Standard American English. A form of English which certain individuals prescribe to be the proper way to speak English.
The process of analyzing a segment of language, traditionally a line of poetry, into feet, counting syllables, and marking stress.
second language acquisition
The acquisition of languages other than one’s native tongue(s) usually learned as an adult.
Refers to the lack of clearly distinct perceptual units (syllables and/or words) within a continuous speech signal, due to the fact that sounds overlap and influence each other rather than remain clearly distinct.
This view holds that, in lexical retrieval, context will provide all pertinent information necessary to activate the interpretation of an ambiguous word.
A manner of describing semantic properties such as [+abstract] [+count] [+inanimate].
A set of concepts which are related to one another by meaning. ex: mammals; colors; etc. Also, the graphic representation of these relationships using nodes (circles or ellipses) to represent concepts and the relationships between them.
The process by which the meaning of a word or phrase changes over time. Also known as semantic progression, drift, or change.
The study of the meanings of words, sentences, and discourses.
A semi vowel is a phoneme which is vowel-like and act as a consonant. These sounds are often found at the beginning or end of a vowel (on-glides and off-glides) and are produced in the formation of diphthongs. Two are found in English: [j] as in ‘yes’ and [w] as in ‘wet.’
The study of ‘signs’ which are accessible to the senses, and the meaning linked to them. The concept of semiotics was introduced by Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussaure.
A syntactic category which is minimally composed of an NP and a VP.
separate systems hypothesis
States that a child learning two languages simultaneously will construct two separate grammars and lexicons, one for each individual language.
Serial Search Model
This type of lexical retrieval model claims that individual lexicon items are activated and searched for one at a time in a serial or step-by-step manner.
A class of sounds which is characterized by acoustic high frequencies. ex: affricates – [č][ǰ] , alveolar fricatives [s] [z], and palatal fricatives [ž] [š]
Short term memory tasks that generally require the participant to maintain a collection of symbols, elements, or spatial positions over a brief period of time.
A simplex lexeme is a lexical entry which composed of one and only one root and cannot be broken down into smaller components. ex: dog, house, giraffe, etc.
Two categories on a syntactic tree which branch from the node. ex: a V’ and an NP both branching from VP are considered sister nodes
This theory basically states that reality is composed of ‘situations’ in which objects have properties which stand in relation to each other. ‘Situations’ are only a part of all of reality thus any type of linguistic information conveyed about a ‘situation’ will be able to reveal only part of all the information available.
A phonation which is less breathy than breathy voice and in which the glottal opening is slightly wider than in normal speech. Slack voice is contrastive in languages such as Javanese. The diacritic symbol used for slack voice that is sometimes used is [ ₀]. Slack voice is also referred to as ‘lax’ or ‘lenis.’
Casual speech shared by groups with similar interests or of similar ages.
slip of the tongue
Unintentional speech errors which often reveal important information concerning the perception, production, and processing of natural language. ex: a coff of cuppee
social network analysis
The analysis of an individual’s participation in the social group/speech community. Emphasizes an individual’s place within a social network (to seek to account for variability in individual linguistic behavior) rather than large scale characterization of the community. How do various individuals play a role in linguistic change? Someone with multiple ties outside the community may initiate the change. This could involve observing the micro-level social clusters. As a rule, the stronger a person’s network ties to a local group, the stronger the participation in the local vernacular.
A way to measure multiplexity — how reciprocal is the relationship. This, in a way, measures popularity.
Speech segments which bear vocalic material including liquids, glides, nasals, and vowels.
sonority sequencing principle (SSP)
A universal principle that within a syllable, phonological sonority rises from the first phoneme toward the nucleus and falls toward the last phoneme.
A phonological historical change in speech production.
This is a thematic role assigned to the NP of a verb from which the action of the verb originates. ex: Rachael returned from Paris last week.
SPE is an acronym for The Sound Pattern of English, which is a landmark comprehensive work (Chomsky and Halle, 1968) describing English phonology.
specific language impairment (SLI)
Generalized language disorder wherein a child exhibits deficits in semantics, syntax, and discourse in the presence of normal nonverbal cognitive abilities. Children with SLI have been shown to have problems in the acquisition of tense marking (morpho-syntax).
A three-dimensional representation of sound in which time is represented on the x-axis, frequency on the y-axis and amplitude, or intensity in darkness of shading.
The process of human communication in which a thought begins in an individual’s mind, is articulated, emerges as an acoustic signal, is perceived by the listener, processed by the listener and interpreted in the mind.
Unlike a dialect, which is a systematic variation of any given language, a speech community is a group of people who use certain lingustic forms that are characteristic of that speech community.
This is the result of the two hemispheres of the brain being severed at the corpus callosum due to symptoms of epilepsy.
Also called a slip of the tongue, is a speech error in which segments are reversed. ex: bitch plack for pitch black
A morphemic root to which one or more morphemes has been added . ex: unhappy (this word is considered a stem since other affixes may still be added)
Speech sounds in which airflow is stopped at some point during production. ex: [p], [t], [g]
An means of accenting a syllable by longer duration and higher pitch.
The noun phrase (NP) in a sentence (S) which is a sister to the verb phrase. (VP) ex: The cat chased the mouse.
In the lexical retrieval process of ambiguous words, the subordinate meaning will not be initially activated until more frequent of prominent meanings are first activated.
An affix which is attached to the end of a root or stem. ex: -ing is a suffix in ‘playing’
Later-learned varieties of speech often used in more formal settings.
Suppletion occurs when a regular morpheme is replaced with an irregular form. For example, the plural morpheme ‘s’ i,e,. dog/dogs does not work with a word such as child. The ‘s’ is replaced with an irregular plural morpheme ‘ren’ which is highly irregular. Thus child/children. This can be seen in French. The verb ‘to be’ has irregular forms which are not inter-related. I am – je suis I will be – je serai that I were – je sois
Prosodic features which distinguish certain phonemes from each other such as pitch and tone.
A syllabary is a set of symbols that represent a syllable such as CV, CVC, or V. These symbols can be a grapheme, as in Japanese or a logogram such as a Chinese character. Example from Japanese: ホテル (ho-te-ru)
A unit of organization of speech sound. Syllable structure can be composed of an onset, nucleus, and coda. (Only the nucleus is mandatory.) ex: The word favorite had 3 syllables. fa – vor – ite, /fei.vər̩.ɪt/ The first syllable is CV, the second syllable is expressed as CVC and the third is VC.
A syllabogram is a symbol in a syllabary that represents an entire syllable usually in the form of CV or V.
The fissure in the brain separating the frontal and temporal lobes, and the temporal and parietal lobes. Most of the language-related areas of the brain are located around this area.
Syncope is the deletion of sound segments from a word. This most often happens in a reduced vowel. ex: memory – [mɛmri]
This occurs when one item can represent various grammatical words. Ex: combed can be used as a past tense verb (Mary combed her hair.), As a past participle: (Mary had combed her hair.) As an adjective: (Mary’s combed hair shone in the sunlight.) As a passive past participle: (Mary’s hair was combed nicely.)
Two or more words which bear the same semantic properties thus share an almost identical meaning. ex: sofa, couch
The sequence of linguistic units or words and how they are related structurally (in a syntactic structure).
The study of the structure of sentence formation.
A systematic gap is an ill-formed or unacceptable word in a language due to the fact that it violates language-specific phonotactic constraints. For example, in English ‘try’ is a well-formed word however ‘tly’ is not. This is due to the fact the ‘tl’ is not permitted in word-initial (the first sound) position.