English edit

Etymology edit

mono- +‎ -nom

Noun edit

mononom (plural mononoms)

  1. (linguistics) A word composed of a single stem that cannot be broken down into constituent morphs.
    • 2013, P. Kümmel, Formalization of Natural Languages, →ISBN:
      It a meaning is expressed in a particular language like English with the help of a binom, newspaper, and in another particular language like German by a mononom Zeitung, the heteronomic morphology is usually more voluminous (9 phongrams against 7).
    • 2015, Haruo Kubozono, Handbook of Japanese Phonetics and Phonology, →ISBN:
      Sino-Japanese mononoms are all short, since all Sino-Japanese morphs are one or two moras.
    • 2016, Timothy J. Vance, Mark Irwin, Sequential Voicing in Japanese: Papers from the NINJAL Rendaku Project, →ISBN:
      The first of these are compounds where E1 is a Sino-Japanese mononom and E2 is suru.
  2. Synonym of mononym
    • 1852, Nathaniel Parker Willis, The Prose Works of N.P. Willis, page 661:
      "I was dining one day with Burns," said Campbell, "who, like Dr. Johnson and other celebrities, had his Bozzy worshipper, a friend who was always in his company. I have forgotten his name. Burns left the room for a moment, and passing the bottle to his friend, I proposed to drink the health of Mr. Burns. He gave me a look of annihilation. 'Sir,' said he, you will always be known as Mr. Campbell, but posterity will talk of Burns!'" Such an anecdote makes one look around in alarm, to see if there are not some unrecognised mononoms in our time, whom we are profaning, unaware, with our Mister-y.

Usage notes edit

The linguistic term is used primarily by linguists studying Asian languages, where binoms are very common.