Questions tagged [terminology]

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

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215 views

Terminology: types of inflection and features

Happy New Year, everyone! I am reading an article by G.Corbett on canonical morphosyntactic features. He mentiones two kinds of inflection: inherent and contextual. These notions look to me somewhat ...
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143 views

Does “a” in “I made a mistake” denote indefiniteness? [closed]

I made a mistake. Here, "a" is called the indefinite article in contrast with the definite article "the". But does "a" in this sentence denote indefiniteness? As far as I can tell, "a" is needed ...
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51 views

Subregularities and irregularities

It seems that some syntacticians sometimes use the word subregularity instead of irregularity. Is there any difference between these two terms or they cover same concept?
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2answers
333 views

Is there a linguistic term for words that can have the same meaning in different languages?

The closest I can find is 'cognate' but that term is used for words that have similar etymology and phonetic characteristics but not necessarily the same or similar meaning in different languages. ...
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1answer
48 views

What is a phonic unit?

What is a phonic unit? I tried to find out this notion on the Web, but I did not find any explicit or accurate definition but just others definitions that use this notion.
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1answer
89 views

What is the technical name for declensible languages?

What is the correct nomenclature for languages constructing logical functions through desinences (through declensions) and what for the ones doing it via prepositions?
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1answer
849 views

What is the difference between lexical verb and copular verb?

What is the difference between "lexical verb" and "copular verb"? Based on this source it seems that lexical verb it is just a simple verb (run, go, jump etc.) "For example: He went to the store. ...
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107 views

Phonemes and phonemic sounds

How is called the property of phonemes due to which one minimal pair is enough to establish the phonemic status of a sound?
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1answer
77 views

Greek: differences between words marked as αρχαιοπρεπής, λόγιος or παλαιότερα

In my dictionary some words are marked with αρχαιοπρεπής (dated, archaic), λόγιος (learned form) and παλαιότερα (more ancient use). What are the differences, if any, between these terms, and what is ...
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144 views

What is the exact meaning of 'common' in 'common noun'?

The adjective 'common' has two basic meanings according to Oxford: Occurring, found, or done often; prevalent: ‘common misspellings’ Shared by, coming from, or done by two or more people, groups, or ...
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1answer
126 views

Is there a term for an adjective or noun becoming a verb, like “to adult”?

Is there a term for a word that is traditionally an adjective or noun becoming a verb over time? A word I'm thinking of is "adult", which Merriam-Webster has reported has become increasingly ...
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1answer
565 views

What is the difference between Speech Act and Dialog Act?

I'm having some trouble finding a publication or paper that will define the difference between Speech Act and Dialog Act. The overlap between the used terms in different papers seems to correlate to ...
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0answers
62 views

Any name for this proposition? : Sounds reflects P.O.S. of the word

I am using natural language processing/speech recognition techniques so that I can provide better tools to learn English pronounciation. While research on relevant topics, I found this fact: ...
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2answers
400 views

What's the difference between particle, marker and adposition?

The three lexical categories (or parts-of-speech) particles, markers, and adpositions are extremely vague to me. Some grammars call marker what others call particle or adposition. For example, the ...
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1answer
137 views

A subset of concrete nouns

As far as I know, common nouns include all the nouns except for proper nouns. Specifically, common nouns include abstract nouns as well as concrete nouns, which include material nouns and collective ...
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2answers
54 views

Is there a term for the diminishment of intensity of meaning over time?

I can only imagine this has been asked before, but the closest I found in a search had to do with translation and slang. Sorry if it's been answered! My question is about the watering-down of English ...
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2answers
125 views

What do you call what a noun phrase refers to?

In most dictionaries and grammars, 'noun phrase' is defined by the function it performs, i.e., a subject, an object or a predicative complement. But this definition is not quite helpful considering ...
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1answer
34 views

What is a study trying to synthesise different meanings of a root (synchronically) called?

A relatively straightforward research question in the study of dead languages is of the form: "We have root XYZ that means A in context P and B in context Q. How can we generalise A and B to arrive at ...
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1answer
56 views

Term for similar structures and phrases in languages

As a Finnish-speaker learning Danish I have observed certain similarities, at least when compared to English. I am not discussing loan words (some of which exist through Swedish or English) or ...
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2answers
104 views

What is the name of the noun to verb transformation?

What is the name of the grammatical transformation that consists in creating a verb from a noun?
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1answer
161 views

Does an adjunct really “modify” something?

In most grammars, an adjunct is differentiated from a complement in that the former modifies something whereas the latter complements something. But is it really the case that what an adjunct does is ...
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32 views

Verb classes confusion: unaccusative, unergative [duplicate]

I still have a confusion in relation to verb classes, I read somewhere here that 'unaccusatives' are types of unpaired unergatives, and somewhere else 'unaccusatives' are the opposite of 'unergatives'....
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330 views

The argument/complement marker prepositions

What is the name used to refer to the subset of particles (or prepositions) which mark sentence's arguments/complements in a language? For example, suppose that the prepositions sub, dir, and ind ...
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80 views

Terminology for masculine vs. feminine speech/language styles

I'm looking for terminology to describe voices/speech/language patterns in a dataset in a publication based on whether they seem to the linguistically-educated transcriber to be "masculine", "feminine"...
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1answer
142 views

weak definite article in Engish linguistics

I may be wrong, but I don't seem to have come across the term 'weak definite article' in English linguistics though I think I've encountered it in German or French linguistics. (I've read 'weak ...
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1answer
103 views

Is there a name for sounds formed by interruption of airflow? Is “intermittent stop” a synonym for “trill”?

Both nasal and stops interrupt the airflow in mouth. Affricates do this as well, but release the airflow turbulently. The trills too, but the interruptions are created and released intermittently. The ...
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34 views

Terminology for a phrase that changes meaning over time within a closed community

I am looking for the linguistic terminology for the phenomenon of semantic change in a discourse within a closed community. This closed community could be a couple, a company etc. For example, ...
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2answers
200 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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3answers
421 views

Is generative grammar a theory or an approach?

I am trying to understand the first sentence of Wikipedia's page on generative grammar: Generative grammar is a linguistic theory that regards grammar as a system of rules that generates exactly ...
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32 views

Understanding the problem realm of text interactions

I am a complete linguisitic novice. I have been exploring text analytic tools and I have become interested in how to extract interactions, mainly between humans in fictional text. I am trying to ...
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0answers
80 views

Second and third language “search”

In my third or fourth language, when I don't know a word or phrase, I substitute a word from my other non-native language rather than the one I obviously know in my native language. Or if I'm looking ...
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1answer
4k views

What is the difference between type and token?

My understanding of this is quite vague. Token I understand to be the total number of words in a given text, but type I am not so sure about. If I have a variety of inflected forms (e.g eat, eats, ...
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1answer
88 views

What is a language and what is a dialect? [duplicate]

A language is a system of communication (source). So surely German, Austrian, French and Bavarian are all languages. But which of those 4 are distinct languages? The next question is: What is a ...
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103 views

What are technical terms and treatments in the literature for the exactly the following special kind of pleonasm?

Question. What is an attested technical term for the following kind of pleonasm? Has this been described scientifically and where? What are other examples than the one I give below? Let N be a noun. ...
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1answer
88 views

What's the name of the elements used to extend otherwise basic clauses?

Given the following sentence: "He wrote a love letter at night for his girlfriend". "He wrote a love letter" is the basic SVO clause, but what is the "at night" and "for his girlfriend" part called? ...
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1answer
103 views

How do linguists describe the element order of a possessive? (aka. “A's B” vs “B of A”)

While the exact nature of a language's possessive elements may vary in meaning, usage, syntax, etc. what they all seem to share is that they ether present the superior element before the inferior one, ...
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1answer
319 views

Are numerical digits logograms, ideograms or both?

From this answer, I understand that logograms represent words in a language, while ideograms represent concepts independent of a language. What about numerical digits like "1"? In the linked answer, ...
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2k views

Can anyone explain the difference between nominal and pronominal cases?

Like the title says, can anyone give an explanation on the difference between nominal and pronominal cases?
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1answer
74 views

What is the hypernym of names, unique titles, and definite descriptions?

The name Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, the unique title The Queen of England, and the definite description the elder daughter of Cecilia Bowes Lyon all refer to the same unique entity. We might think of ...
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1answer
123 views

Common linguistic term for conjugations, declensions

I'm not clear on an aspect of linguistic terminology. I have a programming background, so maybe my conception of this is too hard-edged, but here goes. There are some grammatical categories into ...
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1answer
205 views

Term to describe change from /yeho/ to /yo/ in biblical Hebrew names

The first two syllables on many biblical Hebrew names with the initial theophoric element יְהוֹ yeho were abbreviated to יוֹ yo. For example, Yehochanan became Yochanan. I was curious what the ...
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1answer
155 views

What is a half-transitivizer?

I've been learning Greenlandic and I came across this term, and I can't find anything about it online. Can anyone explain it in Layman's terms?
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2answers
269 views

What is the linguistic term for 'it'

'This' is proximal demonstrative pronoun/ adjective. 'That' is distal demonstrative pronoun/ adjective. What is 'it' called?
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1answer
5k views

Definitions of extra-linguistic, internal and external change?

I am new to linguistics, and have just started reading about sociolinguistics. I'm interested in language change and motivations for it. There are three terms that I have come across, but am ...
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1answer
72 views

How to assess sentence complexity [closed]

I'm not really a linguist but I am analysing some medical free text so that I'll be able to extract various phrases using regular expressions. I have noticed that the sentences are usually very ...
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1answer
1k views

Langue vs parole in Phonetics and Phonology

How could one frame the differences between phonetics and phonology in Saussurian terms? I know langage/langue/parole were not developed to these ends, but this explanation can help me get a handle ...
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1answer
112 views

What is it called when a word is used based on an extant definition which no longer actually applies? e.g. “dial” with phones

It was difficult to phrase what I mean in an accurate and precise way here. This is similar to a fossil word, but fossil words are words which have fallen out of general use except where they are ...
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2answers
59 views

Why cannot 'meaning' substitute 'semantic'?

Why can't (the Noun Adjunct) 'meaning' substitute (the Adjective) 'semantic' (I bolded) in the examples below? Source: Paul Elbourne, Meaning: A Slim Guide to Semantics (1 ed. 2011). [ p. 33 : ] ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the difference between a discourse and a register?

Sorry if this is a stupid question. I just started studying linguistics today, so I'm kind of blundering through the subject at this point. I've been reading about various basic linguistic concepts ...
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2answers
117 views

Term for -ed as an adjectival suffix?

By which I mean changing a noun into an adjective by adding '-ed'. For example: the noun 'horn' becomes the adjective 'horned' Is there a term for the type of adjective that is formed from a noun by ...

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