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What is a lexeme?



A lexeme is the minimal unit of language which

  • has a semantic interpretation and
  • embodies a distinct cultural concept.

It is made up of one or more form-meaning composites called lexical units.


A lexical database is organized around lexemes, which include all the morphemes of a language, even if these morphemes never occur alone. A lexeme is conventionally listed in a dictionary as a separate entry.

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Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

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