[Lingtyp] wordhood: responses to Haspelmath

Randy J. LaPolla randy.lapolla at gmail.com
Sun Nov 12 13:57:46 UTC 2017

That description of zì as the sociological word is from Yuen Ren Chao’s Grammar of Spoken Chinese (1968).


Randy J. LaPolla, PhD FAHA (羅仁地)
Professor of Linguistics and Chinese, School of Humanities 
Nanyang Technological University
HSS-03-45, 14 Nanyang Drive | Singapore 637332
Most recent book:

> On 12 Nov 2017, at 5:43 PM, Tianqiao Lu <lutianqiao at maonan.org> wrote:
> Dear all,
> Here is some material for your reference.
> According to Packard (2004), there is no concept of word that is universally applicable. The criteria are culture-dependent. They are are definable only when using several disparate linguistic criteria. There are a variety of portrayals of words, including orthographic word, sociological word, lexical word, semantic word, phonological word, morphological word, syntactic word, psycholinguistic word. He gives detailed descriptions of these concepts. He is right to say that "In Chinese language and culture, the clear and intuitive notion– the sociological word – is the zì 字 (lit. chracter, as in 他一个字都不说 – "He would not utter a word"), or sometimes the syntactic word – cí词 (which is closer to the English "word", as in 这是一个新词 – "This is a new word".
> Reference:
> Packard J. L. (2004). The Morphology of Chinese: A Linguistic and Cognitive Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
> Best,
> Tianqiao Lu
> Jiansu Normal University
> China
> ------------------ Original ------------------
> From:  "Adam J Tallman"<ajrtallman at utexas.edu>;
> Date:  Fri, Nov 10, 2017 01:11 PM
> To:  "LINGTYP"<LINGTYP at listserv.linguistlist.org>;
> Subject:  [Lingtyp] wordhood: responses to Haspelmath
> I am writing a paper about wordhood - has anyone responded to Haspelmath's 2011 Folia Linguistica paper on the topic?
> I have only found two sources that mention the paper and seem to put forward an argument against its conclusions, but its mostly in en passant fashion.
> On is Blevins (2016) Word and Paradigm Morphology and another is Geertzen, Jeroen, James P. Blevins & Petar Milin. ‘Informativeness of unit boundaries’ [pdf <http://people.ds.cam.ac.uk/jpb39/pdf/GeertzenBlevinsMilin2016.pdf>]. Italian Journal of Linguistics 28(2), 1–24.
> Any correspondence in this regard would be greatly appreciated,
> Adam 
> -- 
> Adam J.R. Tallman
> Investigador del Museo de Etnografía y Folklore, la Paz
> PhD candidate, University of Texas at Austin
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