a single distinct meaningful element of speech or writing, used with others (or sometimes alone) to form a sentence and shown with a space on either side when written or printed.
What about languages like Chinese or Japanese? As you know, they don't have spaces even between sentences.
What about them? We are talking about German (and English).
Are you looking for universals? Is the possessive 's a word in your definition?
zenmonkey wrote:Ask any German on the street if "Handschuh" is a word or two. See what they say.
Native speakers are not necessarily linguistic experts and most of them are not aware of the difference between lexemes, morphemes, etc.
"Handschuh" comes from Hand + Schuh, and these are two words. So 1 word + 1 word = 2 words. It's basic math!
True - the mass of Germans are not necessarily linguistic experts and it is an "appeal to masses" on my part. Feel free to post the German linguistic expert that considers "handschuh" to be two words. Until then, the masses have it.
Hashimi wrote:A word is the smallest meaningful unit of speech that can stand alone by themselves. It can function independently as words (e.g. dog) and can appear within lexemes (e.g. doghouse), but it cannot be analyzed into smaller elements which can stand alone by themselves.
I am nonplussed (in the American sense of the word). (and that's one word).
You can continue along this sense, if you like. Is cobweb one or two words for you (cob has lost functional meaning in English, can't be used independently without meaning something totally different). You might then think that wedlock is two words (it isn't, lock here doesn't come from lock)...
preternatural, abnormal, supernatural? Are you going to randomly say that "super" is a word but "ab" may or may not be (yes in German, not in English) and "preter" definitely isn't a word in either. So 1, maybe 2, definitely 2?
I'm sticking with one word.
And if I take and apple and cut it in two, it's still one apple. Basic math.