Teaching English as a Second Language


accent - (1) the phonology or pronunciation of a specific regional dialect. (2) the pronunciation of a language by a nonnative speaker.

acoustic phonetics - The study or the physical characteristics of speech sounds.

acronym - Word composted of the initials of several words. e.g. PET scan from positron emission tomography scan.

affix - Bound morpheme attached to a stem or root. Cf. prefix, suffix, infix, cicumfix

affricate - A sound produced by a stop closure followed immediately by a slow release characteristic of a fricative; phonetically a sequence of stop + fricative, e.g., the ch in chip, which is [č] and like [š] + [ʈ].

airstream mechanisms - The various processes in which air from the lungs or mouth is moved to produce speech sounds, e.g. pulmonic egressive

allomorph - Alternative phonetic form of a morpheme; e.g. /-s/, /-z/, and /-əz/ forms of the plural morpheme in cats, dogs, and kisses.

allophone - A predictable phonetic realization of a phoneme, e.g. [p] and [ph]are allophones of the phoneme /p/ in English.

alphabetic writing - A writing system in which symbol typically represents one sound segment.

alveolar ridge - The part of the hard palate directly behind the top teeth.

alveolar - A sound produced by raising the tongue to the alveolar ridge, e.g. [s], [t], [n].

alveolpalatal - A sound whose place of articulation is the hard palate immediately behind the alevolar ridge., e.g. .[š] when it occurs before a front vowel.

ambiguous, ambiguity - The terms used to describe a word, phrase, or sentence with multiple meanings.

anomalous - Semantically ill formed, e.g. Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

anomaly - A violation of semantic rules resulting in expressions that seem nonsensical, e.g. The verb crumpled the milk.

antonyms - Words that are opposite with respect to one of their semantic properties, e.g. tall/short are alike in that they describe height, but opposite in regard to extent of height.

aphasia - Language loss or disorders following brain damage.

arbitrary - Describes the property of language, including sign language, whereby there is no natural or intrinsic relationship between the way a word is pronounced (or signed) and its meaning.

articulators - The tongue, lips and velum, which change the shape of the vocal tracts to produce different speech sounds.

articulatory phonetics - The study of how the vocal tract produces speech sounds; the physiological characteristics of speech sounds.

aspirated - Describes a voiceless stop produced with a puff of air that results when the vocal cords remain open for a brief period after the release of the stop, e.g. the [ph]in pit.

assimilation rules/assimilation - A phonological process that changes feature values of segments to make them more similar, e.g., a vowel become [+nasal] when followed by a [+nasal] consonant.

asterisk - The symbol [*] used to indicate ungrammatical or anomalous examples, e.g. *cried the baby, *sincerity dances. Also used in historical and comparative linguistics to represent a reconstructed form.

auditory phonetics - The study of the perception of speech sounds.

aux - A syntactic category containing auxiliary verbs and abstract tense morphemes. It is called INFL and functions as the head of a sentence.

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babbling - Sounds produced in the first few months after birth that gradually come to include only sounds that occur in the language of the household. Deaf children babble with hand gestures.

baby talk - A certain style of speech that many adults use when speaking to children that includes among other things exaggerated intonation. Cf. motherese, child directed speech (CDS).

back formation - Creation a of new word by removing an affix from an old word, e.g. donate from donation; or by removing what is mistakenly considered and affix, e.g. edit from editor.

bilabial - A sound articulated by bringing both lips together.

bilingual language acquisition - The (more or less) simultaneous acquisition of two or more languages such that each language is acquired with native competency.

blend - A word composed of part of more than one word, e.g., smog from smoke and fog.

borrowing - The incorporating of a loan word from one language to another, e.g., English borrowed buoy from Dutch.

bound morpheme - Morpheme that must be attached to other morphemes, e.g. -ly, -ed, non-. Bound morphemes are prefixes, suffixes, infixes, circumfixes, and some roots such as cran in cranberry. (Not...)

Broca's aphasia - Language disorder usually resulting from damage to Broca's region in which the patient has difficulty with certain aspects of syntax, especially functional categories.

Broca's area - A front part of the left hemisphere of the brain, damage to which causes agrammatism or Broca's aphasia.

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case - A characteristic of nouns and pronoun, and in some languages articles and adjectives, determined by the function in the sentence, and generally indicated by the morphological form of the word, e.g. I is the nominative case of the first-person singular pronoun in English and functions as a subject; me is in the accusative case and functions as an object.

case endings- Suffixes on the noun based on its grammatical function, such as 's of the English genetive case indicating possession. e.g. Robert's sheepdog

cerebral hemispheres - The left and right halves of the brain joined by the corpus callosum.

characters (Chinese) - The units of Chinese writing, each of which represents a morpheme or word.

Chicano English (ChE) - A dialect of English spoken by some bilingual Mexican Americans in the western and southwestern United States.

circumfix - Bound morpheme, parts of which occur in a word both before and after the root. e.g., ge---t in German geliebt, "loved," from the root lieb.

click - A speech sound with ingressive airstream mechanism that produces sound by sucking air into the mouth and forcing it between articulators to produce a sharp sound, e.g. the sound often spelled tsk.

clipping - The deletion of some part of a longer word to give a shorter word with the same meaning, e.g. phone from telephone.

closed class - A category, generally a functional category, that rarely has new words added to it; e.g., prepositions, conjunctions.

coda - One or more phonological segments that follow the nucleus of a syllable, e.g., the /st/ in /prist/ priest.

code-switching - The movement back and forth between two languages or dialects within the same sentence or discourse.

cognates - Words in related languages that developed from the same ancestral root, such as English man and German Mann.

coinage - The construction and/or invention of new words that then become part of the lexicon, e.g. e-commerce.

complement - The constituent(s) in a phrase other than the head that complete(s) the meaning of the phrase. In the verb phrase found a puppy, the noun phrase a puppy is the complement of the head verb found.

complementary pair - Two antonyms related in such a way that the negation of one is the meaning of the other, e.g. alive means not dead.

compound - A word composed of two or more words, e.g. washcloth, childproof cap.

consonant - A speech sound produced with some restriction of the air stream.

consonantal alphabet - The symbols of a consonantal writing system.

consonantal writing - A writing system of symbols that represent on consonants; vowels are inferred for context. e.g. Arabic

constituent - A syntactic unit in the phrase structure tree, e.g. the girl is a noun phrase constituent in the sentence the boy loves the girl.

constituent structure tree - A tree diagram with syntactic categories at each node that reveals both the linear and hierarchical structure of phrases and sentences.

content words - The nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs that constitute the major part of the vocabulary.

continuant - A speech sound in which the airstream flows continually through the mouth; all speech sounds except stops and affricates.

contour tones - Tones in which the pitch glides from one level to another, e.g.from low to high as in a rising tone.

contradiction - Negative entailment: the truth of one sentence necessarily implies the falseness of another sentence, e.g., He opened the door and The door is closed.

contralateral - Refers to stimuli that travel between one side of the body (left/right) and the opposite cerebral hemisphere (right/left).

cooperative principle - A broad principle within whose scope fall the various maxims of conversation. It states that in order to communicate effectively, speaker should agree to be informative and relevant.

coronals - The class of sounds articulated by raising the tip of blade of the tongue, including alveolars and palatals, e.g. [t] and [š].

corpus callosum - The nerve fibers connecting the right and left cerebral hemispheres.

cortex - The approximately ten billion neurons that form the outside surface of the brain; also referred to as gray matter.

count nouns - Nouns that can be enumerated, e.g., one potato, two potatoes.

creativity of language, creative aspect of linguistic knowledge - Speakers' ability to combine the finite number of linguistic units of their language to produce and understand an infinite range of novel sentences.

creole - A language that begins as a pidgin and eventually becomes the first language of a speech community through its being learned by children.

critical age hypothesis - The theory that states that there is a window of time between early childhood an puberty for learning a first language, and beyond which first language acquisition is almost always incomplete.

critical period - The time between early childhood and puberty during which a child can acquire language easily, swiftly, and without external intervention. After this period, the acquisition of the grammar is difficult and, for some individuals, never fully achieved.

cuneiform - A form of writing in which the characters are produced using a wedge shaped stylus.

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deep structure - Any phrase structure tree generated by the phrase structure rules of a transformational grammar. The basic syntactic structures of the grammar.

deictic/deixis - Refers to words or expressions whose reference relies entirely on context and the orientation of the speaker in space and time, e.g. I, yesterday, there, this cat.

demonstrative articles, demonstratives - Words such as this, that, those and these that function syntactically as articles but are semantically diectic because context is needed to determine the referent of the noun phrase in which they occur.

denotative meaning - The referential meaning of a word or expression.

dental - A place-of-articulation term for consonants articulated with the tongue against, or nearly against, the front teeth.

derivational morpheme - Morpheme added to a stem or root to form a new stem or word, possibly, but not necessarily, resulting in a change of syntactic category, e.g., -er added to a verb like kick to give the noun kicker.

descriptive grammar - A linguist's description or model of the mental grammar, including the units, structures, and rules. An explicit statement of what speakers know about their language.

determiner (Det) - The syntactic category, also functional category, of words and expressions which when combined with a noun form a noun phrase. Includes the article the and a, demonstratives such as this and that, quantifiers such as each and every, expressions such as William's, etc.

diacritics - Additional markings on written symbols to specify various phonetic properties such as length, tone, stress, nasalization; extra marks on a written character that change its usual value, e. g., the tilde [~] drawn over the letter n in Spanish represents a palatalized nasal rather then an alveolar nasal.

dialect - A variety of a language whose grammar differs in systematic ways from other varieties. Differences may be lexical, phonological, syntactic, and semantic.

dialect area - A geographic area defined by the predominant use of a particular language variety, or a particular characteristic of a language variety, e.g., an area where bucket is used rather than pail.

dialect leveling - Movement toward greater uniformity or decrease in variations among dialects.

digraph - Two letters used to represent a singe sound, e.g., gh represents [f] in enough.

diphthong - Vowel + glide, e.g., [aj, aw, ɔj] as in bite, bout, boy.

direct object - The grammatical relation of a noun phrase when it appears immediately below the verb phrase (VP) and next to the verb in deep structure; the noun phrase complement of a transitive verb, e.g., the puppy in the boy found a puppy.

discourse - A linguistic unit that comprises more than one sentence.

dissimilation rules - Phonological rules that change feature values of segments to make them less similar, e.g., a fricative dissimilation rule: /θ/ is pronounced [t] following another fricative. In English dialects with this rule, sixth /sɪks + θ/ is pronounced /sɪkst/.

ditransitive verb - A verb that appears to take two noun-phrase objects, e.g., give in he gave Sally his cat. Ditransitive verb phrases often have an alternative form with a prepositional phrase in place of the first noun phrase, as in he gave his cat to Sally.

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Early Middle English Vowel Shortening - a sound change that shortened vowels such as the first i in criminal. As a result criminal was unaffected by the Great Vowel Shift, leading to such word pairs as crime/criminal.

ease of articulation - The tendency of speakers to adjust their pronunciation to make it easier, or more efficient,to move the articulators. Phonetic and phonological rules are often the result of ease of articulation, e.g., the rule of English that nasalizes vowels when they precede a nasal consonant.

Ebonics - An alternative term, first used in 1997, for the various dialects of African American English.

egressive airstream mechanism - The articulation of speech sounds in which air is pushed out of the mouth.

ejective - A speech sound produced when air in the mouth is pressurized by an upward movement of the closed glottis, and then released suddenly.

entailment - The relationship between two sentences where the truth of one infers the truth of the other, e.g., Corday assassinated Marat and Marat is dead; if the first is true, the second must be true.

epenthisis - The insertion of one or phones in a word, e.g., the insertion of [ə] in children to produce [čɪlədrən] instead of [čɪldrən].

eponym - A word taken from a proper name, such as Hertz for "unit of frequency."

etymology - The history of words; the study of the history of words.

euphemism - A word of phrase that replaced a taboo word or is used to avoid reference to certain acts or subjects, e.g., powder room for toilet.

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flap - Sound in which the tongue quickly touches the alveolar ridge and withdraws. It is often and allophone of /t/ and /d/ such as latter and ladder. Also called tap.

fossilization - A characteristic of second language learning in which the learner reaches a plateau and seems unable to acquire some property of the L2 grammar.

form - Phonological or gesture representation of a morpheme or word.

free morpheme - A single morpheme that constitutes a word.

fricative - Consonant sound produced with so narrow a constriction in the vocal tract as to create sound through friction.

front vowels - Vowel sounds in which the tongue is positioned forward in the mouth, e.g., /i, æ/

function word - A word that does not have clear lexical meaning but has a grammatical function; function words include conjunctions, prepositions, articles, auxiliaries, complementizers, and pronouns.

functional category - One of the categories of function words, including determiner, aux, complementizer, and preposition. These categories are not lexical or phrasal categories.

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gapping - The syntactic process of deletion in which subsequent occurrences of a verb are omitted in similar contexts, e.g., Bill washed the grapes and Mary, the cherries.

glide - A sound produced with little or no obstruction of the airstream that is always preceded or followed by a vowel, e.g., /w/ in we, /j/ in you.

glottal stop - When air is stopped completely at the glottis by tightly closed vocal cores.

glottis - The opening between the vocal cords.

gradable pair - Two antonyms related in such a way that more of one is less of the other, e.g., warm and cool; more warm is less cool, and vice versa.

grammar - The mental representation of a speaker's linguistic competence; what a speaker knows about a language, including its phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and lexicon. A linguistic description of a speaker's mental grammar.

grammar translation - A method of second language learning in which the student memorizes words and syntactic rules and translates them between the native language and target language.

graphemes - The symbols of an alphabetic writing system; the letters of an alphabet.

Great Vowel Shift - A sound change that took place in english sometime between 1400 and 1600 C.E. in which seven long vowel phonemes were changed.

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Hangul - An alphabet based on the phonemic principle for writing the Korean language designed in the fifteenth century.

Head (of a compound) - It indicates the category and general meaning in a compound word, e.g., house in doghouse.

head (of a phrase) - The central word of a phrase whose lexical category defines the type of phrase, e.g., the noun man is the head of the noun phrase the man who came to dinner; the verb wrote is the head of the verb phrase wrote a letter to his mother; the adjective red is the head of the adjective phrase very bright red.

heteronyms - Different words spelled the same (i.e., homographs) but pronounced differently, e.g., bass, meaning either low tone [bes] or "a kind of fish" [bæs].

hierarchical structure - The groupings and subgroupings of the parts of a sentence into syntactic categories, e.g., the bird sang [[[the] [bird]] [sang]]; the groupings and subgroupings of morphemes in a word, e.g., unlockable [[un] [[lock][able]]]. Hierarchical structure is generally depicted in a tree diagram.

hieroglyphics - A pictographic writing system used by the Egyptians around 4000 B.C.E.

historical and comparative linguistics - The branch of linguistics that deals with how languages change, what kinds of changes occur, and why the occur.

holophrastic - The stage of a child language acquisition in which one word conveys a complex message similar to that of a phrase or sentence.

homographs - Words spelled identically, and possibly pronounced the same, e.g., bear meaning "to tolerate," and bear the animal; lead meaning the metal and lead, what leaders do.

homonyms/homophones - Words pronounced, and possibly spelled, the same, e.g., to, too, two; or bat the animal, bat the stick, and bat meaning "to flutter" as in "bat the eyelashes."

hyponyms - Words whose meanings are specific instances of a more general word, e.g., red, white, and blue are hyponyms of the word color; triangle is a a hyponym of polygon.

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iconic, iconicity - A nonarbitrary relationship between form and meaning in which the form bears a resemblance to its meaning, e.g., the male and female symbols on (some) toilet doors.

ideogram, ideograph - A character of a word-writing system, often highly stylize, that represents a concept, or the pronunciation of the word representing that concept.

idiolect - An individual's way of speaking, reflecting that person's grammar.

idiom/idiomatic phrase - An expression whose meaning does not conform to the principle of compositionality, that is, may be unrelated to the meaning of its parts, e.g., kick the bucket meaning "to die."

ill-formed - Descries and ungrammatical or anomalous sequence of words.

illocutionary force - The effect of a speech act, such as a warning, a promise, a threat, and a bet, e.g., the illocutionary force of I resign! is the act of resignation.

implosive - Sounds produced with an ingressive airstream that involves movement of the glottis.

Indo-European - The descriptive name given to the ancestor language of many modern language families, including Germanic, Slavic and Romance. Also called Proto-Indo-European.

infinitive - An uninflected form of a verb, e.g., (to) swim.

infinitive sentence - An embedded sentence that does not have a tense and therefore is a "to" form, e.g., sheepdogs to be fast readers in the sentence He believes sheepdogs go be fast readers.

infix - A bound morpheme that is inserted into the middle of another morpheme.

inflectional morpheme - Bound grammatical morpheme that is affixed to a word according to the rules of syntax, e.g., third-person singular verbal suffix -s.

ingressive airstream mechanism - Method of producing speech sounds in which air is sucked into the vocal tract through the mouth.

innateness hypothesis - The theory that the human species is genetically equipped with a Universal Grammar, which provides the basic design for all human languages.

interdental - A sound produced by the inserting the tip of the tongue between the upper and lower teeth, e.g., the initial sounds of thought and those.

International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) - The phonetic alphabet designed by the International Phonetic Organization to be used to represent the sounds found in all human languages.

intonation - Pitch contour of a phrase or sentence.

intransitive verb - A verb that must not have a direct object complement, e.g., sleep.

ipsilateral - Refers to stimuli that travel between one side of the body (left/right) and the same cerebral hemisphere (left/right).

isogloss - A geographic boundary that separated ares with dialect differences, e.g., a line on a map on one side of which most people say faucet and on the other side of which most people say spigot.

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jargon -Special words peculiar to the members of a profession or group, e.g., airstream mechanism for phoneticians.



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labiodental - A sound produced by touching the bottom lip to the upper teeth.

labio-velar - A sound articulated by simultaneously raising the back of the tongue toward the velum and rounding the lips. Thre w of English is a labio-velor glide.

larynx - The structure of muscles and cartilage in the throat that contains the vocal cords and glottis; often called the "voice box."

lateralization, lateralized - Term used to refer to cognitive functions localized to one or the other side of the brain.

lateral - A sound produced with the air flowing past on or both sides of the tongue, e.g., [l].

lax vowel - Short vowel produced with little tension in the vocal cords, e.g., [ʊ] in put, [pʊt].

length - A prosodic feature referring to the duration of a segment. Two sounds may contrast in length, Japanese the first vowel is [+ long] in /biiru/ "beer" but [- long], therefore short, in /biru/ "building."

level tones - Relatively stable (nongliding) pitch on syllables of tone languages. Also called register tones.

lexical category - A general term for the word-level syntactic categories of noun, verb, adjective, and adverb. These are the categories of content words like man, run, large, and rapidly, as opposed to functional category words such as the and road.

lexicon - The component of the grammar containing speakers' knowledge about morphemes and words; a speakers mental dictionary.

liquids - A class of consonants including /l/ and /r/ and their variants that share vowel-like acoustic properties and may function as syllabic nuclei.

localization - The hypothesis that different areas of the brain are responsible for distinct cognitive systems.

logograms - the symbols of a word-writing or logographic writing system.

logographic writing - A system of writing in which each character represents a word or morpheme of the language, e.g., Chinese.

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main verb - The verb that functions as the head of the verb phrase, e.g., save in Dagny will always save money for travel.

manner of articulation - The way the airstream is obstructed as it travels through the vocal tract. Stop, nasal, affricate, and fricative are some manners of articulation.

marked - In a gradable pair of antonyms, the word thai is not used in questions of degree, e.g., low is the marked member of the pair high/low because we ordinarily ask How high is the mountain? not *How low is the mountain?; in a masculine/feminine pair, the word that contains a derivational morpheme, usually the feminine word, e.g. princess is marked, whereas prince is unmarked.

mass nouns - Nouns that cannot ordinarily be enumerated, e.g., milk, water; *two milks is ungrammatical except when interpreted to mean "two kinds of milk," two container of milk," and so on. Also known as noncount nouns.

maxim of manner - A conversational convention that a speaker's discourse should be brief and orderly, and should avoid ambiguity and obscurity.

maxim of quality - A conversational convention that a speaker should not lie or make unsupported claims.

maxim of quantity - A conversational convention that a speaker's contribution to the discourse should be as informative as is required, neither more or less.

maxim of relevance - A conversational convention that a speaker's contribution to a discourse should always have a bearing on, and a connection with, the matter under discussion.

maxims of conversation - Conversational conventions such as the maxim of quantity that people appear to obey to give coherence to discourse.

meaning - The conceptual or semantic aspect of a sigh or utterance that permits us to comprehend the message being conveyed. Expressions in language generally have both form -- pronunciation or gesture -- and meaning.

metallinguistic awareness - A speaker's conscious awareness about language and the use of language, as opposed to linguistic knowledge, which is largely unconscious. This book is very much about metallinguistic awareness.

metaphor - Nonliteral, suggestive meaning in which an expression that designates one thing is used implicitly to mean something else, e.g., The night has a thousand eyes, to mean "One may be unknowingly observed at night."

metathesis - The phonological process that reorders segments, often by transposing two sequential sounds, e.g., the pronunciation of ask /æsk/ in some English dialects as /æks/.

metonym, metonymy - A word substituted for another word or expression with which it is closely associated, e.g., brass to refer to military officers.

minimal pair (or set) - Two (or more) words that are identical except for one phoneme that occurs in the same position of each word, e.g., pain /pen/,bane /ben/, main /men/.

modal - an auxiliary verb other then be, have, and do, such as can, could, will, would, and must.

monophthong - Simple vowel, e.g., ɛ in /bɛd/.

monosyllabic - Having one syllable, e.g., boy, through.

morpheme - Smallest unit of linguistic meaning or function, e.g. sheepdogs contains three morphemes, sheep, dog, and the function morpheme for plural, s.

morphological rules - Rules for combining morphemes to form stems and words.

morphology - The study of the structure of words; the component of grammar that includes the rules of word formation.

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narrowing - A semantic change in which the meaning of a word changes in time to become less encompassing, e.g., deer once meant "animal."

nasal (nasalized) sound - Speech sound produced with and open nasal passage (lowered velum) permitting air to pass through the nose as well as the mouth, e.g., /m/.

nasal cavity - The passageways between the throat and the nose through which air passes during speech if the velum is open (lowered).

natural class - A class of sounds characterized by a phonetic property or feature that pertains to all members of the set, e.g., the class of stops. A natural class may be defined with a smaller feature set than that of any individual member of the class.

neurolinguistics - The branch of linguistics concerned with the brain mechanisms that underlie the acquisition and use of human language; the study of the neurobiology of language.

node - A labeled branch point in a phrase structure tree; part of the graphical depiction of a transition network represented as a circle, pairs of which are connected by arcs.

noncontinuant - A sound in which air is blocked momentarily in the oral cavity as it passes through the vocal tract.

nonsense word - A permissible phonological form without meaning, e.g., slithy.

noun (N) - The syntactic category, also lexical category, of words that can function as the head of a noun phrase, such as book, Jean, sincerity. In many languages nouns have grammatical alterations for number, case, and gender and occur with determiners.

noun phrase (NP) - The syntactic category, also phrasal category, of expressions containing some form of a noun or pronoun as its head, and which functions as the subject or as various objects in a sentence.

nucleus - That part of a syllable that has the greatest acoustic energy; the vowel portion of a syllable, e.g., /i/ in /mit/ meet.

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obstruents - The class of sounds consisting of nonnasal stops, fricatives, and affricates.

onomatopoeia/onomatopoeic - Word whose pronunciations suggest their meaning, e.g. meow, buzz.

onset - One or more phonemes that precede the syllable nucleus, e.g., /pr/ in /prist/ priest.

open class - The class of lexical content words; a category of words that commonly adds new words, e.g., nouns, verbs.

oral cavity - The mouth area through which air passes during the production of speech.

oral sound - Nonnasal speech sound produced by raising the velum to close the nasal passage so that air can escape only through the mouth.

orthography - The written form of a language; spelling.

overgeneralization - Children's treatment of irregular verbs and nouns as if they were regular, e.g., bringed, goed, foots, mouses, for brought, went, feet, mice.This shows that the child has acquired the regular rules but has not yet learned that there are exceptions.

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palatal - A sound produced by raising the front part of the tongue to the palate.

parameters - The small set of alternatives for a particular phenomenon made available by Universal Grammar. For example, Universal Grammar specifies that a phrase must have a head and possibly complements; a parameter states whether the complement(s) precedes or follows the head.

paraphrases - Sentences with the same truth conditions; sentences with the same meaning, except possibly for minor differences in emphasis, e.g., He ran up a big bill and He ran a big bill up.

participle - The form of a verb that occurs after the auxiliary verbs be and have, e.g., kissing in John is kissing Mary is a present participle; kissed in John kissed many girls, is past participle; kissed in Mary was kissed by John is passive participle.

passive sentence - A sentence in which the verbal component contains a form of to be followed by a verb in its participle form, e.g., The girl was kissed by the boy; The robbers must not have been seen. In a passive sentence, the direct object of a transitive verb in deep structure functions as the subjection surface structure.

performance, linguistic - The use of linguistic competence in the production and comprehension of language; behavior as distinguished from linguistic knowledge.

person deixis - The use of terms to refer to persons whose reference relies entirely on context, e.g., pronouns such as I, he, you and expressions such as this child.

petroglyph - A drawing on rock made by prehistoric people.

pharynx - The tube or cavity in the vocal tract above the glottis through which the air passes during speech production.

phone - A phonetic realization of a phoneme.

phoneme - A contrastive phonological segment whose phonetic realizations are predictable by rule.

phonemic representation - The phonological representation of words and sentences prior to the application of phonological rules.

phonetic alphabet - Alphabetical symbols used to represent the phonetic segments of speech in which there is a one-to-one relationship between each symbol and each speech sound.

phonetic representation - The representation of words and sentences after the application of phonological rules; symbolic transcription of the pronunciation of word and sentences.

phonetics - The study of linguistic speech sounds, how they are produced,(articulatory phonetics), how they are perceived (auditory or perceptual phonetics), and their physical aspects (acoustic phonetics).

phonological rules - Rules that apply to phonemic representations to derive phonetic representations or pronunciation.

phonotactics/phonotactic constraints - Rules stating permissible strings of phonemes, e.g., a word-initial nasal consonant, may be followed only by a vowel (in English).

phrase structure rules - Principles of grammar that specify the constituency of syntactic categories, e.g., NP → (Det) (AP) N (PP)

phrase structure tree - A tree diagram with syntactic categories at each node that reveals both the linear and hierarchical structure of phrases and sentences.

pictogram - A form of writing in which the symbols resemble the objects represented; a nonarbitrary form of writing.

pidgin - A simple but rule-governed language developed for the communication among speakers of mutually unintelligible languages, often based on one of those languages.

pitch - The fundamental frequency of sound perceived by the listener.

place diexes - The use of terms to refer to places whose reference relies entirely on context, e.g., here, there, behind, next door.

place of articulation - The part of the vocal tract at which constriction occurs during the production of most consonants.

plosives - Oral, or nasal, stop consonants, so called because the air that is stopped explodes with the release of the closure.

polysemous/polysemy - Describes a single word with several closely related but slightly different meanings, e.g., face, meaning "face of a person," "face of a clock," "face of a building."

positron-emission topography (PET) - method to detect changes in brain activities and relate these changes to localized brain damage and cognitive tasks.

pragmatics - The study of how context and situation affect meaning.

prefix - An affix that is attached to the beginning of a morpheme or stem, e.g., in- in inoperable.

preposition (P) - The syntactic category, also lexical category, that heads a prepositional phrase, e.g., at, in, on, up.

prepositional object - The grammatical relation of the noun phrase that occurs immediately below a prepositional phrase (PP) in deep structure.

prepositional phrase (PP) The syntactic category, also phrasal category, consisting of a proposition and a noun phrase.

prescriptive grammar - Rules of grammar brought about by grammarians' attempts to legislate what speakers' grammatical rules should be, rather than what they are.

prestige dialect - The dialect usually spoken by people in positions of power, and the one deemed correct by prescriptive grammar, e.g., RP (received pronunciation) (British) English, the dialect spoken by the English royal family.

presupposition - Implicit assumptions about world required to make an utterance meaningful or appropriate, e.g., "some tea has already been taken" is a presupposition of Take some more tea.

pro-form - A word that replaces another word or expression found elsewhere in discourse, or understood from the situational context. Pronouns are the best known pro-forms, but words like did may function as "pro-verb phrases" as in John washed three sheepdogs and Mary did too.

proper name - Word the refers to a person, place or other entity with a unique reference known to the speaker and listener. Usually capitalized in writing,e.g., Nina Hyams, New York, Atlantic Ocean.

psycholinguistics - The branch of linguistics concerned with linguistic performance, language acquisition, and speech production and comprehension.



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rebus principle - In writing, the use of a pictogram for its phonetic value, e.g., using a picture of a bee to represent the verb be or the sound [b].

reduced vowel - A vowel that is unstressed and generally pronounced as a schwa [ə] in English.

redundant - Describes a nondistinctive, nonphonemic feature that is predictable from other feature values of the segment, e.g., [+voice] is redundant for any [+nasal] phoneme in English since all nasals are voiced.

reflexive pronoun - A pronoun ending with -self that generally requires a noun-phrase antecedent within the same S , e.g., myself, herself, ourselves, itself.

regional dialect - A dialect spoken in a specific geographic area that may arise from, and is reinforced by, that area's integrity For example, a Boston dialect is maintained because large number of Bostonians and their descendants remain in the Boston area.

register - A stylistic variant of a language appropriate to a particular social setting . also called style.

relational opposites - Pair of antonyms in which one describes a relationship between two objects and the other describes the same relationship when the two objects are reversed, e.g., parent/child, teacher/pupil; John is the parent of Susie describes the same relationship as Susie is the child of John.

retroflex sound - Sound produced by curling the tip of the tongue back behind the alveolar ridge, e.g., the pronunciation of /r/ by many speakers of English.

rime - The nucleus + coda of a syllable, e.g., the /en/ of /ren/ rain.

root - The morpheme that remains when all affixes are stripped from a complex word, e.g., system from un + system + atic + ally.

rounded vowel - Vowel sound produced with pursed lips, e.g., [o].

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savant - Individual who shows special abilities in one cognitive area while being deficient in others. Linguistic savants have extraordinary language abilities but are deficient in general intelligence.

second language acquisition - The acquisition of another language or languages after first language acquisition is completed.

semantic features - A notational device for expressing the presence of absence of semantic properties by pluses and minuses, e.g., baby is [+young], [+human], [-abstract], etc.

semantics - The study of the linguistic meaning of morphemes, words, phrases, and sentences.

sentence (S) - A syntactic category of expressions consisting minimally of a noun phrase (N), followed by and auxiliary (Aux), followed by a verb phrase (V), inn deep structure. Also called an inflection phrase (IP), whose head is inflection (INFL).

sibilants - The class of sounds that includes affricates, and alveolar and palatal fricatives, characterized acoustically by and abundance of high frequencies perceived as "hissing," e.g., [s].

sign languages - The languages used by deaf people in which linguistic units such as morphemes and words as well as grammatical relations are formed by manual and other body movements.

slang - Words and phrases used in casual speech, often invented and spread by close-knit social or age groups, and fast-changing.

slip of the tongue - An involuntary deviation of an intended utterance. Also called speech error.

social dialect - A dialect spoken by a particular social class e.g., (Cockney English) that is perpetuated by the integrity of the social class.

sonorants - The class of sounds that includes vowel, glides, liquids, and nasals; nonobstruents.

speech act - The action or intent that a speaker accomplishes when using language in context, the meaning of which is inferred by hearers, e.g., There is a bear behind you may be intended as a warning in certain contexts, or may in other contexts merely be a statement of fact.

split brain - The result of an operation for epilepsy in which the corpus callosum is severed, thus separating the brain into its two hemispheres; split-brain patients are studied to determine the role of each hemisphere in cognitive and language processing.

standard - The dialect (regional or social) considered to be the norm.

Standard American English (SAE) - An idealized dialect of English that some prescriptive grammarians consider the proper form of English.

states/statives - A type of sentence that describes states of being such as Mary likes oysters, as opposed to describing events such as Mary ate oysters.

stem - The base to which one or more affixes are attached to create a more complex form that may be another stem or a word.

stops - [-Continuant] sounds in which the airflow is briefly but completely stopped in the oral cavity, e.g., /p, n, g/.

stress, stressed syllable - A syllable with relatively greater length, loudness, and/or higher pitch than other syllables in a word, and therefore perceived as prominent. Also called accent.

style - Situation dialect, e.g., formal speech, casual speech; also called register.

subject - The grammatical relation of a noun phrase, NP, to a S (sentence) when it appears immediately below that S in a phrase structure tree, e.g., the zebra in The zebra has stripes.

subject-verb agreement - The addition of an inflectional morpheme to the main verb depending on a property of the noun phrase subject, such as number or gender. In English, it is the addition of s to a verb when the subject is in the third-person singular present-tense, e.g., A greyhound runs fast versus Greyhounds run fast.

suffix - An affix that is attached to the end of a morpheme or stem, e.g., -er in Lew is taller than Bill.

suppletive forms - A term used to refer to inflected morphemes in which the regular ruled so not apply, e.g., went as the pst tense of go.

suprasegmentals - Prosodic features, e.g., length, tone.

syllabary - The symbols of a syllabic writing system.

syllabic writing - A writing system in which each syllable in the language is represented by its own symbol, e.g., hiragana in Japanese.

syllable - A phonological unit composed of an onset, nucleus, and coda, e.g., elevator has four syllables: el e va tor; man has one syllable.

synonyms - Words with the same or nearly the same meaning, e.g., pail and bucket.

syntax - The rules of sentence formation; the component of the mental grammar that represents speakers' knowledge of the structure of phrases and sentences.

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taboo - Words or activities that are considered inappropriate for "polite society," e.g., cunt, prick, fuck for "vagina, penis, sexual intercourse."

target language - In automatic machine translation, the language into which the source language is translated.

telegraphic speech - Utterances of children that may omit grammatical morphemes and/or function words, e.g., He go out instead of He is going out.

telegraphic stage - The period of child language acquisition that follows the two-word stage and consists primarily of telegraphic speech.

tense/lax - Features that divide vowels into two classes. Tense vowels are generally longer in duration and higher in tongue position and pitch than the corresponding lax vowels, e.g., in English [i, e, o, u] are tense vowels and carry the feature [+tense], whereas the corresponding [ɪ, ɛ, ɔ, ʊ] are their lax counterparts and carry the feature [-tense].

time deixis - The use of terms to refer to time whose reference relies entirely on context, e.g., now, then, tomorrow, next month.

tone language - A language in which the tone or pitch on a syllable is phonemic, so that words with identical segments but different tones are different words, e.g., Mandarin Chinese, Thai.

transitive verb - A verb that selects an obligatory noun-phrase complement, e.g., find.

tree diagram - A graphical representation of the linear and hierarchical structure of a phrase or sentence. A phrase structure tree.

trill - Sound in which part of the tongue vibrates against some part of the roof of the mouth, e.g., the /r/ in Spanish perro is articulated by vibrating the tongue tip behind the alveolar ridge; the /r/ in French rouge is articulated by vibrations at the uvula.

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unaspirated - Phonetically voiceless stops in which the vocal cords begin vibrating immediately upon release of the closure, e.g., [p] in spot.

ungrammatical - Structures that fail to conform to the rules of grammar.

unmarked - The term used to refer to the member of a gradable pair of antonyms used in question of degree, e.g., high is the unmarked member of high/low; in a masculine/feminine pair, the word that does not contain a derivational morpheme, usually the masculine word, e.g., prince is unmarked, whereas princess is marked.

uvula - The fleshy appendage hanging down from the end of the velum, or soft palate.

uvular - A sound produced by raising the back of the tongue to the uvula.

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velar - A sound produced by raising the back of the tongue to the soft palate, or velum.

velum - The soft palate; the part of the roof of the mouth behind the hard palate.

verb (V) - The syntactic category, also lexical category, or words that can be the head of a verb phrase. Verbs denote actions, sensations, and states, e.g., climb, hear, understand.

verbal particle - A word identical in form to a preposition which, when paired with a verb, has a particular meaning. A particle, as opposed to a preposition, is characterized syntactically by its ability to occur next to the verb, or transposed  to the right, e.g., out in spit out as in he spit out his words, or he spit his words out. Compare with: He ran out the door versus *he ran the door out, where out is the preposition.

verb phrase (VP) - The syntactic category of expressions that contains a verb as its head along with its complements such as noun phrases and prepositional phrases, e.g., gave the book to the child.

vocal tract - The oral and nasal cavities, together with the vocal cords, glottis, and pharynx, all of which may be involved in the production of speech sounds.

vocalic -Phonetic feature that distinguishes vowels and liquids, which are [+vocalic], from other sounds (obstruents, glides, nasals) which are [-vocalic].

voiced sound - Speech sound produced with vibrating vocal cords.

voiceless sound - Speech sound produced with open, nonvibrating vocal cords.

vowel - A sound produced without significant constriction of the air flowing through the oral cavity.

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well-formed - Describes a grammatical sequence of words, one conforming to the rules of syntax.

Wernicke's aphasia - Type of aphasia resulting from damage to Wernicke's area.

Wernicke's area - The back (posterior) part of the of the brain that if damaged causes a specific type of aphasia. Also called Wernicke's area.



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