Questions tagged [terminology]

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

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Human language's key properties [closed]

I was wondering what is the difference between the three human language unique characteristics that differentiate human from other animals called: a. displacement b. discreetness c. arbitrariness
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What's the name of the principle that derives the sound of a symbol from the name of the thing that that the symbol depicts?

What do we call it when the Initial sound of a word, eg. beth vel sim. "house", is assigned to a symbol of that word, eg. the floorplan of a house(?), to use the sign as the unique ...
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2answers
96 views

Are there terms for homophones that vary by syllabic emphasis?

Is there a technical term for words that have the same phonemes but are distinguished by syllabic emphasis? E.g., abstract is æb-strækt, but emphasis on the first syllable is a different word from ...
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1answer
103 views

Does Morpho-syntax = Grammar?

According to Fukuyama University Asst. Prof. Warren M Tang1 What is morphosyntax? – in other words Morphosyntax is another word for grammar. Grammar can be divided into morphology and syntax. ...
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61 views

What is it called when a verb takes its "logical" or "usual" object as its grammatical subject?

This usually occurs for objects that are used by a person, and in English often feels to me like an Americanism. Examples: The sofa sits five. The wine drinks very smoothly. The car drives very ...
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89 views

What to call a verb phrase with no subject?

What do you call a verb phrase with no subject, like a description of purpose: "to exact revenge" or ability: "juggle cats while tap dancing"?
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4answers
799 views

Is there a collective term for the Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek alphabets?

I was just wondering if such a term exists, since they are very similar to each other, and all of them derive from the Greek alphabet, so I thought perhaps there might be a collective term for the ...
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65 views

What does Axel Schuessler mean by "area word"?

My son's studying Chinese. His teacher asked how 念 semantically appertains to its components 今心. I don't speak Chinese, and he had no idea. Then we resorted to Wiktionary that refers to Axel ...
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1answer
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What is the linguistic term for sounds such as 'um', 'uh', 'like', etc. when used to control the rhythm of speech?

Sounds such as 'um' and 'uh' are common in speech when the speaker needs to prolong a sentence or otherwise control the rhythm of the sentence. I also hear these sounds used to convey indifference or ...
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1answer
131 views

If mora are potentially sufficient to describe language, then what do syllables add, in theory?

Following the answer to the recent Question, Why is/was Gokana claimed to lack syllables?, I don't really understand the difference. I have heard of moras in the context of poetry before and didn't ...
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149 views

Why is took not a word? [closed]

Why is took not a word? The dictionary takes you to take, and it say's "past tense: took" But it doesn't take you to the word, took. So Why is took not a word?
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Does it have a name when you know certain vocabulary in another language but not in your own?

For example if you draw a venn diagram for all the vocabulary that you know in the languages that you consider yourself to be fluent in, you'll have some gaps in the "foreign" languages, but ...
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What are the differences between lexis, lexicon, vocabulary?

My daughter's school doesn't offer linguistics, and none of her teachers studied it. Can you please answer at her 16 y.o. level? Thanks. Google yielded two answers. Logan R. Kearsley, MA in ...
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1answer
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language varieties that are languages

Language varieties Any set of linguistic forms which patterns according to social factors: i.e. used under specific social circumstances. The term includes different accents, different linguistic ...
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1answer
53 views

Name for a deliberate change of a meaning? [closed]

Is there a specific name, a figure of speech, for a "deliberate, even subtle change of the meaning of a word"? Example: "- You're doing politics at school as a teacher! - Everything can ...
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2answers
70 views

What is the name of the phenomenon of the subsequent semantic convergence of a borrowed cognate? [closed]

What is the name of the phenomenon of the subsequent semantic convergence of a borrowed cognate? For example, similar occurs in for the borrowed Latin 'video', which, however, of course, is original p....
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Term for a name of a group that contains an example of the group

In this answer, the term "cutthroat compound" was mentioned as a name for the group of words like "scarecrow", which is neither part describes a specific kind of the other part. (A ...
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'entextualization' v. reading (comprehension) v. interpretation

How does entextualization differ from reading (comprehension) or interpretation? This definition below doesn't distinguish entextualization. All boldenings are mine.       Entextualization, or the ...
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1answer
72 views

Is there a name for an instance when someone misleads themself on the meaning of a word?

Suppose someone has encountered the word "transfixed" on several occasions, never looked up the word in a dictionary, and concluded from the encounters that the word means "engrossed&...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
207 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
96 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
129 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 ...
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1answer
966 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
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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 ...
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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
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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
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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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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
42 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
73 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
51 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 "...
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1answer
204 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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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 ...
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1answer
402 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
103 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
117 views

What do you call a question to convey curiosity, without expecting a direct answer

I was wondering if there is a name for a question that you say out loud to convey curiosity about a topic, without necessarily expecting a direct answer from those around you. This may be used to ...
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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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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
164 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, ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
492 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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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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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
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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
152 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
88 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 ...
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1answer
70 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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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 ...

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