Questions tagged [terminology]

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

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Can an affix still be considered an affix without being fixed to the base word?

What do you call a situation where a phrase that does not act as an infix but can be inserted into a multisyllabic word that is formed out of a base word and an affix? In the Mong language, we have ...
Mòòb Lajleeb's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
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What is a 'double-headed relative clause'?

WALS lists a language called Jamsay as having a feature called double-headed relative clause, but the site does not define what this means, and I can’t find a definition anywhere. Does it mean it ...
user8600's user avatar
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What's the meaning of 'head(-driven)' in HPSG?

In Head-driven phrase structure grammar or HPSG, what's the meaning of 'head'? Specifically, does the 'head' here mean the same thing as the term 'head' generally used in linguistics as follows? In ...
JK2's user avatar
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Design my own word search in TIGRINYA alphabets, Eritrean language

I would like to ask if it's possible to design word search puzzles in Tigrinya (Geez) alphabets, Eritrean & Ethiopian languages. Just to let you know that there are about 280 alphabets which I can ...
Abel Negasi's user avatar
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What is "sub-Indo-European"?

Apparently Leiden had a conference on "sub-Indo-European". Google isn't very helpful, resulting in a dead link: Sub-Indo-European Europe: Problems, Methods and Evidence - Leiden University ...
vectory's user avatar
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Linguistically speaking, what is the standard phraseology that pilots and air traffic controllers use to communicate?

There is a standardized phraseology used in aviation radio communications. It is based on English, but it is significantly different, and many of the statements are not grammatically correct in ...
Someone's user avatar
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Is it a requirement for the language that both talker and listener should be sentient?

I have been so far convinced that a language is a structured system of communication that consists of grammar and vocabulary, that is used to convey the meaning. Is it a requirement for the language ...
Audrius Meškauskas's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is “actual” both a false friend and a cognate?

English definition of “actual”: existing in fact; typically as contrasted with what was intended, expected, or believed. Spanish definition of “actual”: current, present, contemporary These are ...
Felix's user avatar
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What is Double Zero Grade?

The double zero grade *ǵʰi-m- is preserved in the compounds with numerals. (de Vaan, Etymological Dictionary of Latin 2013: hiems) E.g. *dwi-ǵʰim-os “two years old”, literally “of two winters” (en....
vectory's user avatar
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Examples of ‘kangaroo etymologies’ that actually happened

There’s an urban legend that the word kangaroo is from an Aboriginal phrase that means, “I don’t know.” This is not true: the word is actually from a Guugu Yimithirr word for a particular species of ...
puzzlet's user avatar
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Is the head function also called nucleus, or is nucleus a subtype of head?

In this visual representation of syntactic functions from Wikipedia, nucleus is given as a subtype of head. But the Head article appears to treat the two terms as synonyms. The first sentence reads: ...
Salim uddin's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
690 views

Contemporary words used in a cultural text set in another era

Is there a term to describe the situation in which a character uses words/ expressions from other literary era eg. the story is set in 18th century and the character talks about writing a fanficton?
Paulina's user avatar
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1 answer
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What subdiscipline of linguistics studies the relationship between writing and pronunciation?

Most European languages use some variation of the Latin alphabet. However, while most of them seem to broadly agree on what sounds most of the individual letters represent (with some minor differences,...
Dragomok's user avatar
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Marking TAM without an explicit TAM marker

There's this concept related to how Semitic verbs conjugation - not the vocalic templates, more a logical consequence of them - that I think is really interesting. How they manage to communicate TAM ...
Arcaeca's user avatar
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To what extent can Jakobson's communicative functions be applied to an analysis of written texts?

As a tutor of teachers in Spain taking the state entrance exam for English I am often confronted with the typical exam question 'identify the communciative fuctions' for text analysis. The teachers ...
Daniel Watts's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
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I am trying to remember the name of a tool I used in college for a phonetics project

I asked a native speaker of an unfamiliar language to say, in his native language, each of about 250 words so that I could transcribe them phonetically. Theoretically,this specific list of words would ...
Tara Jackson's user avatar
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1 answer
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What is a psych verb?

As mentioned in this comment by John Lawler to this question I asked yesterday, know is not a psych verb. What is a psych verb? I've heard this term before and vaguely guessed that it was a word ...
Greg Nisbet's user avatar
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What's it called when you refer to a member of a group by a modified version of the group name?

Is there a term for words like Amazonian, Googler, Harvardian -- monikers that mean "member of this group" that are just derivations of the group name? They seem to usually end in "-ian&...
Blake R's user avatar
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1 answer
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What is the reason for learning vocabulary without understanding the concept behind it

I've recently had a discussion with a friend who said that he believes that putting labels on things kills understanding. Meaning if a person learns a name for something before they learn what it ...
Sebau-nu-mu's user avatar
1 vote
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coreferentiality: what is a 'reference', exactly?

I would like to understand what is meant in a grammar discussion when someone uses the word "coreferential". I understand it to mean that two or more constituents (e.g. a noun and a noun ...
TimR's user avatar
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Help sought with understanding an aspect of genitive/possessive

In English, we can use the possessive in such a way that the noun being described is omitted, chiefly in cases where it has already been introduced. For example; "This chair is mine, and that is ...
zaritapucexot's user avatar
-4 votes
2 answers
91 views

Why aren't Phonetic Components in Chinese called PHONOLOGICAL Components?

Why Phonetic, not Phonological, Components? What is wrong about calling Phonetic Components Phonological Components instead? I perused all these posts, but they don't answer my question. What's ...
Ethen's user avatar
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1 answer
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What is the difference between traditional and modern IPA?

I have recently come across this while researching the phonetic spelling for "love", and I have come across a website (the website) that had both traditional and modern IPA spellings (with ...
Beathan Mann's user avatar
1 vote
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Is there a descriptive term for the demonstrative pronoun "that" which conveys the underlying notion of pointing to something *out there*?

I have read (somewhere) that the demonstrative pronoun describes something outside or away from the observer and that this has a descriptive term, philosophically not as a grammar term. That out there....
RolloMartins's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
96 views

What is the term for the phones or phonemes after a synchronic or diachronic sound change or allophony rule?

If you have a sound change or allophony rule such as: X -> Y / _Z Is there a common term for X and Y?
awe lotta's user avatar
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2 answers
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What is the term for a thing instantiated by saying it?

A promise comes into existence merely by saying it. What is the term for a thing, or property of a thing, that is instantiated by saying or naming it?
davidg's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
408 views

Word for difference between "in" and "into"

I was wondering whether there are words for the two types of prepositions, or a word for the distinction between them. I understand that the difference between them is that one is a "static" ...
Quintus Caesius - RM's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
170 views

Emphasis through capitalizing the first letters of words

I've begun to see this style of emphasis used more frequently, like in the following passage: People whose careers depend on the great stuff working as advertised may decide instead that they Simply ...
kalkronline's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
131 views

What is the difference between a phrasal affix, an affix, and a clitic?

I've heard people claim ‘phrasal affix’ is a synonym for ‘clitic’, and heard others who disagree. I have also seen titles of papers which say, Some Language Feature as a Phrasal Affix / Affix / ...
awe lotta's user avatar
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Linguistic Term for the Opposite/Converse of an Apocopic Form?

When you have an apocopic form (e.g. radio (the device) is an apocopic form of radiorreceptor in Spanish), is there a converse term that can be used to say, using the example above, that ...
Avana Vana's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
34 views

What is the term for how a colon is used as a key value separator in English, and are there other similar characters in other languages?

In English we often use colons as an informal term: definition separator or a key: value separator - like Birthdate: some date Is there a term for this form of usage, and are there other characters ...
user254694's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
63 views

What does information-status mean in linguistics?

The phrase information-status is used repdeatly in the article "Definiteness and Information-status in Hindi", Baldridge, 1996, but what does it mean? Could someone explain it simply/ say ...
tryst with freedom's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
63 views

Looking for a linguistic term

I'm trying to pinpoint a linguistic concept that may or may not exist. Let's say you have a complete set of "units" (i.e., sounds/letters/moras) in a language. This can be many things, ...
vivasra's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
178 views

Is there a term for words differing in stress (only)?

That is words that is pronunced equally except the stress pattern differs. For example "digest /daɪˈdʒɛst/" (verb) and "digest /ˈdaɪdʒɛst/" (noun). Or even the case where the ...
skyking's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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Is there a term for mixed gender in plural pronouns (as opposed to masculine, feminine, or neuter)?

In English, there is only one third person plural pronoun to refer to groups of any gender or genders. Multiple "he"s becomes they, multiple "she"s becomes they, multiple "it&...
ThornShadow's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
71 views

Technical term for words that are almost completely pejorated

My question is to some extent similar to this one. Unlike the infamous n-word, the word Negro was originally not so objectionable as it is nowadays, but nowadays it is considered acceptable only in ...
demisemiquaver's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
117 views

Technical term for terms never used naturally by native speakers?

Apparently, there are some terms that are never used naturally by native speakers. They may only appear under extremely peculiar circumstances (e.g. in some translations of foreign-language texts). A ...
questing's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
80 views

Is there a technical term for the process of a dialectal word being accepted as part of the standard variety?

For example, the word pet appeared originally in Scottish and northern England dialect, but it is no longer felt as specific to certain regions. I have not discovered any appropriate term for such ...
apprenant's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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Is there a technical term for words that seek attention?

In many languages there are words or sounds that function as attention-seeker. For example you might say hey yo, And this causes people to turn their heads towards you. In Persian there is آهای as ...
Saeed Neamati's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
125 views

Isn't it misleading to call written representations of spoken languages as written languages?

In the following sentences I would refer to anything that can be used to denote something as a symbol. Any language uses some kind of symbol to denote different things. I presume that any language ...
Harshit Rajput's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
96 views

is there a name for a language with very few roots?

It appears to me that German is a language whose vocabulary is strongly based on combining a few lexemes with a variety of prefixes, or just yuxtaposing. By contrast, romance languages seem to use far ...
miguelsxvi's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
159 views

What are the normalized entries called on the table of contents of thefreedictionary?

For example, these multi-word expressions or lexical units can be listed in their very basic forms on thefreedictionary.com: leave one's mark leave mark on develop from develop from someone develop ...
Lerner Zhang's user avatar
-1 votes
3 answers
237 views

What's the difference between nominative and absolutive case?

Why do both these cases need to exist? They are both subjects
minseong's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
513 views

Are inflectional morphemes considered affixes in English?

From what I remember to have learned in SPANISH, which is my mother tongue, affixes just refer to derivational morphemes such as suffixes and prefixes which can change the meaning of words when added ...
Irene Domingo's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
134 views

What is the name for the phenomenon where an English verb that takes a clausal complement either does or does not mark the infinitive with "to"?

Let them go home. *Let them to go home. *Allow them go home. Allow them to go home. Make them go home. *Make them to go home. *Force them go home. Force them to go home. What is the reason that &...
Sam Engel's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
160 views

What is the name for this phenomenon, and what are some other examples of it?

Sorry if this is a duplicate, but I couldn't figure out how to search for this, especially since my only example involves two function words. In English, we can say "I have not eaten." "...
Davis Yoshida's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
300 views

Tone vs Intonation in English -- does English use tones in any situation to convey meaning?

I took some Mandarin in college and I believe (IIRC) the concept of tones was introduced to us English speakers by showing how we use "rising tone" for questions. But a comment to a recent ...
releseabe's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
112 views

What is the term for the duration ratio between the vowel and the coda?

A syllable consists of three parts: The onset, the nucleus (which is usually a vowel), and the coda. The onset and the coda are optional, or may come in consonant clusters, but for the purpose of this ...
Dannyu NDos's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
68 views

What is this type of ambiguity called?

There are a number of sentences that create a paradoxical-seeming ambiguity. I'm not sure what the name for this phenomenon is, and it'd be great if someone could help me out. Examples include: -"...
Benjamin Grange's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
123 views

Technical word for cross-lingual pronunciation that causes bad meaning

In Arabic, کونی is the imperative second person feminine of "be". But the same word in Persian means a faggot (slang). The one who found the heleocentrism is called Copernicus, bet the last ...
Saeed Neamati's user avatar

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