Words, phrases, and acronyms specific to the study of linguistics.

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How does the term “naturalistic speech” differ from “natural language”

Seems some linguists use "naturalistic" -- but I'm not clear on what it means in this context or if it's different from "natural".
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71 views

stem classes and the terms “fusional” / “inflectional”

I have seen both the word "fusional" and the words "inflectional"/"flectional" used as the counterparts of "agglutinative" when describing a morphological process. 1) Is there a distinction between ...
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25 views

Terminology for the words used to represent fractions in a language? Examples where it is different to the words used for cardinal or ordinal numbers?

While in English Romance languages and Germanic languages, the rendering of fractions usually corresponds to that of the ordinal numbers, i.e a fifth, and a sixth, a seventh, etc. ; it seems to me ...
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30 views

Is there a phrase for someone being ashamed of, or self-conscious about their accent when moving to another region?

I was reading a book about accents at a local library and there was a chapter where the author says "some varieties of a language are more aesthetically pleasing than others". Some accents are ...
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77 views

Assuming that passives need verbal morphology, which languages commonly said to have a passive do not actually count?

Among others, I recently read the passive definition by Martin Haspelmath (from THE GRAMMATICIZATION OF PASSIVE MORPHOLOGY, 1990), which states (page 26/27 of the book, the second/third page of the ...
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309 views

Is “sentence” a useful and/or clearly-defined term in linguistics

Further to comments against Do complex sentences always need a conjunction? as recently asked on ELU (and Complex sentence without a subordinating conjunction? here on Linguistics), I'd like to know ...
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57 views

What are the differences between 'semantics' and 'meaning'?

Actual Question (TL;DR): For the quotes below, I consulted a specialist dictionary: The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics (Oxford University Press, 3rd ed, 2014), by Matthews, P. H. ...
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45 views

How can a PIE root be a 'pronominal stem'?

i-   |    Pronominal stem.   |   1. This answer explains the possible difference in meaning between 'root' and 'stem', which induced my question in the title above. 2. What does it mean for a ...
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41 views

What is the term for when a general term is used to refer to something specific?

Is there a name for the linguistic phenomenon in which a general term gains a much more specific meaning? For example, "Prohibition" is used to mean "Alcohol prohibition in the United States" or ...
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How did 'litotes' evolve from 'plain, simple'?

litotes (n.) rhetorical figure in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of its opposite, from Greek litotes, literally "plainness, simplicity," from litos "smooth, plain, small, ...
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80 views

The differences between signifier/signified and reference/sense

I take a course in linguistics in my university, and recently we discussed a 2 terms coined by Gottlob Frege: Reference and Sense. To my understanding this duo tries to explain the distinction and ...
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67 views

Why do some scientific possessives have trailing “s” and others don't?

I debated names of scientific terms with my friend, and we both discovered that some of them have the trailing letter "s" while others don't. Here are some examples: Mobius strip, Fourier series, ...
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76 views

What are the differences between phonology, phonetics, and prosody?

I already read this but it omits prosody. The inclusion of prosody confuses me and beclouds the other two terms (again). Please explain as though I were 10 years old. [Source:] Phonetics is the ...
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58 views

Is 'irrealis' not an official word? [closed]

I was trying to find an online audible audio pronuncer (ie vocaliser) for and the etymology of the word irrealis in irrealis mood. To my shock, the word is absent in OED, ODO, even Memidex.com. 1. ...
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98 views

'modal' vs 'mode' vs 'modality' vs 'mood'

TL;DR (Actual Question:) I'm wildered; so please explain as though I were 10 years old. What are the similarities and differences? This doesn`t compare all 4 nouns simultaneously. A Student's ...
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51 views

How do participles partake of a noun?

[1.] [Etymonline'] from particeps "sharing, partaking" (see participation). In grammatical sense, the Latin translates Greek metokhe "sharer, partaker," and the notion is of a word "partaking" of ...
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64 views

Why does the 'PREdicate' follow?

[ Etymonline for 'predicate (n.)] ... from prae- "forth, before" (see pre-) + dicare "proclaim," from stem of dicere "to speak, to say" (see diction). Grammatical sense is from 1630s. ... ...
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58 views

What's the difference between iterative and frequentative aspects?

According to Wikipedia, the iterative aspect "expresses the repetition of an event", and the frequentative aspect "indicates repeated action". Is there a difference or are they synonyms?
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59 views

How can it be decided whether two grammatical cases should be taken to be just homophonous (i.e. as separate) or actually equal?

I've come across this in multiple grammars: Two grammatical cases (e.g. ergative and instrumental) are said to be "homophonous" - they make use of the (apparently?) same marker and yet, they are ...
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48 views

What approaches exist to categorizing kinds of passive agent markers and what are their advantages?

For my thesis I would like to conduct a study on the cross-linguistic distribution of agent markers in passives. In English, this marker is usually realized by the preposition 'by', as in (including ...
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75 views

Is there a term for words that consist of the same syllable repeated?

Words such as "mama", "papa", and "cancan" have only one unique syllable, and the whole word is just that syllable repeated once. Is there a name for such words? I am aware of reduplication, but I ...
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What terms define words that may or may not be evaluative?

Source: ... How to Reason and Argue, by Prof W Sinnott-Armstrong [At the 7 min 49 s juncture of Lec 2-8, for which Coursera neglects to provide a transcription]: It may seem to be an ...
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1answer
44 views

What are the blanket or general terms representing these linguistic pitfalls?

Are there collective, sweeping official terms that comprise linguistic traps such as these? Etymological fallacy Folk etymology False friend False cognate False etymology
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53 views

How distinct do two language varieties need to be in order to consider their alternating usage to be an act of code-switching?

I was recently thinking about code-switching (i.e. switching between languages within a sentence, social exchange, phrase, etc.) Would switching between dialects or accents of the same language under ...
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Does English have a common parlance demarcation between inclusive disjunction and exclusive disjunction?

Distinguishing between inclusive or and exclusive or in logic is useful. Is there already an ascribed way of using each of these operators in everyday speech in English?
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202 views

Predicate vs. Predicator

BACKGROUND According to Oxford Dictionaries Online: Predicator means "(In systemic grammar) a verb phrase considered as a constituent of clause structure, along with subject, object, and ...
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33 views

Semi-offset Annotated Data

I want to use the data provided by CoNLL 2012 shared task. They mentioned that the data is semi-offset annotated, I couldn't find any interpretation for the term "semi-offset annotation". Can anyone ...
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381 views

Functionalism vs Formalism?

I'm trying to really understand the difference between linguistic functionalism and formalism, but I can't find any good concrete examples of either. From what I can tell, functionalism is a sort of ...
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1answer
85 views

Is there a word for repeating the last letter of an acronym?

Sometimes I find myself noticing people saying things like […] CLI interface. Since CLI already stands for command-line interface, repeating the last letter of the acronym in its expanded form ...
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1k views

Why do we call sound pitches “low” and “high”?

We use "low" and "high" in everyday speech when talking about sound, pitch or even frequency. However, if you think of it, the sound of a bassoon is no way closer to the ground ("lower") than the ...
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132 views

Сoncept of an attribute usesd by Russian grammarians

Note: This is cross-posted on ELL.se at Сoncept of an attribute used by Russian grammarians. I need to know all the attributes in theese sentences and how they are expressed.The problem is that ...
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549 views

Why use the term 'mood' instead of 'mode'?

Both the terms 'mood' and 'modality' have been extensively used in the English grammar. First and foremost, modal auxiliaries such as 'can', 'may', 'should', 'must' are said to represent the 'mood', ...
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210 views

What is a proper term for the contamination of a language?

Italians, for some reason, tend to accept and use foreign terms quite easily. The foreign terms that have entered and are entering common usage are mainly from the English language. Their usage has ...
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58 views

Is it common to analyze grammatically motivated vowel alternation as an occurence of discontinuous morphemes?

For example, are the triconsonantal roots in Arabic (like k-t-b --write) considered to be discontinuous morphemes? How about the English roots (s-ng -- sing, sang, sung, song) and (beg-n -- begin, ...
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Is there a term for a word's propensity for ambiguity?

The word 'excellent', in and of itself, cannot have negative connotations. The word 'exceptional', however, can have both positive, neutral and negative connotations. So one can say that the word ...
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95 views

Why are “dynamic” and “deontic” modalities so called?

It is said that there are three types of modality: deontic, epistemic and dynamic. Here are sample sentences for each type of modality: (1) You can stay as long as you want. [deontic] (2) ...
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1answer
143 views

What is the morpheme that marks a question called?

When languages have a morpheme attached to the word that makes it a question, such as a suffix, is this called a question suffix, an interrogative, suffix, etc? I don't have much experience in ...
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140 views

Is 'identity' a grammatical term?

Originally purposed for this ELL question, the following from this thread claims that which I've greyed. I ask about such a claim for English and French. [User 'RuthP' dated 2012 Dec 26:] That ...
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157 views

What is the name for this type of diagram?

When studying an agglutinative language, one sometimes encounters the following type of helpful diagram, which labels a sentence according to the grammatical function of each constitutive element. ...
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4answers
306 views

What is the difference between coreference resolution and anaphora resolution?

Is there any difference between coreference resolution and anaphora resolution? More generally, what is the difference between coreferences and anaphoras?
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1answer
75 views

Term for when sentences (or parts) are combined with “this means”, “meaning”, “that shows”, etc.?

Often sentences or parts of sentences are combined with verbs or pronoun + verb. However, they don't describe something of the content of the text, they just help to bring the parts or sentences in ...
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85 views

Is there a term for a made-up synonym or analogy to describe a forgotten word?

(I'm not a linguist, just generally interested in languages, so forgive me if I lack the appropriate vocabulary.) There are some examples here, but the general gist is that someone forgets a word (in ...
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115 views

Comparing writing systems by ease of encoding/decoding information

Considering the variety of systems of writing, the ease with which someone can receive written information in one system of writing is not precisely identical to that of any other, and I am curious to ...
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80 views

What kind of wordplay is this?

In his book Humorous English, Evan Esar gives example uses of devices he broadly labels synonymics. He writes of synonymic puns: Many a wife sends her husband to an early grave with a series of ...
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80 views

What is the meaning of zero intension?

I'm reading Possession in Yucatec Maya by Christian Lehmann (March 2003) and I came across this passage: The prototypical possessum is a concrete entity, normally an individual (as opposed to a ...
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90 views

Gold Part-Of-Speech tags

I've read this term in many papers in NLP: (Gold POS tags). what does it mean? Thanks.
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95 views

Lexical diversification

What is the precise scientific name for the following phenomenon: Spanish: Los tios = aunt + uncle English: aunt + uncle There is no single expression in English which encompasses both the meaning ...
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47 views

Adverbs vs intensifiers

Last year I had a prof who denied the existence of adverbs, and instead posited a class of words that were labelled "intensifiers". Many words that would have been otherwise been labeled as an adverb ...
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257 views

What's the difference between structural and generative linguistics?

It seems to me that generative linguistics presupposes the structuralist tradition. Are there any major differences between these two methods?
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176 views

What is the linguistic term for an environment where parents teach a second language to their children in lieu of the parents' native language?

For example, Lebanon is an Arabic-speaking country. However, many parents insist on speaking to their children exclusively in English or French and refuse or severely limit the use of Arabic. Is there ...