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Psycholinguistically, a lemma is an abstract conceptual form of a word. However from a lexicographic perspective, the lemma is merely the aorist or canonical form of a word.

In English, the lemma of a verb is the 3rd person singular form; for a noun, it's the singular form.

However for multi-word expression, we might need to use the plural form of a noun within the expression, e.g. "kick_one's_heels". Even if we don't consider multi-word expression to constitute a lemma, we have other inconsistencies of the criteria to give lemma status to a word, e.g. hooved(adj) vs hoofed(adj).

What is a notion of lemma? How is it scientifically defined? Citations will be much appreciated.

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closed as off-topic by KitFox Jul 29 '13 at 18:20

  • This question does not appear to be about English language and usage within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

linguistics.stackexchange.com –  Kris Jul 29 '13 at 7:07
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about linguistics –  TimLymington Jul 29 '13 at 8:42

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