Questions tagged [terminology]

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

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52
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7answers
16k views

Is there a linguistics term meaning “it's grammatically correct, but nobody says that”?

This happens a lot when learning a foreign language: You learn some grammar structure, and insert some nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc., in the appropriate places, only to find out that no-one would ...
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1answer
48 views

Completely schematic construction?

I'm trying to understand what is a completely schematic construction in cognitive grammar. I found an example: VP --> V NP So, is that a construction that can be easily described by a general rule ...
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3answers
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Are the nasal portions of prenasalized consonants syllabic?

Prenasalized consonants occur in a number of natural languages. https://wikivisually.com/wiki/Prenasalized_consonant When I hear someone pronounce a word that begins with a prenasalized consonant, ...
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2answers
951 views

Are words classified (PoS) according to their use in a sentence, or does classification precede usage?

This is a rather broad question, so I'd like to limit this to verbs, at least in this explication of the question. Verbs take many forms and roles in sentences. Present participles can take the role ...
7
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1answer
134 views

Term for conversation where each person speaks a different language, while understanding each other

I would like to know if there is a technical (or common) term for the type of bilingual (or multilingual) conversation described in the title. For example, one person could be speaking French, while ...
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2answers
285 views

What is the proper term for a verb that can be used transitively with the patient as object or intransitively with the patient as subject

For example: I am cooking the chicken The chicken is cooking in the oven Cp: I am building a sandcastle x The sandcastle is building on the beach
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3answers
252 views

Is there any case where a relative adverb could also be described as a relative pronoun?

1/03/20: Edited to provide examples as suggested by jlawler. It's a pretty straight forward question. Here are the definitions from SIL: Relative Pronoun Definition: A relative pronoun is a ...
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2answers
177 views

Is there a name for the form “فعلان” (faʿlan)?

I've noticed the form فعلان (faʿlan) seems to imply emphasis, like in رحمان (raḥmân) which seems to means "All-Merciful". This form seems to exist in other Semitic languages like Hebrew (maybe רַבָּן, ...
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3answers
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What is a “Phonetic Language”?

Once I've spoke with a friend of mine and I've asked him why in the french language there are so many discrepancies (or incongruities, inconformities...) between the written and the spoken words and ...
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3answers
831 views

Is DNA a language?

DNA is commonly referred to as a language. For example, I can see that DNA is made up of nucleotides (ATGC) that form meaningful units (genes, chromosomes, etc). DNA gets transmitted to future ...
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0answers
26 views

Is there any terminology that refers to both lexis and grammar?

I wonder if there is any terminology that refers to a level of language consisting of lexis and grammar. It would be nice to know it. Thanks for your attention.
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1answer
602 views

What is the meaning of the Latin names of grammatical cases (in general, not in Latin)?

I cannot find any source explaining the Latin names of grammatical cases. I am especially curious in the names of the less common cases, like in Finnish: nominative genitive accusative partitive ...
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1answer
112 views

Is there a term for syntactically and semantically linked modifying phrases?

What I'm talking about is when a string of prepositional phrases take the object of the previous one as their antecedent, and where the entire string is linked back to the original antecedent, a noun ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the name for a placename that contains what the thing is in a different language?

For example Mount Maunganui. In Māori maunganui means "large mountain" and thus when literally translated into English it means "Mount Large Mountain". Another example would be the river Avon. In ...
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1answer
105 views

Linguistic term “Word final” in Spanish

The SIL Fieldworks Language Explorer program allows you to specify multiple phonological environments for different allomorphs of a lexical item. Each environment is given a title and a description. ...
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2answers
125 views

Context-Free grammars and Language

As someone trained in neither, how could you explain the analogies between context free grammars / languages and certain programming languages in computer science? Have I misunderstood whether there ...
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1answer
127 views

What's the difference between a light noun and a nominalizer?

I've been studying Japanese, and sometimes I see some words, like の and こと, get classified as "nominalizers," and other times as "light nouns." Plus, I've read somewhere that light nouns sometimes ...
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1answer
63 views

“Indifferent” reference of specific indefinites?

There is a class of indefinites sometimes called "specific indefinites" that refer to one individual. For example: A man walked into a bar followed by two others. He ordered a drink. With this ...
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0answers
197 views

What is a similect?

I'm looking for attested examples of similects in action. The term is relatively new for me. Could someone point me in the right direction? Etymology Coined by Anna Mauranen in a 2012 paper, from ...
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0answers
28 views

What is 'Category Affiliation' in sociolinguistics?

I came across this term in a paper talking about the first wave and second wave studies. Anyone know what it means?
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2answers
150 views

Is there a word like father-tongue?

If a Telugu speaking woman married an English man and the children speak the two languages equally well and that is possible in the global context. What will be the mother-...
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1answer
831 views

ELI5 — phone v. phoneme v. allophone

Please ELI5? I read the websites beneath but I still feel befuddled. Are there simple real-life analogies? Can someone explain to me the difference between a phone, phoneme, and allophone? (reposted ...
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0answers
38 views

does a general term exist for antecedents or postcedents?

· endophora is a general term that refers to either anaphora or cataphora ? does a general term exist that refers to either antecedents or postcedents
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1answer
811 views

What are External and Internal language?

I would like to know about External and Internal language. Suppose I was talking about a person who was not either good or great. I was praising him in my speech as he was my superior though I felt ...
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0answers
29 views

Terminology/resources for descriptions like “…the other one…”

Suppose, e.g., that there are two brothers, Bob and Bill, that must do two things but it doesn't much matter which brother does which task. I am interested in constructions like the following: One ...
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3answers
153 views

Is the `n` in Russian 3rd person pronouns “epenthetic”?

The 3rd person pronouns of Russian – ego him/it.ACC, eё her.ACC, ix them.ACC – gain an initial n when they are governed by most prepositions: nego/neё/nix. There are, of course, historical reasons for ...
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0answers
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Zeugma with particles?

If a zeugma is based on two particles rather than two objects, is it still called a zeugma? Example: Her violent husband knocked her both down and up.
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0answers
45 views

Word for synonyms with different degree

How call words expressing same thing but varying degree? hot - warm - cold - frozen
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0answers
83 views

Agentive vs Intentional vs Volitional

What are the differences between these three terms? Agentivity Intentionality Volitionality If they have different definitions, could you provide examples where their values do not match? (For ...
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0answers
160 views

What's the difference between lexeme and lexical item?

While studying An Introduction to English Morphology by Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy, came across this fragment. Section 2.1 pointed out that we tend to think of words as possessing two ...
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0answers
84 views

What's the name for using a letter to represent its name's sound?

It's often whimsical to substitute a single letter for a group of letters phonetically identical to the letter's name. Such as rewriting "barbecue" as "bar-b-q", or the entirety of William Steig's ...
3
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1answer
68 views

What is the classification of semantics into literal and figurative meanings called?

I read a Wikipedia article a while ago about semantics. It explained that each meaning of a word fits into one of five categories. For example, the word head has a literal meaning as a piece of ...
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2answers
312 views

Loanwords with different meanings from original language?

First, let me say this questions is asking only about fairly recent loanwords (as in, the word (or something similar to it) exists in both languages). I'm not asking about very old loanwords that may ...
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1answer
27 views

Single term for words that maintain dialogue cohesion

I'm trying to find a single term for words that help maintain cohesion in a dialogue, such as: A : How was the Lion King remake? B : It was good. A : And the Aladdin remake? B : It ...
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1answer
101 views

relationship between writing systems, scripts, and font. Terminology clarification required

I want a clarification on terminology. A language is written in a particular script . but there are various styles for writing a script. For e.g. arabic is written in arabic script, and it can be ...
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2answers
100 views

Is sonority phonological or phonetic?

I've seen several mentions of "sonority" in different works, most of which define it as something like "how loud a particular sound is in relation to other speech sounds". This seems like something ...
5
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1answer
743 views

Replacements for swear words

Is there a term for the following phenomenon or the words that are used in this way: One starts to utter a swear word, but continues to form an innocent sounding word. Examples from German are Sack ...
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0answers
91 views

Is there a name for this type of language divergence and isolation?

In South Australia there is a region called the Barossa Valley. At some point [after WW2? not sure] it was settled by a lot of German farmers who bought land and started dairy farms. They applied ...
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0answers
83 views

Is there a standard way to refer to an example language?

What is the John Doe or John Smith of language names for when a linguist is making an example? We’ve all seen Suppose that in language 𝑥 . . . and Imagine a language . . . and in another ...
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2answers
119 views

Grammatical category definition

Can anyone provide a good formal definition of the notion of grammatical category? I am primarily referring to morphological categories, such as case, tense, gender etc., rather than to syntactical ...
3
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2answers
220 views

Is there a term for the way that 'th' is pronounced differently in 'thin' and 'this'?

The point of the example in the question in the title is that, to my knowledge, there are no minimal pairs that contrast [ð] and [θ] in English, yet, if someone pronounced a word with those sounds ...
4
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1answer
332 views

Jargon request: “Canonical Form” of a word

I have zero experience with linguistics. Some friends told me that my question is one in linguistic, so I decided to give a shot here. Question While designing a dictionary, people collect words ...
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1answer
244 views

Grammatical case vs semantic case

I'm not sure what these terms mean. In my lecture notes I wrote that grammatical case is used to show the syntactic functions of a nominal syntagm, depending on its relation to the verb. Semantic case,...
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2answers
126 views

Words that signal future content

Some content words signal that future content will likely follow. The words seem to act as a typing system for instances of the content. For example: "I have an idea." --> one expects the idea to ...
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3answers
203 views

On an apparent “ masstermization” phenomenon in contemporary informal French: “ il y a de la jolie nana par ici”

I have noticed a tendency to " masstermize" nouns in contemporary informal French, I mean to use nouns as mass terms ( uncountable), though they cannot be strictly used in this way. What I call " ...
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2answers
96 views

What is it called to derive all the implied meanings from a sentence?

What would this process of gathering the meaning of a sentence be called? What would the segments derived from the sentence be called? "John and Derrek both love cake" -> John loves cake -&...
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2answers
809 views

What is the best linguistic term for describing the kw > p / gw > b change, and its usual companion s > h

Celtic, Italic, Greek and several other IE languages have a P- and a Q-variety (from kw > p and gw > b). The P-variety usually also has h for ancient s. What would be the best linguistic term for ...
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2answers
65 views

How to break down sentences into known grammatical categories

I'm trying to break down and analyse different sentence structures in English. Each group contains one present, past, and future sentence, but otherwise should be the same within a group. 1 He ...
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3answers
168 views

Is there a specific linguistic term for the following practice of constructing new words/characters?

I have in mind examples such as the Scheingallizismus (lit. appearance of Gallicism) in German which are words/phrases constructed from French origins but are themselves unknown in French speaking ...
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1answer
42 views

Terms to Indicate Rules

In software languages, we have a small set of terms to indicate a rule: if, then, else, upon, while, otherwise, case, etc. In specification writing, we use terms like: "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED",...

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