Lexeme

From Academic Kids

Definition

A lexeme is a unit of linguistic analysis. It belongs to a particular syntactic category and has a particular meaning (semantic value). Lexemes may be simple words, phrasal and compound words and shortened forms. A lexicon consists of lexemes. Unlike words, which are defined by paraphrases or synonyms in a dictionary, lexemes are concepts in the mind. Furthermore, the concept is not the only information stored in the lexicon with each lexeme, but also the phonetic description and the additional inflectional (and perhaps derivational) morphemes with which the lexeme can combine for other forms (example: /-s/ to indicate plural in English).


In many formal theories of language, lexemes have subcategorization frames to account for the number and types of other lexemes they occur with in sentences and other syntactic structures.

See also


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