elements that are uniform and indivisible from the standpoint of a certain level of segmentation of a text (phonological, morphological, etc.) and that are opposed to one another in the system corresponding to this level.
The indivisibility of a linguistic unit must be understood as its inability to be broken down into smaller units of the same type, although this does not exclude the fact that on a different level a combination of units of “lower rank” may correspond to this unit. Thus, a word (“lexeme” in the terminology of some linguists) viewed as a “unit of appellation” (for example, mka, “hand”) cannot be divided into smaller units possessing an independent nominative function, although the specific word forms by which it is represented in a sentence (ritka, “hand”; ruki, “of the hand”; rukoi, “with the hand”) may be regarded from another standpoint as a combination of smaller meaningful units (ruk-a, ruk-i, ruk-oi, etc.). The number and types (and consequently the names) of linguistic units distinguished by the various linguistic concepts vary. Many of them include the linguistic units of the basic plane of expression unit (the phoneme) and the simplest sign unit (the morpheme or moneme). The terminology pertaining to the units of the plane of content is more diverse (compare the sememe, the plereme, the morpheme, the grammeme, the noeme, the seme, etc.).
REFERENCESKlimov, G. A. Fonema i morfema. Moscow, 1967.
Benvenist, E. “Urovni lingvisticheskogo analiza.” In Novoe v lingvistike, vol. 4. Moscow, 1965.
T. V. BULYGINA