Linguistics/Glossary

Linguistics:

GlossaryAppendix AFurther readingBibliographyLicense
00. Introduction01. Phonetics02. Phonology03. Morphology04. Syntax
05. Semantics06. Pragmatics07. Typology08. Historical Linguistics09. Orthography
10. Sociolinguistics11. Psycholinguistics12. Evolutionary Linguistics13. Language Acquisition
14. Creole Languages15. Signed Languages16. Computational Linguistics

Descriptivism - Observation of how language is used. This is generally the method used in linguistics. (Cf. prescriptivism)

Morpheme - An individual unit of meaning in a word. For example, the word uninterested may be analyzed as consisting of three morphemes: un-, interest, and -ed. (Morphemes are sometimes also considered to contain units which have no basic phonological representation, see reduplication, truncation).

Morphology - The study of how units of meaning are combined together to create words. The basic units of reference in morphology are morphemes.

Phone - A unit of sound or a gesture used to produce one in a language. Note that different phones may have the same underlying representation in a language (see phoneme).

Phoneme - A class of phones which contrast with other phonemes in a language. For instance, in English the phoneme /t/ is realized as a plosive at the beginning of a word (e.g. term) but as a flap between vowels in most positions (e.g. butter), while in other languages these two sounds are different phonemes.

Phonetics - The study of the different types of sounds used in human language and how they are produced and perceived. The basic units of representation in phonetics are phones.

Phonology - The study of how languages group phones together and use them to encode meaning. The basic units of representation in phonology are phonemes.

Prescriptivism - Ruling on how language should used. This is common in language instruction but is generally irrelevant to linguistics. (Cf. descriptivism)

Register - a different type of speech adopted by a language-user depending on context

Rounding - "puckering" of the lips while producing a phone, most commonly a vowel

Last modified on 16 November 2009, at 00:02