C-command. A f-formal r-relationship m-made n-necessary by an u-unfortunate e-early c-commitment to b-binary t-trees.
Computational linguistics. A sub-
Consonant. A category of segment often occurring between vowels. See entry for vowel.
Glottochronology. A misguided effort to measure the rate of linguistic change objectively. The only ridiculous linguistic theory to date to be widely acknowledged as such.
Grammar, Generative. An approach to linguistics developed and popularized by Noam Chomsky in the 1950s. Generative grammar is commonly held to have been a significant influence on the work of Panini, and later on the Neogrammarians.
Lexicon. A repository of facts from which linguists can no longer derive any generalization.
Linguist. A practitioner of linguistics. A linguist’s work is to uncover the cognitive, historical, and grammatical principles that order change and variation in the world’s languages. This is done so that the linguist can offer a more satisfying alternative answer to outsiders’ queries as to how many languages the linguist knows.
Neurolinguistics. A sub-
Null. A formal device for representing things that should be there but are not, such as dropped pronouns, traces, and good jobs for linguists.
Particle. In physics, a fundamental entity that accounts for the mysterious properties of matter. In linguistics, a fundamental descriptor for mysterious elements of grammar.
Philology. A quasi-
Phoneme. A fundamental element of phonological theory, which was in fact relevant to phonological theory from approximately 1939 to 1968.
Plosive. A sound made by completely obstructing the flow of air through the vocal tract. In airports and other high-
Pragmatics. A sub-
Prosody. A sub-
Rhotics. A class of sounds with various phonetic properties, often with ambiguous phonetic characteristics and strong sociolinguistic significance. Some languages (e.g., Hawaiian) avoid rhotics altogether because of markedness; in other languages (e.g., English), speakers send their children to speech therapy.
Semantics, Formal. A sub-
Semiotics. The study of signs. Ferdinand de Saussure emphasized the distinction between the sign and the thing signified, which was of immense practical importance to his countrymen, who before de Saussure could apparently not distinguish between a potato and a picture of one.
Sociolinguistics. A relief program for linguists who cannot afford to travel overseas for fieldwork, but are instead put up by their parents for the duration of their dissertation research.
Spectrogram. A visual representation of the acoustic speech signal. In the 1950s the speech spectrograph made segmental representations of speech problematic, which accounts for its prominence in phonological research.
Syntagmatic. A make-
Syntax. The study of the constraints on sentence formation in a language. Syntax has classically been held to be autonomous from phonology, semantics, discourse, and other possible entry points of falsifiability.
Tree. A graphical representation of the syntactic structure of a sentence. Linguistic papers traditionally include one tree, at the beginning. Thereafter the reader is enabled to generate them at will for all subsequent examples.
Vocal tract. The anatomical space beginning with the diaphragm and ending at the lips and nose. Subject to substantial inter-
Vowel. A category of segment often occurring between consonants. See entry for consonant.
See also: Fascicle 2.