Tag Archives: definition

Shortening – contraction – clipping – blending – abbreviation

Dear All, One can hear people using a variety of terms to refer to “shortened words” such as ‘shortenings’, ‘abbreviations’, etc. This post looks at these terms from the linguistic perspective to explain and help use them correctly. This post focuses on the lexical layer of the language. Let’s start with the most generic term: …

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What is language

Dear All, There exist dozens of definitions of “language” (L.). This post focuses on what a good definition of L. should cover and formulates a new definition of the notion. To begin with, what is the most important objective of L. from the linguistic perspective? Most objective of L. from the linguistic perspective is communication. …

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Gazing

Video credit: Vanessa Van Edwards, “The Three Types of Eye Gazing” August 4, 2014, via YouTube. Dear All, Have you ever heard the proverb, “Eyes are the mirror of soul”? This proverb means that eyes can communicate a lot of information, probably, even something beyond words. Indeed, eyes can communicate in different ways. This post …

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Comparative linguistics

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech (Gen. 11:1, KJV). Dear All, Have you ever heard the story about the tower of Babel? It is described in Genesis 11:1-9. The quote above is the beginning of this story. What is important for us in this discussion is that there is …

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Descriptive linguistics

Dear All: I have recently come across two sources which seem to understand descriptive linguistics (L.) in opposite ways. The Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures’ Web page on the University of Kentucky website explains how the field of descriptive L. is represented there in the following way: “Descriptive Linguistics research is …

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Theoretical linguistics

Dear All, The previous post has focused on applied linguistics (L.). This post focuses on theoretical L. Theoretical L. is a branch of L. that is focused on developing linguistic knowledge in general (e.g. what are the linguistic levels of any language) and concrete models in particular (e.g. how the phonemes are organized in a …

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Applied linguistics

Language acquisition is “the greatest intellectual feat any of us is ever required to perform” (Bloomfield, 1933, p. 29). Dear All, The previous two posts have defined linguistics (L.) and discussed briefly its structure. This post focuses on one of the branches of L. called “applied L.” Applied L.is a conglomeration of linguistic sub-disciplines and …

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Structure of linguisitcs

Image credit: Aucasin, “Branches indo-européen” September 13, 2015, via Wikimedia Commons, (CC BY-SA 4.0). Dear All: This post continues exploring what linguistics (L.) is. This post is going to focus on the branches of of L. which do study language, but are not directly focused on a particular structural level of language. Depending on what …

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What is linguistics?

Video credit: The Virtual Linguistics Campus, “What is Linguistics (not)?” July 31, 2014, via YouTube. Dear All: We have been discussing so many interesting linguistic topics on BLOGONLINGUISTICS blog, but what is linguistics? Linguistics (L.) (from Lat. lingua – “language”) is scientific study of language. The core branches of L. are associated with language structure …

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Argot, jargon, professionalism, and slang

Dear All, Argo, jargon, professionalism, and slang are the terms which are used not only by linguists, but by people with any other background in their everyday life. The everyday use of these terms contributes to the fact that sometimes these terms are used interchangeably. Even linguists who do not work closely with these notions …

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Independent and dependent variables

Dear All, When we conduct a linguistic research, we usually work with a number of variables some of which are independent and some are dependent. This post defines these two types of variables. An independent variable is what is given (e.g. age, sex, social class, geographical location, occupation), the “input”. An dependent variable is what …

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Oxymoron – enantiosemy

Image credit: Vkil, “Flammablecabinet” October 17, 2013, CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Dear All, Today I would like to discuss briefly two linguistic phenomena which can be easily confused: oxymoron and enantiosemy. Oxymoron (from Gr. “pointedly foolish”: ὀξύς [oxus] “sharp, keen” and μωρός [mōros] “dull, stupid”) (plural oxymora or oxymorons) is a “paradoxical connection …

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