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?
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Andrew Stanton: The Clues to a Great Story
Amy Tan: Where does Creativity Hide?
John Koenig: Beautiful New Words to Describe Obscure Emotions
Tracy Chevalier: Finding the Story Inside the Painting
Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius
Pico Iyer: Where is Home?
Isabel Allende: Tales of Passion
Elif Shafak: The Politics of Fiction
Joshua Prager: Wisdom from Great Writers on Every Year of Life
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Guinness World Records Words
Note From the Editor’s Desk:
I enjoyed researching this so much that I decided to give you, the readers, a Word Wednesday Lagniappe.
Longest English word consisting of only vowels
Euouae — Medieval musical term which indicates the vowels of the syllables of “seculorum Amen,” which ends the “Gloria Patri.”
Longest English word with letters arranged in alphabetical order
Aegilops — 1) A genus of goatgrass; 2) Stye in inner corner of eye
Shortest word in the English language that contains all five vowels
Eunoia — “beautiful thinking” or denotes a normal mental state.
Longest English word consisting strictly of alternating consonants and vowels
Honorificabilitudinitatibus —“With honorableness” (a nonsense word from medieval literature).
Longest English word in which each letter occurs at least twice
Unprosperousness — The state or condition of being unprosperous.
Longest English word with only one vowel
Strengths — The quality or state of being strong, in particular.
Longest English word with letters arranged in reverse alphabetical order
Spoonfeed — Feed (someone) by using a spoon, or provide (someone) with so much help or information that they do not need to think for themselves.