Questions tagged [terminology]

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

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16 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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104 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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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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80 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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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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55 views

What’s the name of this figure of speech?

Saying “The not tall boy” instead of “The short boy” does it have a name?
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73 views

Do we have a term for priori knowledge in linguistics?

Broadly speaking, these terms have been introduced throughout history to categorize knowledge: A priori, rationalism, deductive reasoning => meaning that we gain new knowledge, only by using ...
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19 views

What word describes the unique possibilities when disambiguating a word?

The disambiguation page for the word turtle on wikipedia displays a list of possibilities to choose from. Many of these possibilities are just the same word turtle but with different meanings. ...
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28 views

Is there a term for a question that is not rhetorical?

Oxford Dictionary defines a "rhetorical question" as one "asked in order to produce an effect or to make a statement rather than to elicit information". Is there not a term for a '...
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77 views

What is the definition of a “case” in grammar?

Among others, according to Wikipedia: "Case" is a linguistics term regarding a manner of categorizing nouns, pronouns, adjectives, participles, and numerals according to their traditionally ...
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110 views

What's the discipline of creating languages called?

I can only assume creating languages is part of the linguistics field, but is there a more specific name for the field, or the process?
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Form versus orthography versus spelling

What is the proper linguistic term for the way a word is written? Initially, I used the term form, but then I was told that it was orthography. However, I sometimes come up with sources where the term ...
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95 views

Arabic grammar: The difference between the terms raf` and marfu'

I have begun to learn Arabic, and the difference between following terms confuse me. There is this topic of ʾirāb—the science which deals with how the Arabic noun inflects with respect to its ...
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101 views

The term for the state of a noun

In linguistics, a case is how a noun declines with respect to its grammatical function within a given phrase, clause, or sentence. Is there a linguistics term to refer to the “state” of a noun within ...
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34 views

Terminology about elongating a monothong or a diphthong by duration and tone

Which terminology is applicable when a monothong or diphthong is elongated in duration and with a slightly higher pitch? Would it be vowel breaking or fracturing or something else? Example 1 (...
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Ambiguity in “Joe and David discussed his plans for tomorrow evening” [duplicate]

Is there a specific term for the ambiguity in the sentence, "Joe and David discussed his plans for tomorrow evening," the ambiguity arising from the use of "his" when it could ...
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612 views

What's the term for finding an attestation of a word that predates the earliest known one?

Certain dictionaries make a point of citing the earliest known written usage of a particular word. Sometimes, after the dictionary is published, someone tracks down an even earlier attestation of the ...
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What do you call double consonants that are not affricates?

For example, the IPA Help page for English lists these consonants: hw whine lj lute nj new sj consume θj enthuse zj Zeus Is there a name to refer to this type of double consonants? I'm thinking &...
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158 views

Is there a name for a diminutive whose meaning has decoupled from the original word?

In languages where the diminutive is productive (such as Slavic languages), many words derived as a diminutive have a meaning completely decoupled from their origin, and do not anymore "convey ...
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42 views

Could someone give an easily understandable explanation of “derivation rules”?

From Wikipedia, A BNF specification is a set of derivation rules. The post Term for a non-word consistent with derivation rules on this site also uses this term. Google returns a lot of results, here ...
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109 views

Term for when speakers of L1, over time, pronounce words in their language like phonetically similar words found in the more dominant L2?

I am looking for the name of the following phenomenon: Speakers of Language 1 transplant a given word to a new environment in which Language 2 is the dominant language spoken in the area. Language 2 ...
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379 views

Name of assertions in sentences where negation of the whole sentence doesn't negate the assertion

A few years back I watched a talk by a German linguistics professor where he (IIRC) mentioned a rhetorical technique where the writer of a speech moves certain facts into a secondary position in a ...
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What's it called? Indicating no exceptions to the rule

In my study of an ancient language, I’m seeing certain phrasing that, in a prescription of proper behavior, means emphatically: “without exception!” My question is: Do linguists have a label for this ...
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Is there a word for “mouth transitions” which describes the movement of a mouth which is saying one word, but preparing for the next?

I think I can produce every individual phoneme in standard-ish spoken Mandarin. However, if I want to speak fluently I have to watch videos of people speaking and closely watch their mouths, because ...
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44 views

What is the linguistic term for nouns which are used as verb infinitive?

What is the term to for the nouns which are formed from verbs or stems, whether as expressing action (revolution; commendation), or a state (contrition; starvation), or associated meanings (relation; ...
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71 views

Floating quantifiers in X-bar theory: “the men all have gone”

In chapter 9 of Syntax: A generative Introduction (2nd ed), Carnie shows that we can solve some problems by generating subjects in Spec of VP and letting them move to Spec of TP. In the first ...
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Is “them” in “I care for them” an indirect object, a direct object, or neither sort? What exactly is the term “object” describing?

I’m try­ing to sort out verb com­ple­ments (broadly de­fined here as any phrase that de­ter­mines, com­pletes, or re­fines the mean­ing of a verb) and the re­la­tions they form with verbs: ob­ject re­...
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137 views

Some questions about the basic concepts in semantics

According to the Semantics (Kate Kreans, 2011), there are two kinds of denotation for predicates. For example, the word 'dog', has extension (the set of all dogs in the actual world), and intension (...
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62 views

Is there a generic English term for the relation actor:actress?

I am looking for a generic term describing the relation actor:actress or Paul:Paula, like actress is a ____ of actor. In German, there is the term Movierung for this, and it works in both directions (...
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86 views

Does the stem of a word carry the sense information of its inflections?

From what I understand the lexeme or lemma of a word carries the sense information of the word, and hence for an inflected form like tablets, it can have a different lemma, each one for each sense of ...
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32 views

What would be the collective noun for collection of words whose affixal markers indicate the same grammatical categories?

I am working on Sanskrit, a fusional language. I am confused about what should be the collective noun that I should be used to address the set {nominals, verb, adverb, indeclinable, participle}. Could ...
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330 views

What to call an adjective that is a participle of a verb that is no longer used?

While answering the question How often do native speakers use the word “to scathe”? Is it OK if I use it instead of “to injure”?, I described "scathing" and "unscathed" as "...
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What's the name of the effect where linguistic diversity is far more pronounced in a language's homeland?

I've always just used the term "homeland effect" for this, but websearches suggest that that is not actually its name and probably something I made up at some point. What I'm talking about ...
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70 views

Linguistic umbrella term for things and relations between things

Is there an established term in linguistics which is a hypernym of both 'things' (e.g. entities; categories of entities; actions; ...), and the relationships between them? Intuitively, I would assume ...
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849 views

What is the correct term for a “lazy L”?

This question is about a mild form of a specific speech pathology that seems to be gaining prevalence in Australia and if there is a term for it. It is not an "accent" issue, because it can ...
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87 views

Is there a term for a sequence of letters which can be divided into words in multiple ways?

I've been looking for a term that describes a phrase, unbroken into individual words, which could have multiple meanings depending on where it's divided. It's hard for me to even give good examples ...
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What do you call (the fact that languages are not always one-to-one in their labellings)?

Based on this question. There is no reason that there should be a ["Good" + "morning"] in Spanish any more than there is a ["Good" + "days"] in English. I ...
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Is there a term for translating a word to a language that has a different alphabet (such as Hindi to English)?

The specific example that I am thinking of is the word "दाल का सूप" in Hindi. It translates to "lentil soup", and is pronounced "dal", however there are multiple ways of ...
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Are there single-word and generally accepted terms for the referents of the arguments in comparative clauses?

AFAIK, in any statement comparing two entities, there are typically at least three terms: NPa stands for the thing compared VG stands for nature of comparison NPb stands for the thing that the ...
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74 views

Is there a concept to describe “a way of saying something that is incorrect, but occurs frequently due to the speaker speaking a second language”?

In the past ten years I've started working with people who's native language is not English. I've noticed that these folks say thing to get a concept across, but it's not something you'd hear a native ...
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70 views

What's the name of the process in which a word acquires new meanings?

I am almost sure there is a proper name for that but I forgot. It would be the opposite of semantic bleaching...
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125 views

What is this phenomenon in dialog called?

I attempt here to be succinct and I hope that the question is clear. I am looking for the names of the phenomena (in conversational English) that I am attempting to describe. Consider a dialog between ...
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Accurate English terminology for “complément du nom” and for “complément/complemento” as a general term

I am looking at this kind of French sentences: Le directeur de la banque Un directeur de banque Le livre de l'élève Le livre de français Having done some research about English grammar terminology ...
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107 views

Term for non-homograph homophone synonyms?

In Japanese, 熱い and 暑い are both read atsui and both mean 'hot'. The former pertains to an object (e.g. hot coffee) and the latter to weather. In French 'cuissot' and 'cuisseau' have the same ...
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What is shallow semantic processing?

What exactly is "shallow semantic processing", and how is it related to syntactic analysis? Is it correct to say that syntactic processing of a text is the preliminary step for shallow semantic ...
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365 views

Are individual words really constituents?

The constituent unit is defined in Wikipedia as a word or a group of words that functions as a single unit within a hierarchical structure. When phrase structure trees are produced, each node in the ...
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32 views

Is “and you” an example of endophora

If I were to tell someone to "stand up" and then, after a beat, say "and you" to another person, is that "and you" endophoric? There's nothing in the first phrase being referred to, it's more the ...
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61 views

What is the general term for linguistic categories?

I have been trying to understand the division of "properties of items within a grammar or language" as wikipedia calls it into the following sets (among a few others): Grammatical category Lexical ...
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42 views

Terminology for this kind of affixes

I was solving an IOL sample exercise (which can be found here) about the Aymara language. I did it, it was kinda hard but I did it. One of the words in it was challwampiwa. The first part (challwa) ...
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91 views

Are two words cognate if they ultimately come from the same root but have different roots in more recent languages?

For example, Spanish corteza and French écorce (bark) both ultimately come from PIE *(s)ker- but they have different Latin roots (cortex and scortea). Does that stop them from being cognate?

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