All Words Glossary

Glossary of Linguistics Terms
beginning with letter C
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c. Tweet Definition of c. Like Definition of c. on Facebook
abbreviation
  1. (context, preposition) circa
The document was written in the Middle Ages, 1250.
  1. (context, noun) city
cacology Tweet Definition of cacology Like Definition of cacology on Facebook
noun
  1. Poor diction or choice of words.
caconym Tweet Definition of caconym Like Definition of caconym on Facebook
noun
  1. an incorrect name for something, especially in taxonomic classification
calque Tweet Definition of calque Like Definition of calque on Facebook
noun
  1. A word-for-word translation of a saying or a morpheme-by-morpheme translation of a word from one language to another.
::The word watershed is a from German Wasserscheide.verb (calques, calquing, calqued)
  1. (transitive) To adopt (a word or phrase) from one language to another by semantic translation of its parts.
Canadianism Tweet Definition of Canadianism Like Definition of Canadianism on Facebook
noun
  1. A custom, trait, or element of language characteristic of Canadian speech. category:Regional English
canonical Tweet Definition of canonical Like Definition of canonical on Facebook
adjective
  1. (theology) Present in a canon of Scripture.
The w:Gospel of Luke, Gospel of Luke is a New Testament book.
  1. In conformity with canon law.
  2. According to recognised or orthodox rules.
The men played golf in the most way, with no local rules.
  1. Stated or used in the most basic and straightforwardly applicable manner.
This definition would be more useful if it were .
  1. (music) In the form of a canon.
  2. Of or pertaining to an ecclesiastical chapter
  3. (context, math, compsci) In canonical form.
cant Tweet Definition of cant Like Definition of cant on Facebook
noun
  1. The jargon of a particular class or subgroup.
He had the look of a prince, but the of a fishmonger.
  1. A private or secret language used by a religious sect, gang, or other group.
  2. empty, Empty, hypocritical talk.
People claim to care about the poor of Africa, but it is largely .
  1. A musical singing sound.
  2. (heraldry) A blazon of a coat of arms that makes a pun upon the name of the bearer.
verb
  1. (intransitive) To speak with the jargon of a class or subgroup.
  2. (intransitive) To speak in set phrases.
  3. (intransitive) To preach in a singsong fashion, especially in a false or empty manner.
  4. (context, intransitive, heraldry) Of a blazon, to make a pun that references the bearer of a coat of arms.
adjective kant
  1. (English dialect) lively, lusty.
cedilla Tweet Definition of cedilla Like Definition of cedilla on Facebook
noun , -
, ¸ í‡ í§
  1. (orthography) In the spelling of Catalan, French and Portuguese and some other languages, a mark placed under the letter c immediately preceding a, o, or u to indicate that it is pronounced /s/ rather than /k/, as in French menaí§ant and Portuguese almoí§o, and also used in various other languages to change the sounds of other letters.
centum Tweet Definition of centum Like Definition of centum on Facebook
adjective
  1. (linguistics) referring to a Proto-Indo-European language group that did not produce sibilants from a series of velar stops
character Tweet Definition of character Like Definition of character on Facebook
noun
  1. A being involved in the action of a story.
  2. A symbol used to represent a sound or a word.
  3. A distinguishing feature; characteristic; A complex of mental and ethical traits marking a person or a group.
  4. A moral strength.
"You may not like to eat liver," said Calvin's father, "but it builds ."
  1. A person with many notable or eccentric features.
  2. (mathematics) A complex number representing an element of a finite Abelian group.
  3. (computing) One of the basic elements making up a text file or string: a code representing a printing character or a control character. Synonymous with byte in some environments.
chereme Tweet Definition of chereme Like Definition of chereme on Facebook
noun
  1. (linguistics) the basic unit of a sign language; equivalent to a morpheme
Chinese Tweet Definition of Chinese Like Definition of Chinese on Facebook
noun (Chinese, -)
  1. (uncountable) The class of Sino-Tibetan dialects including Mandarin, Wu, Cantonese, Min Nan and others. Abbreviation: Chin or Chin.
  2. (rfv-sense)(uncountable) The logographic writing system shared by this language family.
  • Hong Kong uses traditional .
    1. (uncountable) Mandarin, the main language spoken in China.
    2. (used as a plural and always preceded by the) The people of China.
The Chinese have an incredible history.
  1. (countable) A person born in China.
The place was empty till two walked in.
  1. (context, UK, countable, informal) A Chinese meal.
We're going out tonight for a .
  1. (context, US, uncountable, informal) Chinese food.
  • Do you care for tonight?
  • adjective
    1. Of China, its languages or people
    2. Unexpected, as used in the phrases Chinese whispers, Chinese burn, Chinese auction.
    cline Tweet Definition of cline Like Definition of cline on Facebook
    noun
    1. (biology) A gradation in a character or phenotype within a species or other group.
    2. Any graduated continuum.
      • 2005, Ronnie Cann, Ruth Kempson and Lutz Marten, The Dynamics of Language, an Introduction, p. 412
      • : This account effectively reconstructs the well-known grammaticalisation from anaphora to agreement, …
    cloze Tweet Definition of cloze Like Definition of cloze on Facebook
    noun
    1. A form of written examination technique in which candidates are required to provide words that have been omitted from sentences, thereby demonstrating their knowledge and comprehension of the text.
    adjective
    1. Based on or being a cloze.
    code-switching Tweet Definition of code-switching Like Definition of code-switching on Facebook
    noun
    1. (linguistics) the phenomenon of alternating between two or more languages during spoken conversation
    Like many bilingual families, it was normal to frequently observe at our dinner table.
    cognate Tweet Definition of cognate Like Definition of cognate on Facebook
    noun
    1. A word derived from the same roots as a given word.
    English "ward" is a of "guard", and of French "garder".
    ''English "ward", English "guard", and French "garder" are all cognates.
    adjective
    1. Derived from the same roots.
    In English, "ward" is cognate to "guard", and both are to French garder.
    English "ward", English "guard", Icelandic "ví¶rí°ur" and French "garder" are all .''
    1. Similar in nature
    coherence Tweet Definition of coherence Like Definition of coherence on Facebook
    noun
    1. the quality of cohering; of being coherent
    2. a logical arrangements of parts
    1. (physics) (of waves) having the same wavelength and phase
    cohesion Tweet Definition of cohesion Like Definition of cohesion on Facebook
    noun
    1. the state of cohering, or of sticking together
    2. (physics),(chemistry) the various intermolecular forces that hold solids and liquids together
    3. (biology) the growing together of normally distinct parts of a plant
    4. (computing) the degree to which different modules in a computing system are functionally dependent on others
    coinage Tweet Definition of coinage Like Definition of coinage on Facebook
    noun
    1. Related to coins.
    2. A coined word.
    collocation Tweet Definition of collocation Like Definition of collocation on Facebook
    noun
    1. a grouping or juxtaposition of words that commonly occur together
    2. (military) the placing of two or more units at the same location
    commutation Tweet Definition of commutation Like Definition of commutation on Facebook
    noun
    1. A passing from one state to another; change; alteration; mutation.
    2. The act of giving one thing for another; barter; exchange.
    3. The change of a penalty or punishment by the pardoning power of the State; as, the commutation of a sentence of death to banishment or imprisonment.
    4. A substitution, as of a less thing for a greater, esp. a substitution of one form of payment for another, or one payment for many, or a specific sum of money for conditional payments or allowances; as, commutation of tithes; commutation of fares; commutation of copyright; commutation of rations.
    connotation Tweet Definition of connotation Like Definition of connotation on Facebook
    noun
    1. A meaning that is suggested or implied, as opposed to a denotation, or literal definition. A characteristic of words or phrases, or of the contexts that words and phrases are used in.
    The connotations of the phrase "you are a dog" are that you are physically unattractive or morally reprehensible, not that you are a canine.
    constraint Tweet Definition of constraint Like Definition of constraint on Facebook
    noun
    1. something that constrains
    contextualize Tweet Definition of contextualize Like Definition of contextualize on Facebook
    verbto contextualize
    1. To place something in a particular context
    converse Tweet Definition of converse Like Definition of converse on Facebook
    noun
    1. The opposite or reverse.
    2. (logic) Of a proposition or theorem of the form "If A is true, then B is true" or (equivalently) "All Xs are Ys", the proposition or law "If B is true, then A is true" or "All Ys are Xs", respectively.
    All trees are plants, but the converse, that all plants are trees, is not true.
    corpus Tweet Definition of corpus Like Definition of corpus on Facebook
    noun (plural: corpora or corpuses)
    1. the body
    2. (linguistics) a collection of writings, often on a specific topic, of a specific genre, from a specific demographic, a single author etc.
    corruption Tweet Definition of corruption Like Definition of corruption on Facebook
    noun (uncountable and countable; pluralcorruptions)
    1. The act of corrupting or of impairing integrity, virtue, or moral principle; the state of being corrupted or debased; loss of purity or integrity; depravity; wickedness; impurity; bribery.
    It was necessary, by exposing the gross corruptions of monasteries, . . . to exite popular indignation against them. — w:Arthur Hallam, Hallam
    They abstained from some of the worst methods of usual to their party in its earlier days. — w:Bancroft, Bancroft
      • Usage note: Corruption, when applied to officers, trustees, etc., signifies the inducing a violation of duty by means of pecuniary considerations. — w:Abbott, Abbott
        1. The act of corrupting or making putrid, or state of being corrupt or putrid; decomposition or disorganization, in the process of putrefaction; putrefaction; deterioration.
        2. The product of corruption; putrid matter.
        3. The decomposition of biological matter.
        4. (computing) The destruction of data by manipulation of parts of it, usually a result of imperfections in storage or transmission media which randomly alter parts of the data.
        5. The act of changing, or of being changed, for the worse; departure from what is pure, simple, or correct; as, a corruption of style; corruption in language.
        6. (linguistics) A word that has adopted from another language but whose spelling has been changed through misunderstanding, transcription error, mishearing, etc.
        7. Something that is evil but is supposed to be good.
        The inducing and accelerating of putrefaction is a subject of very universal inquiry; for is a reciprocal to generation. — w:Francis Bacon, Francis Bacon.
        1. Parts of a machine can be corrupted, meaning broken.
    counterword Tweet Definition of counterword Like Definition of counterword on Facebook
    noun
    1. A word whose new meaning is overused, and not intended for what the original meaning is.
    Creole Tweet Definition of Creole Like Definition of Creole on Facebook
    proper noun
    1. A French-African ethnic group in Louisiana.
    2. A member of this ethnic group.
    creolize Tweet Definition of creolize Like Definition of creolize on Facebook
    verb (creoliz, ing)
    1. (linguistics) To cause a pidgin language rapidly expanding in vocabulary and grammar, grammatical rules to become ultimately a creole.
    cuneiform Tweet Definition of cuneiform Like Definition of cuneiform on Facebook
    noun
    1. An ancient writing system originating in Mesopotamia in the 4th millennium BC.
    2. (anatomy) A wedge-shaped bone, especially a cuneiform bone.
    adjective
    1. Having the form of a wedge; wedge-shaped.
    cuneiformist Tweet Definition of cuneiformist Like Definition of cuneiformist on Facebook
    noun
    1. A specialist or expert in cuneiform.
    Cyrillic Tweet Definition of Cyrillic Like Definition of Cyrillic on Facebook
    proper noun
    1. A script used to write six natural Slavic languages (Belarusian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Russian, Serbian, and Ukrainian) and many other languages of the former Soviet Union, Asia and Eastern Europe.
    adjective
    1. Of or pertaining to Cyrillic script or the Cyrillic alphabet.

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