A word is a unit of language that carries meaning and consists of one or more morphemes which are linked more or less tightly together, and has a phonetical value. A language is a dynamic set of visual auditory or tactile Symbols of Communication and the elements used to manipulate them This article is about meaning as it is studied in the discipline of linguistics In Morpheme-based morphology, a morpheme is the smallest linguistic unit that has semantic meaning. Phonetics (from the Greek φωνή ( phonê) "sound" or "voice" is the study of the physical sounds of human speech Typically a word will consist of a root or stem and zero or more affixes. The root is the primary lexical unit of a Word, which carries the most significant aspects of semantic content and cannot be reduced into smaller constituents In Linguistics, a stem (sometimes also theme) is the part of a word that is common to all its inflected variants An affix is a Morpheme that is attached to a stem to form a word Words can be combined to create phrases, clauses, and sentences. In Grammar, a phrase is a group of Words that functions as a single unit in the Syntax of a sentence. In Grammar, a clause is a word or group of words that consists of a subject and a predicate, although in some Languages and some types of In Linguistics, a sentence is a grammatical unit of one or more words bearing minimal syntactic relation to the words that precede or follow it often preceded and followed A word consisting of two or more stems joined together form a compound. In Linguistics, a compound is a Lexeme (less precisely a Word) that consists of more than one stem. A word combined with another word or part of a word form a portmanteau.
English word is directly from Old English word, and has cognates in all branches of Germanic (Old High German wort, Old Norse orð, Gothic waurd), deriving from Proto-Germanic *wurđa, continuing a virtual PIE *wr̥dhom. The Germanic languages are a group of related languages that constitute a branch of the Indo-European (IE Language family. Old Norse is the North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age Gothic is an extinct Germanic language that was spoken by the Goths. Proto-Germanic, or Common Germanic, is the hypothetical common ancestor ( Proto-language) of all the Germanic languages such as modern English Cognates outside Germanic include Baltic (Old Prussian wīrds "word", and with different ablaut Lithuanian var̃das "name", Latvian vàrds "word, name") and Latin verbum. The Baltic languages are a group of related languages belonging to the Indo-European language family and spoken mainly in areas extending east and southeast of the Baltic Prussian is an extinct Baltic language once spoken by the inhabitants of the area that later became East Prussia (now north-eastern Poland Lithuanian ( lietuvių kalba) is the official state language of Lithuania and is recognised as one of the official languages of the European Union. Latvian language (latviešu valoda is the official state language of Latvia. The PIE stem *werdh- is also found in Greek ερθει (φθεγγεται "speaks, utters" Hes. ). Hesychius of Alexandria (῾Ησύχιος ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς a Grammarian who flourished probably in the 5th century CE compiled the richest lexicon The PIE root is *ŭer-, ŭrē- "say, speak" (also found in Greek ειρω, ρητωρ). Rhetoric has had many definitions no simple definition can do it justice 
The original meaning of word is "utterance, speech, verbal expression". An utterance is a complete unit of speech in Spoken language. Speech refers to the processes associated with the production and perception of Sounds used in Spoken language.  Until Early Modern English, it could more specifically refer to a name or title. Early Modern English is the stage of the English language used from about the end of the Middle English period (the latter half of the 15th century to 1650 
The technical meaning of "an element of speech" first arises in discussion of grammar (particularly Latin grammar), as in the prologue to Wyclif's Bible (ca. Grammar is the field of Linguistics that covers the Rules governing the use of any given natural language. John Wycliffe (ˈwɪklɪf also spelled Wyclif, Wycliff, Wiclef, Wicliffe, or Wickliffe) (mid-1320s – 31 December 1400):
Depending on the language, words can be difficult to identify or delimit. For its use in the context of Computer Science see Lexical analysis. In Linguistics a lemma (plural lemmas or lemmata) has two distinct interpretations morphology / Lexicography: the Dictionaries take upon themselves the task of categorizing a language's lexicon into lemmas. A dictionary is a book of alphabetically listed Words in a specific language with definitions etymologies pronunciations and other information or a book of alphabetically In Linguistics, the lexicon (from Greek Λεξικόν of a language is its Vocabulary, including its words and expressions In Linguistics a lemma (plural lemmas or lemmata) has two distinct interpretations morphology / Lexicography: the These can be taken as an indication of what constitutes a "word" in the opinion of the authors.
In spoken language, the distinction of individual words is usually given by rhythm or accent, but short words are often run together. A spoken language is a human Natural language in which the Words are uttered through the Mouth. See clitic for phonologically dependent words. In Linguistics, a clitic is a grammatically independent and phonologically dependent Word. Phonology ( Greek φωνή (phōnē voice sound + λόγος (lógos word speech subject of discussion is the systematic use of sound to encode meaning Spoken French has some of the features of a polysynthetic language: il y est allé ("He went there") is pronounced /i. French ( français,) is a Romance language spoken around the world by 118 million people as a native language and by about 180 to 260 million people Polysynthetic languages are highly Synthetic languages ie languages in which words are composed of many Morphemes Definition The degree of ljɛ. ta. le/. As the majority of the world's languages are not written, the scientific determination of word boundaries becomes important.
There are five ways to determine where the word boundaries of spoken language should be placed:
As Plag suggests, the idea of a lexical item being considered a word should also adjust to pragmatic criteria. The word "hello", for example, does not exist outside of the realm of greetings being difficult to assign a meaning out of it. This is a little more complex if we consider "how do you do?": is it a word, a phrase, or an idiom? 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.
There are some words that seem very general but may truly have a technical definition, such as the word "soon," usually meaning within a week.
In languages with a literary tradition, there is interrelation between orthography and the question of what is considered a single word. Latin ( lingua Latīna, laˈtiːna is an Italic language, historically spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. Codex Claromontanus symbolized by Dp or 06 (Gregory-Aland is a 6th century Manuscript, written in an Uncial hand on The orthography of a language specifies the correct way of using a specific Writing system to write the language Word separators (typically space marks) 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 Computer science, whitespace is any single character or series of characters that represents horizontal or vertical space in Typography. In writing a space () is a blank area that is devoid of content which separates words letters numbers and punctuation An alphabet is a standardized set of letters basic written symbols each of which roughly represents a Phoneme, a Spoken language, either The history of writing encompasses the various Writing systems that evolved in the Early Bronze Age (late 4th millennium BC)
In English orthography, words may contain spaces if they are compounds or proper nouns such as ice cream or air raid shelter. English orthography is the alphabetic spelling system used by the English language. In Linguistics, a compound is a Lexeme (less precisely a Word) that consists of more than one stem.
Vietnamese orthography, although using the Latin alphabet, delimits monosyllabic morphemes, not words. Vietnamese ( tiếng Việt, or less commonly Việt ngữ) formerly known under French colonization as Annamese ( see Annam) 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 single such words. A synthetic language, in Linguistic typology, is a Language with a high Morpheme -per- word ratio In morphological typology (in linguistics an isolating language (also analytic language) is any Language in which words are composed of Polysynthetic languages are highly Synthetic languages ie languages in which words are composed of many Morphemes Definition The degree of Inuktitut ( Inuktitut syllabics: iu-Cans ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ ( fonts required literally "like the Inuit") is the name of the varieties of Ubykh or Ubyx is a Language of the Northwestern Caucasian group, spoken by the Ubykh people up until the early 1990s
Logographic scripts use single signs (characters) to express a word. A logogram, or logograph, is a Grapheme which represents a word or a Morpheme (a meaningful unit of language A character (from the Greek grc [[wiktχαρακτήρ χαρακτήρ]] "engraved or stamped mark (on coins or seals branding mark symbol" may refer to any sign Most de facto existing scripts are however partly logographic, and combine logographic with phonetic signs. The most widespread logographic script in modern use is the Chinese script. A Chinese character, also known as a Han character ( is a Logogram used in writing Chinese (hanzi Japanese ( While the Chinese script has some true logographs, the largest class of characters used in modern Chinese (some 90%) are so-called pictophonetic compounds (形声字, Xíngshēngzì). Characters of this sort are composed of two parts: a pictograph, which suggests the general meaning of the character, and a phonetic part, which is derived from a character pronounced in the same way as the word the new character represents. In this sense, the character for most Chinese words consists of a determiner and a syllabogram, similar to the approach used by cuneiform script and Egyptian hieroglyphs. Egyptian hieroglyphs (ˈhaɪərəʊɡlɪf from Greek grc-Grek ἱερογλύφος " sacred carving " also hieroglyphic = grc-Grek
There is a tendency informed by orthography to identify a single Chinese character as corresponding to a single word in the Chinese language, parallel to the tendency to identify the letters between two space marks as a single word in the English language. In both cases, this leads to the identification of compound members as individual words, while e. g. in German orthography, compound members are not separated by space marks and the tendency is thus to identify the entire compound as a single word. German orthography, although largely phonemic, shows many instances of spellings that are historic or analogic to other spellings rather than phonemic Compare e. g. English capital city with German Hauptstadt and Chinese 首都 (lit. chief metropolis): all three are equivalent compounds, in the English case consisting of "two words" separated by a space mark, in the German case written as a "single word" without space mark, and in the Chinese case consisting of two logographic characters.
In synthetic languages, a single word stem (for example, love) may have a number of different forms (for example, loves, loving, and loved). Morphology is the field of Linguistics that studies the internal structure of words In Grammar, inflection or inflexion is the way language handles grammatical relations and relational categories such as tense, mood, voice A synthetic language, in Linguistic typology, is a Language with a high Morpheme -per- word ratio In Linguistics, a stem (sometimes also theme) is the part of a word that is common to all its inflected variants 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 Morpheme-based morphology, a morpheme is the smallest linguistic unit that has semantic meaning. In Indo-European languages in particular, the morphemes distinguished are
Thus, the Proto-Indo-European *wr̥dhom would be analysed as consisting of
Grammar classifies a language's lexicon into several groups of words. In Grammar, a lexical category (also word class, lexical class, or in traditional grammar part of speech) is a linguistic category of words (or Grammar is the field of Linguistics that covers the Rules governing the use of any given natural language. The basic bipartite division possible for virtually every natural language is that of nouns vs. In the Philosophy of language, a natural language (or ordinary language) is a Language that is spoken or written in phonemic-alphabetic or phonemically-related verbs. For English usage of verbs see the wiki article English verbs.
The classification into such classes is in the tradition of Dionysius Thrax, who distinguished eight categories: noun, verb, adjective, pronoun, preposition, adverb, conjunction, interjection. Dionysius Thrax ( (170 BC‑90 BC was a Hellenistic Grammarian who lived and is thought by some to have worked in Alexandria and later at Rhodes In Grammar, an adjective is a word whose main syntactic role is to modify a Noun or Pronoun, giving more information about the In Linguistics and Grammar, a pronoun is a Pro-form that substitutes for a (including a noun phrase consisting of a single Noun) with or In Grammar, a preposition is a Part of speech that introduces a prepositional phrase. An interjection is a Part of speech that usually has no connection with the rest of the sentence and simply expresses Emotion on the part of the speaker
In Indian grammatical tradition, Panini 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.