Introduction to Linguistics
  Glossary A- P

Technical Term


Date First Used

Acoustic Phonetics

Acoustic phonetics is a subfield of phonetics which deals with acoustic aspects of speech sounds. Acoustic phonetics investigates properties like the mean squared amplitude of a waveform, its duration, its fundamental frequency, or other properties of its frequency spectrum, and the relationship of these properties to other branches of phonetics (e.g. articulatory or auditory phonetics), and to abstract linguistic concepts like phones, phrases, or utterances. (20.12. 06

14. 12. 2006


  • other parts [bound morphemes]

16. 11. 2006


  • Variant forms of a morpheme

  • Example: a -- an, plural -s /s/ -- /Iz/ -- /z/

16.11. 2006

Articulatory Organs

  • Lungs

  • Vocal cords in the larynx (Adam’s Apple)

07. 12. 2006


  • form to which an affix is attached

16.11. 2006


(c. 700-1000 A.D.) is a heroic epic poem. At 3,182 lines, it is notable for its length in comparison to other Old English poems.

09. 11. 2006

Bound morpheme

  • can only occur in connection with other morphemes. Example: -s, -ion, un-, -ize, ...

16. 11. 2006

Canterbury Tales

The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century (two of them in prose, the rest in verse). The tales, some of which are originals and others not, are contained inside a frame tale and told by a collection of pilgrims on a pilgrimage from Southwark to Canterbury to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral.[1] The Canterbury Tales are written in Middle English. ( 11.11.06)


Caucasus Theory

The origins of agriculture are said to have spread East-West from the Fertile Crescent (Iraq) between about 7,000 - 3000 BC, which coincides with what has been postulated about the East-West spread of the Indo-European languages.


Chomsky, Noam

the Institute Professor Emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Chomsky is credited with the creation of the theory of generative grammar, considered to be one of the most significant contributions to the field of theoretical linguistics made in the 20th century. He also helped spark the cognitive revolution in psychology through his review of B.F. Skinner's Verbal Behavior, in which he challenged the behaviorist approach to the study of mind and language dominant in the 1950s. His naturalistic approach to the study of language has also affected the philosophy of language and mind (see Harman, Fodor). He is also credited with the establishment of the Chomsky–Schützenberger hierarchy, a classification of formal languages in terms of their generative power.

Wikipedia, 27.1.07

18. 01. 2007

Complex word

  • contains more than one morpheme (i.e. ≥2 morphemes).

  • Example: computer, boys, radio-recorder, bookshelf, magnetize, acidfree

16. 11. 2006


    Word that consists of more than one free morpheme

16. 11. 2006


    process of adding a morpheme to a base by which the meaning and/or wordclass of the base changes

23. 11. 2006


The history of words

26. 10. 2006

Free morpheme

  • can occur as a simple word.

  • Example: boy, man, radio,...

16. 11. 2006

Front matter

the first third section of a book, and is usually the smallest section in terms of the number of pages. The pages are numbered in lowercase roman numerals. Each page is counted; but no folio or page number is expressed, or printed, on either display pages, or blank pages.

( wikipedia, 28. 1.07)

25. 01. 2007

Golden horns of Gallehus

two golden horns, one shorter than the other, discovered in North Slesvig, or Schleswig, in Denmark. The horns were believed to date to the fifth century (Germanic Iron Age).

09. 11. 2006

Grammatical Morpheme

modify a word's tense, number, aspect, and so on. (as in the dog morpheme if written with the plural marker morpheme s becomes dogs).

30. 11. 06

Great Vowel Shift

The Great Vowel Shift was a major change in the pronunciation of the English language, generally accomplished in the fifteenth century, although evidence suggests it began as early as the fourteenth century. The shift continued for some time into the sixteenth century, spreading toward the non-metropolitan and non-port areas. It represented a change in the long vowels (i.e., a vowel shift).

26. 10. 2006

Grimm's Law

  1. Proto-Indo-European voiceless stops change into voiceless fricatives.

  2. Proto-Indo-European voiced stops become voiceless.

  3. Proto-Indo-European voiced aspirated stops lose their aspiration and change into plain voiced stops.

26. 10. 2006

High German Soundshift

  1. Germanic voiceless stops became fricatives in certain phonetic environments (English ship maps to German Schiff);

  2. The same sounds became affricates in other positions (apple → Apfel);

  3. Voiced stops became voiceless (day → Tag); and

  4. /θ/ became /d/ (this → dies). 29.10.06)

26. 10. 2006


A hypertextdocument is a text either with conventional hierarchical parts or as a complex network of parts. Actually, every document in the world wide web is a hypertext.

19. 10. 2006


To place text farther to the right to separate it from surrounding text.

( Wikipedia, )

25. 01. 2007

Indo- European Expansion

5000 to 3000 BC (spread of agriculture)

Hellenic Expansion 330 BC (Alexander the Great, greek influence)

Roman expansion 100 BC – 400 AD (Latin influence)

romance languages

roman catholic church

Colonal expansion adter 1492

romance languages ( Portuguese, Spanish, French)

germanic languages ( Dutch, English)


Lexical Morpheme

can be added to a word to create (derive) another word: the addition of "-ness" to "happy," for example, to give "happiness."

30. 11. 06

Meaning (linguistics)

In linguistics, meaning is the content carried by the words or signs exchanged by people when communicating through language. Restated, the communication of meaning is the purpose and function of language.

Wikipedia (24.1.07) (

19. 01. 2007


The smallest unit of a unit that carries meaning. A word can be comprised of one or more morphemes

16. 11. 2006


The study of the formation of words

16. 11. 2006

Paradigmatic Relations

Relations of “choice”

  • classificatory relations of similarity and difference between signs.

  • similarity and difference of

  • internal structure: simple vs. complex stems

  • external structure: functions in different word orders / positions

  • meaning: synonymy, antonymy, hyponymy, ...

  • appearance: shared and different distinctive features

21. 12. 2006


Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone meaning 'sound, voice') is the study of sounds and the human voice. It is concerned with the actual properties of speech sounds (phones) as well as those of non-speech sounds, and their production, audition and perception, as opposed to phonology, which is the study of sound systems and abstract sound units (such as phonemes and distinctive features). Phonetics deals with the sounds themselves rather than the contexts in which they are used in languages. ( 20.12.2006)

14. 12. 2006


affixes that attach before the root

16. 11. 2006


A portfolio is a collection of works to be used as a learner's diary and/ or a glossary. It is important to assess your learning outcome and to prepare for examinations.

It should contain a table of content, tasks and reports that you produce during the lecture or at home, brief summaries of the lectures and a glossary with all important technical terms.


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