Psychology & Psychiatry

Study finds out why some words may be more memorable than others

Thousands of words, big and small, are crammed inside our memory banks just waiting to be swiftly withdrawn and strung into sentences. In a recent study of epilepsy patients and healthy volunteers, National Institutes of ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Car, stroller, juice: Babies understand when words are related

The meaning behind infants' screeches, squeals and wails may frustrate and confound sleep-deprived new parents. But at an age when babies cannot yet speak to us in words, they are already avid students of language.

Psychology & Psychiatry

F-bombs notwithstanding, all languages skew toward happiness

In 1969, two psychologists at the University of Illinois proposed what they called the Pollyanna Hypothesis—the idea that there is a universal human tendency to use positive words more frequently than negative ones. "Put ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Researchers gain new insight on language development

(Medical Xpress)—Two new studies appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveal what appear to be innate language preferences. In one study, Jacques Mehler of the Scuola Internazionale Superiore ...

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Word

A word is the smallest free form (an item that may be uttered in isolation with semantic or pragmatic content) in a language, in contrast to a morpheme, which is the smallest unit of meaning. A word may consist of only one morpheme (e.g. cat), but a single morpheme may not be able to exist as a free form (e.g. the English plural morpheme -s).

Typically, a word will consist of a root or stem, and zero or more affixes. Words can be combined to create other units of language, such as phrases, clauses, and/or sentences. A word consisting of two or more stems joined together form a compound. A word combined with an already existing word or part of a word form a portmanteau.

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