Term: Word

Definition:

A word is the smallest unit of a language that can exist on its own in either written or spoken language. A morpheme such as -ly, used to create an adverb cannot exist without the adjective it modifies; it is not a word, although the adjective it modifies can exist alone and, therefore, is a word:

The woman was robbed. (4 words- an article a noun an auxiliary verb and a past participle. 'Robbed' consists of the verb 'rob' and the -ed morpheme to show that it is a past participle so the sentence has 5 morphemes.)


 

See Also: Phoneme; Syllable; Sentence; Letter; Utterance

Category: Functions & Text