Questions tagged [terminology]

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

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72 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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80 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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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
476 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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20 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
141 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
68 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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68 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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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 ...
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70 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 ...
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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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27 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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87 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 ...
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132 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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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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860 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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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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59 views
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57 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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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 ...
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106 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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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 ...
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2answers
118 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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57 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 ...
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1answer
101 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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176 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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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
100 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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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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60 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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79 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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1answer
47 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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86 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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3answers
113 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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83 views

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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1answer
143 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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103 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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38 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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48 views

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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1answer
623 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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740 views

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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165 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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46 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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118 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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391 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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45 views

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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