Chapter 1. Finding the Structure of Words

Otakar Smrž and Hyun-Jo You

Human language is a complicated thing. We use it to express our thoughts, and through language, we receive information and infer its meaning. Linguistic expressions are not unorganized, though. They show structure of different kinds and complexity and consist of more elementary components whose co-occurrence in context refines the notions they refer to in isolation and implies further meaningful relations between them.

Trying to understand language en bloc is not a viable approach. Linguists have developed whole disciplines that look at language from different perspectives and at different levels of detail. The point of morphology, for instance, is to study the variable forms ...

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