These definitions are of course not satisfactory, because they do not say why linguists enter elements into a dictionary or write them between two spaces etc.
- lexeme (= a dictionary word)
- word-form, grammatical word (= a text word, occurring between two spaces)
- phonological word
Words are generally considered atomic elements: they are the indivisible building blocks of syntax, which may be the input but not the output of syntactic processes, their parts presumably being inaccessible for syntactic rules. See lexical integrity.
Words are phonological objects which consitute the domain for lexical phonological rules. It is particularly striking that these three uses of the notion 'word' are not co-extensive.
A group consisting of a free morpheme and a clitic may function as a phonological word, although morphologically it is a clitic group consisting of a morphological word and a clitic.
- Aronoff, M. 1976. Word Formation in Generative Grammar, MIT-press, Cambridge, Mass.
- Di Sciullo, A. M. and E. Williams 1987. On the Definition of Word, MIT-press, Cambridge, Mass.
- Sapir, E. 1921. Language, Harcourt, Brace and World, New York.
- Selkirk, E. O. 1982a. The Syntax of Words, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.
- Spencer, A. 1991. Morphological Theory, Blackwell, Oxford.