Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

Get access

Word and Wordhood, Modern
(3,967 words)

1. Introduction

In English, it seems obvious what a word is: it is a meaningful unit written between spaces. In Chinese, there is a similar unit, also written between (invisible) spaces: it is called 字, a monosyllabic graph that in most cases has a meaning. Naturally, many people equate “word” in English with in Chinese. For example, Mǎ Jiànzhōng 馬建忠 (1844–1900), a…

Cite this page
San DUANMU, “Word and Wordhood, Modern”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 20 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000460>
First published online: 2015

▲   Back to top   ▲