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Information Structure
In linguistics, information structure, also called information packaging, describes the way in which information is formally packaged within a sentence.Lambrecht, Knud. 1994. ''Information structure and sentence form.'' Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. This generally includes only those aspects of information that “respond to the temporary state of the addressee’s mind”, and excludes other aspects of linguistic information such as references to background (encyclopedic/common) knowledge, choice of style, politeness, and so forth. For example, the difference between an active clause (e.g., ''the police want him'') and a corresponding passive (e.g., ''he is wanted by police'') is a syntactic difference, but one motivated by information structuring considerations. Other structures motivated by information structure include preposing (e.g., ''that one I don't like'') and inversion (e.g., ''"the end", said the man''). The basic notions of information structure are focus, giv ...
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Linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It is called a scientific study because it entails a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise analysis of all aspects of language, particularly its nature and structure. Linguistics is concerned with both the cognitive and social aspects of language. It is considered a scientific field as well as an academic discipline; it has been classified as a social science, natural science, cognitive science,Thagard, PaulCognitive Science, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). or part of the humanities. Traditional areas of linguistic analysis correspond to phenomena found in human linguistic systems, such as syntax (rules governing the structure of sentences); semantics (meaning); morphology (structure of words); phonetics (speech sounds and equivalent gestures in sign languages); phonology (the abstract sound system of a particular language); and pragmatics (how social cont ...
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Gapping
In linguistics, gapping is a type of ellipsis that occurs in the non-initial conjuncts of coordinate structures. Gapping usually elides minimally a finite verb and further any non-finite verbs that are present. This material is "gapped" from the non-initial conjuncts of a coordinate structure. Gapping exists in many languages, but by no means in all of them, and gapping has been studied extensively and is therefore one of the more understood ellipsis mechanisms. Stripping is viewed as a particular manifestation of the gapping mechanism where just one remnant (instead of two or more) appears in the gapped/stripped conjunct. Basic examples Canonical examples of gapping have a true "gap", which means the elided material appears medially in the non-initial conjuncts, with a remnant to its left and a remnant to its right. The elided material of gapping in all the examples below is indicated with subscripts and a smaller font: ::Some ate bread, and others ate rice. ::Fred likes to pet t ...
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Alternative Semantics
Alternative or alternate may refer to: Arts, entertainment and media * Alternative (''Kamen Rider''), a character in the Japanese TV series ''Kamen Rider Ryuki'' * ''The Alternative'' (film), a 1978 Australian television film * ''The Alternative'', a radio show hosted by Tony Evans * ''120 Minutes'' (2004 TV program), an alternative rock music video program formerly known as ''The Alternative'' *''The American Spectator'', an American magazine formerly known as ''The Alternative: An American Spectator'' * Alternative comedy, a range of styles used by comedians and writers in the 1980s * Alternative comics, a genre of comic strips and books * Alternative media, media practices falling outside the mainstreams of corporate communication * Alternative reality, in fiction * Alternative title, the use of a secondary title for a work when it is distributed or sold in other countries Music * ''Alternative'' (album), a B-sides album by Pet Shop Boys * ''The Alternative'' (album), an a ...
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Metrical Phonology
Metrical phonology is a theory of stress or linguistic prominence. The innovative feature of this theory is that the prominence of a unit is defined relative to other units in the same phrase. For example, in the most common pronunciation of the phrase "doctors use penicillin" (if said out-of-the-blue), the syllable '-ci-' is the strongest or most stressed syllable in the phrase, but the syllable 'doc-' is more stressed than the syllable '-tors'. Previously, generative phonologists and the American Structuralists represented prosodic prominence as a feature that applied to individual phonemes (segments) or syllables. This feature could take on multiple values to indicate various levels of stress. Stress was assigned using the cyclic reapplication of rules to words and phrases. Metrical phonology holds that stress is separate from pitch accent and has phonetic effects on the realization of syllables beyond their intonation, including effects on their duration and amplitude. The ...
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Prosody (linguistics)
In linguistics, prosody () is concerned with elements of speech that are not individual phonetic segments (vowels and consonants) but are properties of syllables and larger units of speech, including linguistic functions such as intonation, stress, and rhythm. Such elements are known as suprasegmentals. Prosody may reflect features of the speaker or the utterance: their emotional state; the form of utterance (statement, question, or command); the presence of irony or sarcasm; emphasis, contrast, and focus. It may reflect elements of language not encoded by grammar or choice of vocabulary. Attributes of prosody In the study of prosodic aspects of speech, it is usual to distinguish between auditory measures ( subjective impressions produced in the mind of the listener) and objective measures (physical properties of the sound wave and physiological characteristics of articulation that may be measured objectively). Auditory (subjective) and objective ( acoustic and articulato ...
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Grammatical Particle
In grammar, the term ''particle'' (abbreviated ) has a traditional meaning, as a part of speech that cannot be inflected, and a modern meaning, as a function word associated with another word or phrase, generally in order to impart meaning. Although a particle may have an intrinsic meaning, and indeed may fit into other grammatical categories, the fundamental idea of the particle is to add context to the sentence, expressing a mood or indicating a specific action. In English, for instance, the phrase "oh well" has no purpose in speech other than to convey a mood. The word 'up' would be a particle in the phrase to 'look up' (as in the phrase ''"''look up this topic''"''), implying that one researches something, rather than literally gazing skywards. Many languages use particles, in varying amounts and for varying reasons. In Hindi, for instance, they may be used as honorifics, or to indicate emphasis or negation. In some languages they are more clearly defined, such as Chinese, which ...
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Cleft Sentence
A cleft sentence is a complex sentence (one having a main clause and a dependent clause) that has a meaning that could be expressed by a simple sentence. Clefts typically put a particular constituent into focus. In spoken language, this focusing is often accompanied by a special intonation. In English, a cleft sentence can be constructed as follows: :''it'' + conjugated form of ''to be'' + ''X'' + subordinate clause where ''it'' is a cleft pronoun and ''X'' is usually a noun phrase (although it can also be a prepositional phrase, and in some cases an adjectival or adverbial phrase). The focus is on ''X'', or else on the subordinate clause or some element of it. For example: *''It's Joey (whom) we're looking for.'' *''It's money that I love.'' *''It was from John that she heard the news.'' Furthermore, one might also describe a cleft sentence as inverted. That is to say, it has its dependent clause in front of the main clause. So, rather than: Example: *''We didn't meet her until ...
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Presentative (linguistics)
A presentative, or presentational, is a word or a syntactic structure which presents, or introduces, an entity, bringing it to the attention of the addressee. Typically, the entity thus introduced will serve as the topic of the subsequent discourse. For example, the construction with "there" in the following English sentence is a presentative: ''There appeared a cat on the window sill.'' In French, one of major uses of the words ''voici'' and ''voilà'' is presentative, as in the following example: However, the most common presentative in French is the ''(il) y a'' formula (from verb ''avoir'' ‘have’), as in the following sentence: Similarly to French ''il y a'', in Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China * Chinese people, people of Chinese nationality, citizenship, and/or ethnicity **''Zhonghua minzu'', the supra-ethnic concept of the Chinese nation ** List of ethnic groups in China, people of v ... the existential verb ''yǒu'' (have) is often u ...
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Inverted Sentence
An inverted sentence is a sentence in a normally subject-first language in which the predicate (verb) comes before the subject (noun). :''Down the street lived the man and his wife without anyone suspecting that they were really spies for a foreign power.'' Because there is no object following the verb, the noun phrase after the verb "lived" can be decoded as subject without any problem. In English, such an inversion often introduces do-support. Examples Inversion after initial negatives: *Never again will you do that. *Never a day had she missed her lessons. *Rarely have I eaten better food. *Hardly ever does he come to class on time. *Not until a frog develops lungs does it leave the water and live on the land. *Not only was Mary famous for helping escaped slaves, but she was also the first African Canadian woman to establish a newspaper. *Hardly ever have there been so many choices for young people entering the work force as there are today. *Mourn them do not. Miss them do no ...
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Discourse Particle
A discourse marker is a word or a phrase that plays a role in managing the flow and structure of discourse. Since their main function is at the level of discourse (sequences of utterances) rather than at the level of utterances or sentences, discourse markers are relatively syntax-independent and usually do not change the truth conditional meaning of the sentence. Examples of discourse markers include the particles ''oh'', ''well'', ''now'', ''then'', ''you know'', and ''I mean'', and the discourse connectives ''so'', ''because'', ''and'', ''but'', and ''or''. The term ''discourse marker'' was popularized by Deborah Schiffrin in her 1987 book ''Discourse Markers''. Usage in English Common discourse markers used in the English language include "you know", "actually", "basically", "like", "I mean", "okay" and "so". Data shows that discourse markers often come from different word classes, such as adverbs ("well") or prepositional phrases ("in fact"). The process that leads from a ...
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Affix
In linguistics, an affix is a morpheme that is attached to a word stem to form a new word or word form. Affixes may be derivational, like English ''-ness'' and ''pre-'', or inflectional, like English plural ''-s'' and past tense ''-ed''. They are bound morphemes by definition; prefixes and suffixes may be separable affixes. Affixation is the linguistic process that speakers use to form different words by adding morphemes at the beginning (prefixation), the middle (infixation) or the end (suffixation) of words. Positional categories of affixes ''Prefix'' and ''suffix'' may be subsumed under the term ''adfix'', in contrast to ''infix.'' When marking text for interlinear glossing, as in the third column in the chart above, simple affixes such as prefixes and suffixes are separated from the stem with hyphens. Affixes which disrupt the stem, or which themselves are discontinuous, are often marked off with angle brackets. Reduplication is often shown with a tilde. Affixes which ca ...
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Anaphora (linguistics)
In linguistics, anaphora () is the use of an expression whose interpretation depends upon another expression in context (its antecedent or postcedent). In a narrower sense, anaphora is the use of an expression that depends specifically upon an antecedent expression and thus is contrasted with cataphora, which is the use of an expression that depends upon a postcedent expression. The anaphoric (referring) term is called an anaphor. For example, in the sentence ''Sally arrived, but nobody saw her'', the pronoun ''her'' is an anaphor, referring back to the antecedent ''Sally''. In the sentence ''Before her arrival, nobody saw Sally'', the pronoun ''her'' refers forward to the postcedent ''Sally'', so ''her'' is now a ''cataphor'' (and an anaphor in the broader, but not the narrower, sense). Usually, an anaphoric expression is a pro-form or some other kind of deictic (contextually dependent) expression. Both anaphora and cataphora are species of endophora, referring to something ment ...
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