Questions tagged [terminology]

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

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18 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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171 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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3answers
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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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3answers
592 views

What do you call a failed attempt to use the “standard” speech?

Some speakers who use a non-standard accent or dialect of a language, occasionally desire to "adjust" their speech to the standard. I'm interested in knowing if there is a word for when this fails ...
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30 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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If you clumped all English words into synonyms, instead of word by word, how many unique concepts/definitions would there be in the English language? [closed]

Particularly based on the selection of entries in the New Oxford American Dictionary.
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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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3answers
100 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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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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Argot vs Jargon

I'm stuck understanding the difference between argot and jargon. According to many sources, e.g. Wikipedia: Argot is a secret language used by various groups—including, but not limited to, thieves ...
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32 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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1answer
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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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How to find origin of a borrowed word?

For example what is the origin of name Catherine? Etymology Dictionary says that: it's from French Catherine, from Medieval Latin Katerina, from Latin Ecaterina, from Greek Aikaterine. The -h- was ...
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97 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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1answer
166 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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1answer
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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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Why are “first-person inclusive” forms called “first-person”?

"First-person inclusive" forms are ones that refer to both the first and second person. In that case, why call them "first-person" anything? Wouldn't it be equally logical to call them "second-person ...
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3answers
268 views

Verb pairs similar to “buy” and “sell”?

"buy" and "sell" that are basically the same action/event, but reverse arguments (subject of one, the object of the other): X sold his car to Y. Y bought a car from X. Is there a any special name ...
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103 views

Is there a term for names with the “X the Y” construction?

For example, "Ivan the Terrible" or "Conan the Barbarian".
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1answer
56 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
91 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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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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1answer
127 views

Is there a phrase for someone being ashamed of, or self-conscious about their accent when moving to another region?

I was reading a book about accents at a local library and there was a chapter where the author says "some varieties of a language are more aesthetically pleasing than others". Some accents are ...
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1answer
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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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94 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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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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253 views

Grammatical Aspects

I am searching for two special types of grammatical aspects. an aspect that has a meaning of 'try or attempt' ex: he made an attempt to ask. an aspect that has a meaning of 'eventual or definitive' ...
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2k views

What are the subjective and objective genitives?

I have recently come across the terms subjective genitive and objective genitive, but I don't fully understand them. From what I have read, an example might be 'the love of God', as in 'the love of ...
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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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3answers
111 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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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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Languages with no past tense?

Is there a name for languages that have no specific past tense? For example, in the language of Kiribati there is no separation between past and present tense. To indicate the past, one must specify ...
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1answer
81 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
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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1answer
115 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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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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180 views

What is the linguistics term for descriptive names?

I would like to read more about descriptive personal names, such as "Red Cloud", "His-Horse-is-Crazy", "Salmon Eater", "Twilight Sparkle", "Rainbow Dash", "One who yawns", "Sitting Bull", "One man ...
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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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1answer
618 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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195 views

Origin of the term “iminutive”

The word "iminutive" is used in Yiddish, and, apparently, Bavarian grammar to refer to the second diminutive (i.e., of nouns). The etymology of "diminutive" is clear. As for the provenance of the ...
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160 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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728 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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224 views

Names of the letters in the Latin script

I have noticed that the Spanish alphabet has the 26 letters + the consonant ñ, which is pronounced like the "ny" in "canyón". But out of the remaining 26 letters, I have noticed ...
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111 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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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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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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383 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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1answer
151 views

Antiphrasis vs. Auto-antonymy

Source: Blank, A. 1999. Why Do New Meanings Occur? A Cognitive Typology of the Motivation for Lexical Semantic Change. In Historical Semantics and Cognition. Edited by P. Blank Koch, 61-90. Berlin/...
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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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