Questions tagged [terminology]

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

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11
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5answers
15k views

When you think one word, but write another, similar sounding word?

If you are writing or typing and you are thinking of one word, but then type another word made of the same phonemes, what is that called and what are the linguistic and /or psychological phenomena ...
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0answers
39 views

How are terms classified in English language [closed]

I'm looking for info on what types of terms there are in English language, especially types of multi-word terms, if those exist. A structure of classification, if you will. I have searched for a while ...
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3answers
66 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 ...
-2
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1answer
35 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 ...
0
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0answers
78 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 ...
1
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3answers
86 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
63 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
478 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 ...
0
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1answer
144 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 ...
1
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0answers
90 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,...
0
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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 ...
2
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2answers
119 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, ...
2
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4answers
143 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 ...
1
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1answer
69 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
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" ...
0
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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 ...
6
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5answers
6k views

Is etymology considered part of linguistics or a separate field outside the scope of linguistics?

Etymology is the study of the origins and history or development of words and phrases. Is it considered though to be part of the study of linguistics or is it considered to a separate field like we ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
73 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 ...
2
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0answers
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 ...
2
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0answers
90 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 ...
7
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1answer
171 views

Is there a term for ASL signs for related concepts that share the same motion and are distinguished by initialization?

As an ASL learner, I've noticed that there are groups of words with similar meanings, where the only difference is an initialized handshape. For example, the sign FAMILY has the two hands move outward ...
4
votes
1answer
152 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 ...
0
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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 ...
0
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1answer
179 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 ...
6
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3answers
862 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 ...
6
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3answers
601 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 ...
0
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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
59 views

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.
3
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0answers
58 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. ...
5
votes
3answers
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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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 ...
9
votes
6answers
18k views

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 ...
0
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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 ...
-3
votes
3answers
230 views

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 ...
0
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2answers
101 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
196 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 (...
1
vote
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 '...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
299 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 ...
4
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2answers
107 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
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
104 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 ...
0
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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 ...
0
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1answer
61 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?
5
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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 ...
1
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2answers
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
276 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' ...
4
votes
2answers
4k 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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