In morphology and lexicography, a lemma (plural lemmas or lemmata) is the canonical form, dictionary form, or citation form of a set of words (headword). In English, for example, run, runs, ran and running are forms of the same lexeme, with run as the lemma. Lexeme, in this context, refers to the set of all the forms that have the same meaning, and lemma refers to the particular form that is chosen by convention to represent the lexeme.
In lexicography, this unit is usually also the citation form or headword by which it is indexed. Lemmas have special significance in highly inflected languages such as Arabic, Turkish and Russian.
The process of determining the lemma for a given word is called lemmatisation.
The lemma can be viewed as the chief of the principal parts, although lemmatisation is at least partly arbitrary.
So, in short … A lemma is the dictionary term for the word you’re looking up. If you were to look up the word “jumping” in an English dictionary, you wouldn’t find it as a headword. What you would find is “jump,” the word that represents “jump,” “jumping,” “jumped,” and “jumps.” In this case “jump” is the lemma.
Editor Note: “The More You Know…” >> Took a linguistics class in college, and decided to share the craziness running around my head tonight. Enjoy! PS: Sorry this isn’t Word Wednesday… SURPRISE.. it’s WORD THURSDAY?
Have you ever been stuck for a word? The meaning is clear in your head, but you can’t grasp the word you want? I am sure you have said, it’s on the tip of my tongue. This happens to everyone at some point. As a writer, an editor, a student, or just in everyday writing — you get frustrated and start pulling out your hair. This is where OneLook Reverse Dictionary can help you (and me, when I edit!)
How does it work?
OneLook explains it best, so I took this screenshot for you.
Keep your search short to get the best results. OneLook indexes online dictionaries, thesauruses, encyclopedias, and other reference sites for your search term returning conceptually similar words. They suggest utilizing only the first few terms, since it comes back with hundreds sometimes, as seen in the screenshot below where I searched for urge to travel.
The list you get back is broken up into Categories: General, Art, Business, Computing, Medicine, Miscellaneous, Religion, Science, Slang, Sports, Tech, and Phrases. I really like the Phrases category.
Doing this search, I learned a phrase that includes wanderlust is Broburn Wanderlust—which was a small, wooden, single-seat glider designed in the United Kingdom just after World War II. Only one was built in 1946, and it flew in 1947.
The Wanderlust is a single seat sailplane of wooden construction, with a cantilever shoulder-wing. The wing is covered with ply from the leading edge as far as the spar, aft of which it is fabric covered. Fitted along the whole span are aerofoil section flaps, which are split at about half span so that the outer section scan act as flaps or drooping ailerons. Accommodation in the cockpit is roomy and the pilot’s head is raised well above the wings and fuselage under a Perspex hood. A seat type parachute is provided, with a radio as possible additional equipment. Novel use has been made out of a cut motorcycle inner tube encased in canvas to provide an inflatable shock absorber.
– The Museum of Berkshire Aviation
Be sure to check out the other Editor’s Toolkit posts including The Punctuation Guide, and the Hemingway App. Hope you will come back for what’s upcoming the rest of the week, as I highlight what else is in my Editor’s Toolkit.
Know of other useful writing apps that aren’t included here? Let me know about them on Twitter!