The word family refers to words which are the same or similar tribe morphemes, that is, grouped around the same stem, and are historically based on the same word root (origin). However, words can belong to the same word family, ie have a similar origin, and yet have a completely different meaning. The meaning relation must therefore not be retained within a word family.A word family (also Lexemverband or Wortippe) can be best illustrated by examples. Let us take a look at the Germanic word far, which became too faran in Old High German and is known as varan in Middle High German. The word far once signified every kind of movement, and has been preserved to this day. Thus belong to the word:
drive, driver, ride, ride, experience, experience, companion, ferry, danger, dangerous, descendant, negligent, bicycle, negligence, driving, driving, track, elevator, lead,
Of course, the above word family could be extended as desired. Nevertheless, it is clear what is at stake: namely, that all words revolve around the same origin, the Germanic, and can be derived from it. It is interesting that the terms do not have a clear meaning relation, even if they are grouped around a similar strain.
So it is not to deny that danger and drive in principle very different things mean. With regard to the lexemeverband, however, this is absolutely the same since both words can be traced back to the Germanic far. In German, such word families may also comprise up to a thousand individual words. Let us now look at another example: the word stem.
to go out, to go out, to go, to go, to go, to go, to go, to go, to go, to go, to go, to go, to go, to go
Here, we deliberately chose examples that are clearly based on an identical verb stem to show the affiliation and connectedness of the selected words. However, the word family does not have to be transparent from the outside. If the etymological context is not clear (example: duke, witness, breeding, etc. form a word family with pull.)
Note: The term “word family” is used incorrectly in the German language of elementary school. Here are often meant words which have the same origin, also have a similar strain and have a similar meaning. In this case ‘danger’ and ‘drive’ would not belong to the same family, since they have a completely different meaning.
Word family and word field
The word family must be distinguished from the word field. As a word field, we mean words that are almost synonymous with each other and thus have a similar meaning. They do not always mean the same, but always something very similar.
Let us take the verb, which could already be used as an example for the above lexical group. What is important here is that the word field of driving includes words that in the widest sense mean the same and also belong to the same word type (nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.). However, the word stem and the origin do not have to be identical.
gondolas, cruising, lawn, drive, rouse, chauffeur, thunder, fly, flit, glide, rush, lawn, ride, steer, paddle, cycle, roll, row, breeze, sneak, sail, control, chug
The word field “drive” is naturally expandable. Nevertheless, we clearly see the difference to the word family. In this case, the words in the word field have a very similar meaning and belong to the same word type (in the example, verbs), whereas the origin of the word and the word stem with respect to the word field are secondary.
The most important to the word family at a glance
As a word family, we mean words that have a common origin and are grouped around a same or very similar word stem. However, the meaning of these words may be different and the etymological context may be opaque.
We must distinguish the concept of the word field. This term means, in principle, all words which have the same meaning as the chosen term and also belong to the same word type.
The terms are very often intermingled with the German teaching of the elementary school. This is usually used for simplification. In principle, however, they are distinguished.