Questions tagged [terminology]

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

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2
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1answer
37 views

What's the name for a word/meaning pair of a polysemous word?

Is there a name use to describe tuples of the form (word, meaning)? Example: ("wood", the material made from trees) ("wood", a geographical area with many trees) In this case we ...
3
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1answer
170 views

How did multiple European languages start using future tense to refer to the present?

I recently noticed that German, English and Spanish seem to have a parallel colloquial use of their future tense, in which it's used to express a hypothesis about the present: Literal meaning: I think ...
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2answers
85 views

Linguistic term for using masculine adjectives in front of feminine/plural nouns for emphasis in a language that has grammatical gender

Adjectives in languages that have grammatical gender have to be in agreement with the nouns they modify. In Classical Arabic, however, some adjectives were commonly used in their base form (masculine ...
2
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2answers
59 views

Are different inflectional forms of a word different words or the same word?

At some point, I gained the notion that inflections of a word didn't constitute different words, but rather different forms of the same word. This Wikipedia article however, says the process of ...
4
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1answer
102 views

What's a grammatical feature?

This is not a naif question asked by a layman just out of curiosity. I am presently editing a book by a colleague which is devoted to the notion of grammatical feature (with a special focus on ...
3
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1answer
957 views

What is the linguistic term for referring to a big group by the name of just one of its contents?

I am trying to think up a word that I recall existing for a linguistic idea that I just cannot recall the name of. It is the idea of when you take a big group and refer to the entire group by the name ...
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1answer
50 views

Terms for abbreviations

Is there a specific distinguishing word for abbreviations that have evolved to be spoken words in their own right, like potus or Nato, sometimes even an "abbreviation word" with a clear ...
4
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2answers
107 views

Is there a universal (general) definition of gerund, infinitive and participle?

Is there a universal (general) definition of gerund, infinitive and participle applicable to all languages despite the differences between them?
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1answer
40 views

If a transcription is shallower if closer to the phonetic end, then why are representations morphophoneMic, not morphophoneTIc?

I read Differences between phonemic and phonetic transcriptions, but no avail. Please see the terms that I colored in gray below. The book merely put them in bold, not gray. Don't the two sentences, ...
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1answer
46 views

Why should Ideograph/Ideogram be shunned, because it can refer to morphograms and “semantic units”?

The book quoted below uses, but doesn't define, "semantic unit". Googling yielded SemanticUnit (GOLD-2010) A SemanticUnit [sc] is the class of semantics elements, or units of semantic ...
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2answers
119 views

Please explain -emic vs. -etic to a 15 year old?

Please explain the differences to my 15 year old who's reading this book for fun. But these terms are too complicated for her! The adjective "abstract" is feeling abstract to us! What does ...
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1answer
37 views

What is meant by wordform?

Wordforms are the inflicted forms of lemmas, which are of infinitive in nature. Is the above definition true?
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2answers
72 views

What is terminology for the difference between, for instance, “see” and “sees”?

To clarify, I'm referring to the terminology for the difference between just a the word "see" as a verb, and the word in a statement like "Alice sees Bob". What is the correct ...
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1answer
46 views

Question about linguistic terms, semantic roles

Is there not a term that refers universally to "the thing that verbs"? The word isn't "subject" (in "It is eaten by me", the subject is a patient, I am the one "...
2
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1answer
127 views

What do “finite” and “non-finite” mean in linguistics?

What do "finite" and "non-finite" mean in linguistics? I know that they occur in other languages and in some cases not only in verbs.
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0answers
49 views

what is the difference between reference time and event time

what is the difference between reference time and event time , also i am native Arabic speaker , i tried to translate by google translate two examples the reference time before and after event time ...
3
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1answer
122 views

The classification of morphemes

I have seen conflicting charts and models of morphemes. Here's how I understand it. Free morphemes do not require other morphemes to make sense. That means that all free morphemes are words. Content ...
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3answers
75 views

What is a verb constellation?

I am reading a paper "Aspectual Categories in Navajo" and the author refers to something called a "verb constellation:" Verb constellations are associated with the situation types ...
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1answer
37 views

Figure of speech name [closed]

Is there a name for a situation where a word is not needed because a the previous word doesn’t require it? Example: heart attacks are harmful for your health. “harmful” makes no sense there because ...
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0answers
83 views

English words that can be only used as nouns

Is there a term for words that can be only used as nouns? For example, I think "history" and "sofa" are such words, but "book" and "dog" are not. I'm looking ...
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3answers
115 views

Is there a word for the opposite of jargon? [closed]

I've noticed this phenomenon in language which I've come to think of as "the opposite of jargon", but which I'm hoping there's a better name for. I don't know anything about linguistics, ...
2
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1answer
67 views

Is there a linguistic term for apologetic prefacing?

I was editing a question on Stack Overflow. Like so many questions it started with an apologetic or diminishing preface: I am genuinely sorry if this is seen as simple but I am new to coding in ...
5
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1answer
483 views

Name for seemingly incomplete sentences

I remember reading about sentences that naturally seem incomplete (ending in the middle as if the second half were missing), but are actually grammatically correct. The listener/reader just wrongly ...
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0answers
94 views

Did any linguists try to popularize “casus causativus”, to rectify the mistranslated “accusative”?

"accusative" hails from accusare, which the Romans chose somewhat inaccurately to translate Greek (ptōsis) aitiatike "(case) of that which is caused" based on the similarity of ...
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0answers
26 views

Clarification of Isochrony Definition

When we speak of isochrony, do we refer to isochrony within a phrase or within a whole language? E.g. should Mandarin, as a syllable-timed language, have equal duration of syllables within one phrase,...
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1answer
21 views

The notion of categorization in phonetics

What is meant by "categorization" in phonetics? It's supposed to be related to transcription in the sense that transcription requires one to categorize speech in some two dimensions. I only ...
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4answers
150 views

Linguistic term to describe the “hash” of a word

For example, in the Spanish sentence "Yo era chico y ella era vieja" [I was little and she was old], era appears twice, each time as the same part of speech (a verb) but with different ...
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1answer
78 views

What is the term for the role of “believe”, “think”, and “feel” in a sentence?

I remember vaguely that there is an encompassing terms for these words when used in a sentence. Something that represent it is not a normal factual claim, but something that is subjective to the ...
1
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1answer
69 views

Short words that change based on their proximity to other vowels

In English, "a" becomes "an" when it is followed by a word starting with a vowel sound. A similar thing occurs in Spanish with the word "y", which becomes "e" ...
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0answers
34 views

Formal terms for pronunciations of loanwords in source and recipient languages?

If they exist, what are formal terms meaning "pronunciation of a loanword in the donor language" and "pronunciation of a loanword in the recipient language"? In shorter terms, the ...
4
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1answer
83 views

What is the difference between a borrowed and a derived Word in Linguistics?

When looking at Etymologies of words, I noticed that there are "borrowed" words and "derived" words. "Borrowed" is, I think, just taken from a different language, but ...
28
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2answers
4k views

Is there a technical name for when languages use masculine pronouns to refer to both men and women?

I know a little Arabic, and I also know English. They both have the notion of "gender" built into their syntax. I am Persian and I speak Farsi, which does not have "gender" built ...
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0answers
28 views

Is there a term for common constructions like “X in general, and Y in particular?”

I have seen a syntactic meme that isn't common where I grew up. It is "X in general, and Y in particular" where Y has a meronym/part-to-whole relation with X. Here are some examples I found ...
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0answers
96 views

Diphthongoids and diphthongs

In Russian linguistics, there's a term дифтонгоид (diphthongoid). For example, in textbook Современный русский литературный язык (Modern Standard Russian) by S.V. Knjazev and S.K. Pozharitskaya, it is ...
4
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1answer
301 views

Is “matrix clause” synonymous with “main clause”? What exactly is a matrix clause?

A lot of people seem to understand "matrix clause" as a synonym for "main clause". For instance, a comment I just chanced upon on a language SE site states: It's a synonym for ...
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0answers
24 views

Which term is used to refer both to sentences and expressions shorter than a sentence?

I believe, "expression" is a good term for a word or a meaningful part of a sentence, which is shorter than the sentence, but "expression" does not sound a good term to refer to a ...
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3answers
865 views

What does linguistics call sets of words with the same spelling, different (but perhaps related) meaning, and different emphasized syllables?

In my idiolect, the word "defense", with the emphasis on the first syllable means "the role of defending". With the emphasis on the second syllable, it means "the act of ...
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0answers
32 views

how does one properly escape the context of a definition when writing one

When a lexicographer is forming a definition how do they make sure they are not overly influenced by the examples they refer to when forming their definitions. how do they properly escape the ...
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1answer
61 views
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60 views

Definiteness and indefiniteness

Is there a term that encompasses both terms at once? Suppose I am writing a paper titled [Single-word-here] in Language X, where the required word will refer to both definiteness and indefiniteness. ...
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0answers
27 views

Abstract objects: is this a linguistic term/concept?

Some verbs (e.g. eat, throw, lift) are transitive (take an object). Other verbs (e.g. live, die, sleep) are intransitive. But sometimes we can give an object to an intransitive verb by having the ...
5
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3answers
109 views

What is the name of the category that describes the ways a number can be read?

About 6 days ago, I asked this question in the English Language and Usage section but have yet to receive any answer. In hindsight, the lack of answers is entirely understandable since that was not ...
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0answers
33 views

Term for an adjective that refers to a specific property of a noun

Is there a linguistic term for an adjective that describes a specific property of the noun, rather than the noun in general? Some examples of what would be covered by such a term: In "The ...
2
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2answers
127 views

What is “H5” in Egyptian?

There seems to be a general consensus that classical Egyptian had four "guttural" or "H-like" phonemes: h (building, /h/), ḥ (wick, /ħ/), ḫ (placenta?, /x/), and ẖ (animal's belly, ...
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1answer
100 views

A word that will cover both words and numbers

Is there a word that covers the meaning of both words and numbers? Here is a sentence in English: Historically, the year 1500 is also often identified, somewhat arbitrarily, as marking the end of the ...
3
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1answer
109 views

“Voiceless labialized velar plosive” or “labialized voiceless velar plosive”?

The /k/ in the word "cool" is often labialized i.e. round lips and is transcribed as [kʷ]. How do linguists say its name in phonetics? Voiceless labialized velar plosive or labialized ...
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1answer
215 views

Why are the names of languages always adjectives? (e.g. “English”, “French”, “Spanish”)

I notice that in English (as well as Spanish, and perhaps other European languages), the name of a language is the same word as the adjective form of the country or region name. In English, this rule ...
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0answers
22 views

Terms for root stress

Looking for some descriptive help for a language description project. Stress assignment in the language is fairly complex and pretty resistant to easy generalizations, although prominence is ...
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2answers
103 views

“It is ___ that/who + verb.” pleonasm vs. “___ + verb.”

Is there a name for the following type of pleonasm: "It is John who runs." (instead of: "John runs.") "It was congress that legislated." (instead of: "Congress ...
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0answers
96 views

What kind of syntax diagrams are these, found in a book on legal writing?

These don't look like syntax trees in undergrad linguistics syntax textbooks. Do linguists use these diagrams? What are they called? Page 343.     Diagrams for grammatical analysis are visual aids to ...

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