Word breaks are used to break a word into its constituent parts for more straightforward pronunciation or meaning change, with two types being phonemic and graphemic breaks.
Word breaks are points at which words may be split for word-wrapping purposes. Unicode specifies various characters as word break characters – including space characters, hyphens, and underscores – while in most programming languages, these characters delimit tokens in source code files.
Typesetting requires inserting word breaks between words to enhance their appearance, mainly if one word contains many letters; “antidisestablishmentarianism,” for instance, often requires multiple line breaks at its word break.
Phonemic word break refers to breaking a word down into its constituent phonemes – small units of sound used as building blocks of language. It can be combined into any word in any language. Phonemic word breaks help people pronounce words correctly and are employed in speech recognition and synthesis technologies.
Graphemic word break involves breaking a word into its constituent graphemes – smaller units that make up meaning in terms and form the basis of writing systems – to help people read and write correctly and recognize and create text synthesis output. Graphemic word breaks can help people correctly read and write and identify text recognition processes or synthesis applications.
Word break is an integral component of word division. It divides words into manageable chunks, making them easier to identify individually as parts of a larger word. Their respective meanings become apparent more quickly – which can prove particularly helpful when reading aloud or pronouncing words correctly.