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

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What is a “nucleus” in syntax?

What exactly does the term nucleus refer to in syntax? (I'm not asking about the term in relation to phonetics or phonology). For example when syntacticians write about left dislocations and so forth ...
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1answer
40 views

What is the difference between implicature and entailment?

When talking about pragmatics what is the difference between implicature and entailment? PS. The book I was reading was Pragmatics by George Yule
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1answer
65 views
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39 views

Words that translate to valid words in the source language

I recently learned that poison in English translates to gift in German. Is there a term for such pairings where the translated word is also a valid word (with unrelated meaning) in the source ...
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1answer
65 views

What motivated the term 'oblique'?

Source: p 137, Syntax, A Generative Introduction (3 ed, 2012) by Andrew Carnie xxix) Oblique: any NP/PP in the sentence that is not a subject, direct object of a preposition, direct object, or ...
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1answer
55 views

What motivated the terms 'ergative' and 'absolutive'?

Source: p 195, Understanding Syntax (4 ed, 2014) by Prof. Maggie Tallerman PhD in Linguistics (U. Hull) ERGATIVE is the case of A – the subject of transitive verbs. ABSOLUTIVE is the case of both ...
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1answer
78 views

Is there a term for words which falsely appear to be related etymologically?

I was doing research into the use of axes in Japanese martial arts. I discovered that the common name for this tool os "ono." I then discovered that is has another name, "masa-kari." If I were to ...
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52 views

Different types of verbs [closed]

There are different types of verbs in languages. I am interested in formal name of these types. I want to distinguish between verbs that don't have antonyms and synonyms simultaneously, like 'see', ...
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17 views

Is there a term for “lexeme-describing grammatical feature”?

I've heard terms like grammatical category and grammatical feature being used for inflectional properties such as number, person, tense, mood, and so on. Gender is commonly included in this list too, ...
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1answer
39 views

Why is a nominalisation called “grammatical metaphor” in SFL

I have learned to understand that a nominalisation is called a grammatical metaphor in systemic functional linguistics. What is the motivation behind this terminology? Are there other kinds of ...
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1answer
44 views

Why are Adjuncts called 'Adverbial Clauses'? [closed]

Hereafter abbreviate Adverbial Clauses to AC. Section 6.3.3 (p 66, An Introduction to English Syntax By Jim Miller) states that AC may not always be adverbs. So was AC misnamed; if yes, why? Or is ...
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1answer
95 views

What are the differences between theoretical perspectives of the uses of the term “register”?

I'd be interested in asking people about their understanding of the term register and what this signifies for them. This would be a discussion about a specialised term and I'm sure there are multiple ...
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1answer
40 views

Are there terms for this class of word pair, or terms for the contrasting members of the pairs?

I've been thinking about pairs of contrasting words such as these: go (to) vs come (from) give (to) vs receive (from) lend (to) vs borrow (from) take (to) vs bring (from) Is there a term in ...
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1answer
87 views

Are all complex words polymorphemic?

Complex words contain whether a bound and a free morpheme (eg unhappy) or two bound morphemes (eg intervene). In the first case (eg unhappy) the complex word is polymorphemic because it includes a ...
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2answers
88 views

Word for a word that was the ancestor for another word?

Modern Icelandic maður is from Old Icelandic maðr. To relate the latter to the former, I would say "Old Icelandic maðr is the ___ of Modern Icelandic maður." What linguistic term goes in the blank? ...
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71 views

Grammatical term for inflectable conjunctions as used in the Arabic language(s)

Conjunctions in the Arabic language can be inflected be adding an affix that indicates the pronoun. E.g. the conjunction 'because' is لِأَن (li'ann), and 'because you' yields لِأَنك (li'annak). ...
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1answer
35 views

Does 'meaning change' differ from 'semantic change'? [duplicate]

Source: An Introduction to Language (10 ed, 2014) by V Fromkin, R Rodman, N Hyams. My question on 'meaning' vs 'semantics' is more general, and so does not answer or duplicate the following. [p ...
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2answers
53 views

Can 'a system of rules that assigns […] meaning in a definite way' be replaced with 'semantics'?

Source: An Introduction to Language (10 ed, 2014) by V Fromkin, R Rodman, N Hyams. I, and not the book, bolded. [p 7:] A person who knows a language has mastered [1.] a system of rules ...
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1answer
85 views

Can 'semantics' replace 'meaning' in these 7 sentences? Why or why not? [closed]

I reread 1 (which this does NOT duplicate) and the OED, and can infer that 'semantics' is a hyponym of 'meaning'; but still unable to disambiguate 'meaning' and 'semantics' in certain contexts, I am ...
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1answer
34 views

What term describes the production of new words by 'aggregating them'?

Certain words seem to come from gluing or aggregating other extant words; what is the technical name given for phenomenon? For example: In Sanskrit: pratyaksanamanagamah; where pratyaksa is percept, ...
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47 views

Cover-term for “declarative”, “negative”, “emphatic”?

Does anybody know a cover-term for "declarative", "negative", and "emphatic"? One of my ESL-students asked me, and I cannot remember a term for this (tho' I've been teaching ESL for over 20 years). ...
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2answers
92 views

What's the term for the use of “this” in “there's this guy called John, who…”?

What's the term for the use of "this" in "there's this guy called John, who..."? Here, the "this" is used like an "a", not literally "this". I'm not sure if there's a term for this.
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2answers
100 views

The drop/weakening of “h” sound in General American English

I noticed that the speakers with the General American accent occasionally weaken the "h" sound in words like "had" e.g. "You had this and that." becomes kind of like "You ad this and that." (I can't ...
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1answer
49 views

Adjunct vs disjunct [closed]

What is the difference between an adjunct and disjunct? How can I distinguish between the two? Please, I will be very thankful if you give me some examples.
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68 views

Sociolinguistics VS Rhetoric

Can anyone tell me major differences between rhetoric and sociolinguistics? And what theoretical commonalities they share? I'm a rhetoric student, and I'm looking to go to grad school, but I'm not ...
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38 views

Is there a word for artificial language except programming languages?

Is there a word for artificial language except programming languages? Non-natural languages for human-to-human communication?
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105 views

Is a letter a linguistic unit?

According to vocabulary.com a linguistic unit is one of the natural units into which linguistic messages can be analyzed. So, can a linguistic unit be a letter, a syllable, a word or a sentence? ...
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1answer
56 views

Scopal relation of negation and quantifier

What is the exact meaning of scope? In the following sentence, what is the scopal relation of negation and quantifier? And how could I know if there is a wide or narrow scope between them? She ...
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1answer
90 views

Are British and American English two different dialects?

I'm facing a difficulty in understanding what exactly is a dialect. I've read many definitions, but I need an example in order to understand them. Can we say that British English and American English ...
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42 views

What motivated the definition of Theme in Semantics?

Source: An Introduction to Language (10 ed, 2014) by V Fromkin, R Rodman, N Hyams [p 163:] The NP arguments in the VP, which include the subject and any objects, are semantically related in ...
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1answer
52 views

Is there a word for variety of letters used in a language?

To suggest either/both readability or efficiency in typing? English is less [is there a term to fill in here?] than Japanese: compared to English alphabets, the number of letters in hiragana + ...
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1answer
33 views

Why is C-selection called 'subcategorisation' and not only 'categorisation'?

Source: p 94, An Introduction to Language (10 ed, 2014) by V Fromkin, R Rodman, N Hyams The information about the complement types selected by particular verbs and other lexical items is ...
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81 views

What do Determiners determine? [closed]

Source: An Introduction to Language (10 ed, 2014) by V Fromkin, R Rodman, N Hyams [p 86:] For example, determiners specify whether a noun is indefi- nite or definite (a boy versus the boy), or ...
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103 views

The barrier of intuitively using a second language’s word order

I am learning German and a big hurdle I am facing is word placement. For example, the last half of a sentence is: […], aber ich werde es nicht verstehen. (but I would not understand it.) I ...
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1answer
49 views

In the context of 'case', what does 'grammatical' mean in 'grammatical relation of a noun in a sentence'?

My question concerns only p 48: what does grammatical mean? Its use does not appear to match any of the definitions of 'grammar' below. I know of the distinctions between Descriptive, Prescriptive, ...
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2answers
63 views

How is the English noun 'system' a 'base'?

Source: An Introduction to Language (10 ed, 2014) by V Fromkin, R Rodman, N Hyams. I already read this. [p 578:] root = The morpheme that remains when all affixes are stripped from a complex word, ...
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1answer
87 views

What is my first language: the one I'm more familiar with, or the one I learned first?

I was born in Korea and so Korean was the first language I learned. However, I moved to the US when I was one years old, and after I entered the school system, I quickly learned English. Now, I am ...
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83 views

Did Chomsky originate the term “rewrite rule”?

The earliest mention of the term "rewrite rule" that I am able to find - in the context of phrase structure grammars - is in Chomsky's "Syntactic Structures" (1957). Did he originate the term?
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60 views

If two glyphs representing one phoneme is a “digraph,” what is one glyph representing two phonemes called?

Two glyphs representing one phoneme is a "digraph," but what is it called when one glyph represent two phonemes? For example, the Greek letter ξ (represents the two grouped phonemes, /ks/) or ψ ...
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2answers
486 views

Linguistic term for repeating a noun and replacing the first consonant with M

Usually the speaker intends something like "and similar" I have seen this usage in several languages, e.g. Turkish, Slovakian, Russian, Polish. But i have not heard it in English, German or French ...
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3answers
232 views

The origin of the term 'verb'

References tell me that the term 'verb' originally means 'word'. This is easily understood by usages such as 'verbal abuse', 'verbal agreement', 'he's very verbal', etc. That said, of all the various ...
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29 views

Are abstract nouns formed from adjectives the same as being the adjective?

For example, in English we can use "-ness" to make abstract nouns from adjectives, and it would mean "the state of being(the adjective)", "the quality of being(the adjective)", or "the measure of ...
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1answer
56 views

Is there a term for words that modify the intensity of something

Is there a term for words such as very extremely likely super , which modify the intensity of something? Obviously these are all adverbs, but yesterday is also an adverb, and that does not change the ...
0
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1answer
33 views

Does the single word 'equimolar' have single-word equivalents for less than or greater than? [closed]

Does the single word 'equimolar' have single-word equivalents for less than or greater than? If there isn't an officially accepted word for these, could a neologism be improvised using linguistic ...
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2answers
86 views

Am I using the right terms in referring to “soft” and “hard” vowels and consonants?

In English, there is a clear difference between the "a" in "at," and the "a" in "father." I described the difference by saying that the "a" in "father" is "harder" than the other one. The German word ...
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28 views

A term for “accommodating for others' language mistakes”

Is there a specific term for a phenomenon or an ability to accommodate for others' mistakes either in speech or in writing? Something that a native or experienced speaker performs unconsciously or a ...
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2answers
174 views

Is this a nonce word or is there another name for a regularly constructed neologism?

I had an argument with a friend, since he didn't find "claustrophilia" in the dictionary he thought it should be called a nonce word. I thought the term "nonce" was for one-off words that arose a ...
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2answers
77 views

Treatment of or collective term for constructions with no*, some*, any*, every*

Many languages have a little subsystem that uses a combination of particles of no*, some*, any*, every* or similar to create related question and negation words. This is what the system roughly ...
2
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1answer
60 views

Is there a term to describe comparing two documents to determine if they have the same topic?

I am looking for an NLP field analogous to face verification in Computer Vision, where two images of human faces are compared, and the class label describes whether the images are of the same person. ...
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1answer
38 views

What makes a difference to the meaning of the text with “borrow” and “access”?

My confusion with these two terms comes from the following text: So, when the required target language item is unknown and the learner borrows an L1 substitute, the consequence is an L1 transfer ...