Comparative Historical Linguistics Selected Etymology: 
Linguistics 450  

Glossary | Definitions | Etymology

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P  R S T U V W


abduction [ad. L. abducti{omac}n-em n. of action f. abd{umac}c{ebreve}re; cf. Fr. abduction: see ABDUCE.] 

ablaut [mod.G., f. ab off + laut sound.] 

accusative languages

acronym [f. ACR(O- + -onym after HOMONYM.] 

actuation [n. of action f. med.L. actu{amac}re; see ACTUATE and -ION1. Actu{amac}tio may have been used in med.L.] 

adaption [f. ADAPT v. as if formed on a L. ppl. stem; cf. adopt-ion. See -ION1.] 

adoption [ad. (directly or through Fr. adoption) L. adopti{omac}n-em n. of action, f. obs. ppl. stem adopt-, whence also adopt{amac}-re to ADOPT. In late L. adoptio was used instead of adopt{amac}tio, the n. of action, from adopt{amac}-re.] 

affixation [n. of action f. med.L. aff{imac}x{amac}re, freq. of aff{imac}g-{ebreve}re: see AFFIX.] 

Afro-Asiatic family

Age-area Hypothesis

agglutinating languages

Altaic family

amelioration [a. mod.Fr. amélioration, or analogously formed on AMELIORATE. Quot. 1659 ought perh. to read ‘a melioration.’] 

Amerind family

analogical extension

analogical leveling

analogy [ad. L. analogia, a. Gr. {alenis}{nu}{alpha}{lambda}{omicron}{gamma}{giacu}{alpha} equality of ratios, proportion (orig. a term of mathematics, but already with transf. sense in Plato), f. {alenis}{nu}{gaacu}{lambda}{omicron}{gamma}-{omicron}{fsigma} adj.: see ANALOGON. Cf. mod.Fr. analogie.] 

analytic languages

anaphora [L. anaphora, a. Gr. {alenis}{nu}{alpha}{phi}{omicron}{rho}{gaacu} a carrying back, f. {alenis}{nu}{gaacu} back + {phi}{geacu}{rho}{epsilon}{iota}{nu} to bear.] 

anaptyxis [mod.L., a. Gr. {alenis}{nu}{gaacu}{pi}{tau}{upsilon}{xi}{iota}{fsigma} unfolding.] 

aphaeresis [a. L. aphæresis, a. Gr. {alenis}{phi}{alpha}{giacu}{rho}{epsilon}{sigma}{iota}{fsigma} a taking away, n. of action f. {alenis}{phi}{alpha}{iota}{rho}{geacu}-{epsilon}{iota}{nu}, f. {alenis}{phi}' = {alenis}{pi}{goacu} off, away + {alpha}{iasper}{rho}{geacu}-{epsilon}{iota}{nu} to take, snatch. The Latin grammarians gave it the transf. sense.] 

apocope [L., a. Gr. {alenis}{pi}{omicron}{kappa}{omicron}{pi}{ghacu} a cutting off, f. {alenis}{pi}{omicron}{kappa}{goacu}{pi}-{tau}-{epsilon}{iota}{nu} to cut off.] 

arbitrariness [f. as prec. + -NESS.] 


assimilation [prob. a. F. assimilation, ad. L. assimil{amac}ti{omac}n-em, n. of action f. assimil{amac}re to ASSIMILATE; but it may have been taken directly from the L.] 

attested forms

Austronesian family



Babel [a. Heb. b{amac}bel, Babylon; associated in Genesis with the idea of ‘confusion,’ but not referable to any known Semitic root; according to Prof. Sayce, for Assyrian b{amac}b-ilu gate of God, or b{amac}b-ili gate of the gods, the Assyrian rendering of the Accadian Ca-dimíra (see Trans. Soc. Bibl. Archæology I. 298, 309).] 

baby talk (see also foreigner talk)


basic constituent order (see word order)

basic vocabulary (see core vocabulary)

bifurcation (see semantic split) [n. of action f. BIFURCATE v.: see -ATION.] 

bilingualism [f. BILINGUAL a. + -ISM.] 

biological metaphor

bleaching [f. BLEACH v.1

blending (see portmanteau) [f. as prec. + -ING1.] 


borrowing [f. BORROW v.1


calque [Fr., lit. ‘copy’, f. calquer to trace (a design, etc.), ad. It. calcare, ad. L. calc{amac}re to tread.] 

case [ME. c{amac}s, caas, a. OF. cas in same sense:{em}L. c{amac}su-s, cassu-s fall, chance, occurrence, case, f. stem cas- of cad{ebreve}re to fall.] 


category change

center embedding

chain [ME. chayne, cheyne, a. OF. chaeine, chaaine, chaene, chaane, in ONF. caeine, caenne (= Pr. & Sp. cadena, It. catena):{em}L. cat{emac}na chain. With the ME. types in -gne, Sc. -n{ygh}e, -n{ygh}ie, cf. mod.Picard cagne; mod.Sc. is cheen (t{sh}in).] 

child language acquisition

clipping [f. CLIP v. + -ING1.] 

clitics [f. EN)CLITIC a. and n., PRO)CLITIC a. and n.

cluster reduction

cognates [ad. L. cogn{amac}tus, f. co- together + gn{amac}tus born, f. root gn-, gen-, gon- to produce. In Eng. the transferred sense appeared earliest.] 

comparative historical linguistics

comparative method

compensatory lengthening

compounding [ME. compoune-n, -powne-n (in 15th c. also -pone), ad. OF. compon-re, -pondre, -pundre (pr. pple. componant (-pondant), 3 pl. pr. component) = Pr. componre, -pondre, It. componere, comporre:{em}L. comp{omac}n-{ebreve}re to place or put together: see COMPONE. (OF. on gave ME. oun, as in dragoun, lesoun, noun, soun.) The form compoun(e survived to c 1575, and compound as pa. tense occurs even after 1600 (though it may then have been referred no longer to a vb. compoun, but looked upon merely as short for compounded); on the other hand, to compound(e is known at least as early as 1520. For the history of the final -d in compound, expound, propound, see EXPOUND, which in all its forms occurred earlier in English, and was the type followed by compound. In this word the current use of the original pa. pple. compouned, compound, as an adj., would of itself tend to establish a vb. to compound, as in to content, to direct, and the verbs referred to under -ATE3; cf. also ASTOUND ppl. a. and v.

compression [a. F. compression, ad. L. compressi{omac}n-em, n. of action, f. comprim{ebreve}re (ppl. stem compress-): see COMPRESS v.

consistent languages

consonant shifts

contact [ad. L. contact-us (u-stem) touching, contact, f. contact- ppl. stem of conting{ebreve}re to touch (each other): cf. F. contact (in Cotgr.).] 

contamination [ad. L. cont{amac}min{amac}ti{omac}n-em, n. of action from cont{amac}min{amac}re: see prec. Also in F. in 16th c.] 

content words

contiguity [ad. L. contiguit{amac}s, or F. contiguité (17th c. in Littré), f. L. contigu-us, F. contigu: see prec. and -ITY.] 

convergence [f. CONVERGENT: see -ENCE.] 

convergent development

conversion (see category shift) [a. F. conversion, ad. L. conversi{omac}n-em turning round, n. of action from convert{ebreve}re to turn round: see CONVERT.] 

core vocabulary


creole [a. F. créole, ad. Sp. criollo, native to the locality, ‘country’; believed to be a colonial corruption of *criadillo, dim. of criado ‘bred, brought up, reared, domestic’, pa. pple. of criar to breed, etc.:{em}L. cre{amac}re to CREATE. According to some 18th c. writers originally applied by S. American Blacks to their own children born in America as distinguished from Blacks freshly imported from Africa; but D'Acosta, 1590, applies it to Spaniards born in the W. Indies.] 

cross-category harmony

cultural reconstruction


daughter language

declension [Represents L. d{emac}cl{imac}n{amac}ti{omac}n-em (n. of action f. d{emac}cl{imac}n{amac}re to DECLINE), F. déclinaison (13th c.). The form is irregular, and its history obscure: possibly it came from the F. word, by shifting of the stress as in comparison, orison, benison, and loss of {ibreve}, as in ven{ibreve}son, ven'son, giving declin'son (cf. 1565 in 4), with subsequent assimilative changes; the grammatical sense was the earliest, and the word had no doubt a long colloquial existence in the grammar schools before the English form appears in print. Cf. CONSTER.] 

decreolisation (see language suicide) [f. DE- II. 1 + CREOLIZE v. 2b.] 

deduction [In some senses a. F. déduction (Oresme 14th c.), but in most ad. L. d{emac}ducti{omac}n-em, n. of action from L. d{emac}d{umac}c{ebreve}re: see DEDUCT, DEDUCE.] 

deontic [f. Gr. {delta}{geacu}{omicron}{nu}, {delta}{epsilon}{omicron}{nu}{tau}- (see DEONTOLOGY) + -IC.] 

derivation [a. F. dérivation (1377 in Lanfranc's Chirurg., Littré), ad. L. d{emac}r{imac}v{amac}ti{omac}nem, n. of action from d{emac}r{imac}v{amac}re to DERIVE. (The more usual OF. word was derivaison, -oison.)] 

diachronic linguistics

dialects [a. F. dialecte (16th c. in Hatz.-Darm.), or ad. L. dialectus, Gr. {delta}{iota}{gaacu}{lambda}{epsilon}{kappa}{tau}{omicron}{fsigma} discourse, conversation, way of speaking, language of a country or district, f. {delta}{iota}{alpha}{lambda}{geacu}{gamma}{epsilon}{sigma}{theta}{alpha}{iota} to discourse, converse, f. {delta}{iota}{alpha}- through, across + {lambda}{geacu}{gamma}{epsilon}{iota}{nu} to speak.] 

diffusion [ad. L. diff{umac}si{omac}n-em, n. of action from diffund{ebreve}re to pour out: see DIFFUND. Also in mod.F. (1610 in Hatz.-Darm.)] 

directionality [f. DIRECTIONAL a. + -ITY.] 

dissimilation [n. of action f. prec., after assimilation.] 

divergence [ad. mod.L. d{imac}vergentia (f. d{imac}verg{ebreve}re) or a. F. divergence (17th c. in Hatz.-Darm.): see DIVERGENT and -ENCE.] 

doublet [a. F. doublet (12th c. in Hatz.-Darm.) something folded, a furred coat, etc., f. double + dim. suffix -et.] 

Dravidian family

drift [f. prec. n.] 


ellipsis [a. L. ell{imac}psis, ad. Gr. {elenisacu}{lambda}{lambda}{epsilon}{iota}{psi}{iota}{fsigma}: see ELLIPSE.] 

epenthesis [late L. epenthesis, a. Gr. {elenis}{pi}{geacu}{nu}{theta}{epsilon}{sigma}{iota}{fsigma}, f. {elenis}{pi}{giacu} in addition + {elenis}{nu} in + {theta}{geacu}{sigma}{iota}{fsigma} placing, f. {tau}{iota}-{theta}{geacu}-{nu}{alpha}{iota} to place. Cf. Fr. epenthèse.] 

epistemic [f. Gr. {elenis}{pi}{iota}{sigma}{tau}{ghacu}{mu}{eta} knowledge + -IC.] 

equilibrium [a. L. æquil{imac}brium, f. æquus equal + l{imac}bra balance.] 

ergative language

etymology [a. OF. ethimologie, mod.F. etymologie, ad. L. etymologia, a. Gr. {elenis}{tau}{upsilon}{mu}{omicron}{lambda}{omicron}{gamma}{giacu}{alpha}, f. {elenis}{tau}{upsilon}{mu}{omicron}{lambda}{goacu}{gamma}-{omicron}{fsigma}: see ETYMOLOGE.] 

etymon [L. etymon, a. Gr. {elenisacu}{tau}{upsilon}{mu}{omicron}{nu} (orig. neut. of {elenisacu}{tau}{upsilon}{mu}{omicron}{fsigma} true): (1) the ‘true’ literal sense of a word according to its origin; (2) its ‘true’ or original form; (3) hence, in post-classical grammatical writings, the root or primary word from which a derivative is formed. According to Brugmann, {elenisacu}{tau}{upsilon}{mu}{omicron}{fsigma} is for a prehistoric *s-etumo-s, f. 's weak grade of OAryan *es to be + suffixes.

euphemism [ad. Gr. {epsilon}{ulenis}{phi}{eta}{mu}{iota}{sigma}{mu}{goacu}{fsigma}, f. {epsilon}{ulenis}{phi}{eta}{mu}{giacu}{zeta}{epsilon}{iota}{nu} to speak fair, f. {epsilon}{ulenisacu}{phi}{eta}{mu}{omicron}{fsigma}: see prec.] 

exceptionality [f. EXCEPTION n. + -AL1: cf. F. exceptionnel.] 

excrescence [ad. L. excr{emac}scentia, f. excr{emac}scent-em: see EXCRESCENT and -ENCE. Cf. Fr. excrescence.] 

extension [The two forms extention (ME. extencioun) and extension are ad. L. extenti{omac}n-em, extensi{omac}n-em, n. of action f. extend{ebreve}re (pa. pples. extentus, -tensus) to EXTEND.] 

external reconstruction


family tree model

folk etymology

foreigner talk

fortition [ad. L. sort{imac}tio, f. sort{imac}ri to cast or draw lots.] 

functional load


gap [a. ON. gap chasm (only in the mythological name Ginnunga-gap), wide-mouthed outcry (Sw. gap, Da. gab open mouth, also opening, chasm); n. related to ON. and Sw. gapa, Da. gabe to GAPE.] 


generativism [f. GENERATE v. + -IVE. Cf. F. génératif.] 

genetic relationship

glottochronology [f. GLOTTO- (see GLOSSO-) + CHRONOLOGY.] 

grammaticalization [f. GRAMMATICAL a. + -IZE.] 

Grassman’s Law

Great Canine Shift

Great Vowel Shift

Greenberg, Joseph

Grimm’s Law


Hamito-Semitic family

haplology [f. HAPLO- + -LOGY.] 

harmony [a. F. harmonie (12th c. in Hatz.-Darm.), = Pr., Sp., It. armonia, ad. L. harmonia, a. Gr. {aasper}{rho}{mu}{omicron}{nu}{giacu}{alpha} joining, joint, agreement, concord of sounds, music, f. stem {aasper}{rho}{mu}{omicron}- of {aasper}{rho}{mu}{goacu}{fsigma} joint, {aasper}{rho}{mu}{goacu}{zeta}{epsilon}{iota}{nu} to fit together, arrange.] 

Heaviness Serialism Principle

historical linguistics



homograph [f. HOMO- + Gr. -{gamma}{rho}{alpha}{phi}{omicron}{fsigma} written, -GRAPH.] 

homonym [ad. late L. hom{omac}nym-um (Quintilian), a. Gr. {oasper}{mu}{gwacu}{nu}{upsilon}{mu}-{omicron}{nu}, neut. of {oasper}{mu}{gwacu}{nu}{upsilon}{mu}{omicron}{fsigma} HOMONYMOUS. Cf. F. homonyme ‘an equiuocation, or word of diuers significations’ (Cotgr.).] 

homonymic clash

Humbolt’s Universal

hyperbole [a. Gr. {uasper}{pi}{epsilon}{rho}{beta}{omicron}{lambda}{ghacu} excess (cf. HYPERBOLA), exaggeration; the latter sense is first found in Isocrates and Aristotle. Cf. F. hyperbole (earlier yperbole).]

hypercorrection [f. HYPER- 4a + CORRECT a.

hyponymy [f. HYPO- + Gr. {olenisacu}{nu}{omicron}{mu}{alpha} after SYNONYMY, etc.] 


iconicity [f. ICONIC a. + -ITY.] 

idiolect [f. IDIO- after DIALECT.] 

implementation [f. IMPLEMENT v. + -ATION.] 


Indo-European languages

induction [a. F. induction (14th c.) or ad. L. inducti{omac}n-em, n. of action from ind{umac}c{ebreve}re to INDUCE.] 

inflecting languages

inflection [ad. L. inflexi{omac}n-em, n. of action f. inflect{ebreve}re (ppl. stem inflex-) to INFLECT. Cf. F. inflexion (14th c. in Godef. Compl.). As to the spelling cf. CONNEXION, DEFLEXION.] 

internal reconstruction

isogloss [a. G. isogloss (A. Bielenstein Die Grenzen des Lettischen Volksstammes (1892) 397, f. ISO- + GLOSS n.1

isolate [ad. It. isolato (F. isolé):{em}L. insul{amac}t-us insulated, f. insula island: see -ATE2 2.] 

isolating languages

isolationism [f. ISOLATION + -ISM.] 

isomorphism [mod. (Mitscherlich, 1819) f. as prec. + -ISM: in mod.F. isomorphisme.] 


Jakobson, Roman

Johnson, Samuel

Jones, Sir. William


Kurylowicz’s laws


Labov, William

language academy

language acquisition

Language Bioprogram Hypothesis

language change

language contact

language death

language genesis

language murder

language planning

language shift

language suicide

lenition [f. L. l{emac}nis soft + -ITION.] 

lexical phonology

lexicalization [f. LEXICAL a. + -IZE.] 

lexicography [f. Gr. {lambda}{epsilon}{xi}{iota}{kappa}{omicron}- LEXICON + -{gamma}{rho}{alpha}{phi}{giacu}{alpha} -GRAPHY.] 

lexicon [? mod.L., a. Gr. {lambda}{epsilon}{xi}{iota}{kappa}{goacu}{nu} (sc. {beta}{iota}{beta}{lambda}{giacu}{omicron}{nu}), neut. sing. of {lambda}{epsilon}{xi}{iota}{kappa}{goacu}{fsigma} of or for words, f. {lambda}{geacu}{xi}{iota}-{fsigma} diction, word, phrase, f. {lambda}{epsilon}{gamma}- to speak.] 

lexicostatistics [f. LEXICO- + STATISTIC a.

lingua franca

linguistic evolution

lumping [f. LUMP v.3 + -ING1.] 


Mańczak’s tendencies

metaphor [a. F. métaphore, ad. L. metaphora, a. Gr. {mu}{epsilon}{tau}{alpha}{phi}{omicron}{rho}{gaacu}, f. {mu}{epsilon}{tau}{alpha}{phi}{geacu}{rho}{epsilon}{iota}{nu} to transfer, f. {mu}{epsilon}{tau}{alpha}- META-1 + {phi}{geacu}{rho}{epsilon}{iota}{nu} (root {phi}{epsilon}{rho}- : {phi}{omicron}{rho}-) to bear, carry.] 

metathesis [a. late L. metathesis (in sense 1), a. Gr. {mu}{epsilon}{tau}{gaacu}{theta}{epsilon}{sigma}{iota}{fsigma}, n. of action of {mu}{epsilon}{tau}{alpha}{tau}{iota}{theta}{geacu}{nu}{alpha}{iota} to transpose, change: see META- and THESIS. Cf. F. métathèse.] 

metonymy [ad. late L. met{omac}nymi-a, a. Gr. {mu}{epsilon}{tau}{omega}{nu}{upsilon}{mu}{giacu}{alpha}, lit. ‘change of name’, f. {mu}{epsilon}{tau}({alpha})- META- + {olenisacu}{nu}{omicron}{mu}{alpha}, Aeol. {olenisacu}{nu}{upsilon}{mu}{alpha} name.] 

mixed language

monogenesis [a. mod.L.: see MONO- and GENESIS. Cf. F. monogenèse.] 

morphological fusion

Mother Tongue

Murry, James A.H.


Naturalness [Subst. use of next, in earlier senses after F. naturel, L. n{amac}t{umac}r{amac}l-is, -e, etc.] 

Natural Morphology

Neogrammarians [f. NEO- + GRAMMARIAN.] 

neologism [ad. F. néologisme (1735): see NEOLOGY and -ISM.] 

nonce word

Nostratic family


onomastics [ad. Gr. {olenis}{nu}{omicron}{mu}{alpha}{sigma}{tau}{iota}{kappa}-{goacu}{fsigma} of or belonging to naming, f. {olenis}{nu}{omicron}{mu}{alpha}{sigma}{tau}{goacu}{fsigma} named, f. {olenis}{nu}{omicron}{mu}{gaacu}{zeta}-{epsilon}{iota}{nu} to name. Cf. F. onomastique (c1600 in Hatz.-Darm.).] 

onomatopoeia [a. L. onomatop{oe}ia, a. Gr. {olenis}{nu}{omicron}{mu}{alpha}{tau}{omicron}{pi}{omicron}{iota}{giacu}{alpha} the making of words, f. {olenis}{nu}{omicron}{mu}{alpha}{tau}{omicron}{pi}{omicron}{iota}{goacu}{fsigma} making or coining a name, f. ONOMATO- + -{pi}{omicron}{iota}{omicron}{fsigma} making.] 

opacity (see exceptionality) [a. F. opacité (15-16th c. in Hatz.-Darm.), ad. L. op{amac}cit{amac}s, f. op{amac}cus OPAQUE.] 

orthogenetic line


palatalisation [f. PALATAL + -IZE.]

paradigmatic relations


pejoration [ad. med.L. p{emac}j{omac}r{amac}ti{omac}n-em, n. of action from p{emac}j{omac}r{amac}re: see prec.] 

periphrasis [a. L. periphrasis, a. Gr. {pi}{epsilon}{rho}{giacu}{phi}{rho}{alpha}{sigma}{iota}{fsigma} circumlocution, periphrase, f. {pi}{epsilon}{rho}{iota}{phi}{rho}{gaacu}{zeta}{epsilon}{iota}{nu} to express periphrastically, f. {pi}{epsilon}{rho}{giacu} round about, around + {phi}{rho}{gaacu}{zeta}{epsilon}{iota}{nu} to declare.] 

peripheral vocabulary

philology [In Chaucer, ad. L. philologia; in 17th c. prob. a. F. philologie, ad. L. philologia, a. Gr. {phi}{iota}{lambda}{omicron}{lambda}{omicron}{gamma}{giacu}{alpha}, abstr. n. from {phi}{iota}{lambda}{goacu}{lambda}{omicron}{gamma}{omicron}{fsigma} fond of speech, talkative; fond of dicussion or argument; studious of words; fond of learning and literature, literary; f. {phi}{iota}{lambda}{omicron}- PHILO- + {lambda}{goacu}{gamma}{omicron}{fsigma} word, speech, etc.] 

phonemic shift

phonemic split

phonetic fusion


polysemy [ad. F. polysémie (M. Bréal Essai de Sémantique (1897) xiv. 155), f. med.L. polys{emac}mus (see POLYSEMOUS a.): see -Y3, -IA1.] 

preterite present verbs

prothesis [a. Gr. {pi}{rho}{goacu}{theta}{epsilon}{sigma}{iota}{fsigma} a placing before or in public, as in the phrase {omicron}{iasper} {alenisacu}{rho}{tau}{omicron}{iota} {tau}{ghfrown}{fsigma} {pi}{rho}{omicron}{theta}{geacu}{sigma}{epsilon}{omega}{fsigma} the showbread (LXX and N.T.), f. PRO-2 2 + {theta}{geacu}{sigma}{iota}{fsigma} placing: cf. {pi}{rho}{omicron}{tau}{iota}{theta}{geacu}{nu}{alpha}{iota} to place before, set out (food, etc.).] 

proto-language [f. PROTO- + LANGUAGE n.


Rask, Rasmus

reanalysis [Cf. prec. and ANALYSIS.] 

reflex [ad. late L. reflex-us, a bending back, recess, return, f. ppl. stem of reflect{ebreve}re to REFLECT. Cf. Sp. reflejo (-flexo), It. riflesso.] 

regularity hypothesis

relexification [f. RE- 5a + Gr. {lambda}{geacu}{xi}{iota}-{fsigma} word + -FICATION.] 


restriction [a. F. restriction, or ad. late L. restricti{omac}n-em, noun of action f. restring{ebreve}re to RESTRINGE. Cf. Sp. restriccion, It. re-, ristrizione.] 

rhotacism [ad. mod.L. rh{omac}tacism-us, a. Gr. *{rasper}{omega}{tau}{alpha}{kappa}{iota}{sigma}{mu}{goacu}{fsigma}, f. {rasper}{omega}{tau}{alpha}{kappa}{giacu}{zeta}{epsilon}{iota}{nu} to RHOTACIZE. Cf. F. rhotacisme.] 

rule ordering



semantic shift

Sino-Tibetan family

sonority hierarchy

sound change

sound correspondences

spelling pronunciation

splitting [f. SPLIT v. + -ING1.] 

Spoonerism [f. the name of the Rev. W. A. Spooner (b. 1844).] 

Structuralism [f. STRUCTURAL a. + -ISM.] 

Sturtevant’s Paradox

subgrouping [SUB- 7b.] 

substrate [ad. mod.L. substr{amac}tum.] 

superstrate [f. SUPERSTRATUM n., after SUBSTRATE n.

suppletion [a. OF. sup(p)letion, supplection, ad. L. *suppl{emac}tio, -{omac}nem, f. suppl{emac}re SUPPLY v.1

synchronic linguistics

syncretism [ad. mod.L. syncr{emac}tismus (D. Pareus, 1615), a. Gr. {sigma}{upsilon}{gamma}{kappa}{rho}{eta}{tau}{iota}{sigma}{mu}{goacu}{fsigma}, f. {sigma}{upsilon}{gamma}{kappa}{rho}{eta}{tau}{giacu}{zeta}{epsilon}{iota}{nu} to SYNCRETIZE. Cf. F. syncrétisme, ‘the ioyning, or agreement, of two enemies against a third person’ (Cotgr.).
  Spelt syncratism by Ash (1775), who derives it from {kappa}{rho}{gaacu}{tau}{omicron}{fsigma} power; the spelling is recorded by some later Dicts.

syncope [In earliest use, sincopis, incorrect nom. inferred from sincopin (so in 13th c. OF.), orthographic var. of syncop{emac}n, acc. of late L. syncop{emac} (also syncopa), a. Gr. {sigma}{upsilon}{gamma}{kappa}{omicron}{pi}{ghacu}, f. {sigma}{guacu}{nu} SYN-1 + {kappa}{omicron}{pi}-, stem of {kappa}{goacu}{pi}{tau}{epsilon}{iota}{nu} to strike, beat, cut off, weary. The current form is based directly on the Gr. (Cf. It., Sp., Pg. sincopa.) For the disyllabic syncop, cf. F. syncope (s{opetilde}k{revc}p).] 

synonymy [ad. late L. syn{omac}nymia, a. Gr. {sigma}{upsilon}{nu}{omega}{nu}{upsilon}{mu}{giacu}{alpha}, f. {sigma}{upsilon}{nu}{gwacu}{nu}{upsilon}{mu}{omicron}{fsigma} SYNONYM. Cf. F. synonymie, etc.] 

syntagmatic relations


taboo words

teleology [ad. mod.L. teleologia (Chr. Wolf, 1728); f. Gr. {tau}{geacu}{lambda}{omicron}{fsigma} end (see TELEO-2) + -{lambda}{omicron}{gamma}{iota}{alpha} (see -LOGY), whence also Ger. teleologie, F. téléologie.] 

Trace Erasure Principle

Transparency Principle

Typology [f. Gr. {tau}{guacu}{pi}{omicron}{fsigma}: see TYPO- and -LOGY.] 


umlaut [G., f. um- about + laut sound.]

unpacking [UN-2 3, 5. Cf. Du. ontpakken.] 

Uralic family


Verner’s Law

vowel breaking


Watkins, Calvert

wave model

word order variation

Courtesy of

Heather Nord (Nowlin)
April 2002