In linguistics, a root (also: word root ) is a word core that cannot be further broken down morphologically . From a formal point of view, this word core is traditionally not associated with any particular part of speech or word class. Often, however, this word kernel can (at least semantically) be regarded as verbal in nature, which is why in these cases verb (al) roots are used more precisely ; but there are also noun roots and pronominal roots, for example . So go is the word root for the word forms go , walk , go out , etc., gold is the word root for the word forms gold , golden , gilded , etc. The root of a word thus forms the smallest unit (morphological atom) for word formation.
In contrast to the root, the word stem can be subdivided and assigned to a certain part of speech. The root is usually the starting point for creating new words, e.g. B. through derivation , conversion , composition (in word formation) or through inflection (word inflection ). At best, the root is subject to ablaut formation. In linguistics, a root in the sense of a morphological atom is often marked with the symbol √ .
- Example in Latin
- Root: √ leg (meaning: "collect, read, select")
- Trunk: lector (noun agentis: "the reader", formed by derivation)
- inflected word: lectoris (stem + genitive ending)
- Example Sanskrit
- Root: √ dhā (धा)
- Tribe: dadhā (दधा) (formed by reduplication )
- Inflected word: dadhāti (दधाति) ("he lays")
In the basic Indo-European language , the stem is formed from the root and one or more suffixes that are used to create the stem . The suffixes together are sometimes referred to as an exit ; they can be fused together to form a unit that can no longer be clearly divided . In certain cases, however, the trunk consists of only one root with no discernible extensions; then one speaks of Wurzelflexion (z. B. roots omen , root Present , root- ).
In historical linguistics , the term root is sometimes imprecisely applied to a core derived from historical comparison. However, this can just as well consist of a word stem or even a complete word form.
In this sense of the common origin, a root is often marked with the symbol * in linguistics . However, the asterisk only marks forms that have been reconstructed but not directly documented. In some cases (e.g. in the case of the Romance languages ) a preform or a common precursor is directly occupied, which is why the asterisk (the character asterisk) is not used.
- Helmut Glück (Ed.), With the collaboration of Friederike Schmöe : Metzler Lexikon Sprache. 3rd, revised edition. Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2005, ISBN 3-476-02056-8 .