Posted in Editor Notes, Language, Word Wednesday, Words

Thursday Word of the Day: Lemma

lemma
[lem-uh]

noun

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.

lemma

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.

dictionaryguideword

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?

 

Posted in Grammar, Language

A Murder of Crows, and other collective nouns for animal groups

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Collective nouns are names used to represent a group of  people, animals, or things.

All animals collect into groups at some point in their lives. Be it for the social interaction, mating season, or herd immunity (groups of animals are harder to attack than solitary ones wandering by themselves).

These names reflect our love of linguistics, and can be traced back to the fifteenth century when they were first published in The Book of St. Albans (1486), in three parts on hawking, hunting, and heraldry.

  • A murder of crows
  • A congress of baboons
  • A tower of giraffes
  • A parliament of owls
  • A rafter of turkeys
  • A shrewdness of apes
  • A zeal of zebras
  • A crash of hippopotami
  • A congregation of alligators
  • A pride of lions
  • An unkindness of ravens
  • A blessing of unicorns
  • A clowder of cats
  • A flamboyance of flamingoes
  • A conspiracy of lemurs
  • A volt of vultures
  • An implausibility of gnus
  • A celebration of polar bears
  • A mob of meerkats
  • A kaleidoscope of butterflies
  • A knot of frogs
  • A prickle of porcupines
  • A smack of jellyfish
  • A romp of otters
  • A sleuth of bears
  • An ostentation of peacocks (Do you think this is where the word ‘ostentatious’ comes from?)
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A flamboyance of flamingoes at the China Lights in New Orleans City Park 
China Lights photo ©2016 Edward Branley www.nolahistoryguy.com 


Sources:
Crow comic courtesy of offthemark.com – ©Mark Parisi- March 29, 2016
http://www.worldwidewords.org/articles/collectives.htm
Unusual names for animal groups
Who decides on the right collective noun for something?