word is a program by that is used for word processing.

krc:Сёз









Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message