All Words Glossary

Glossary of Linguistics Terms
beginning with letter P
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pangram Tweet Definition of pangram Like Definition of pangram on Facebook
noun (irregularpluralform) -->
  1. A sentence that contains every letter of the alphabet Most often seen pangram: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
paradigmatic Tweet Definition of paradigmatic Like Definition of paradigmatic on Facebook
  1. of or pertaining to a paradigm
  2. related as members of a substitution class
patois Tweet Definition of patois Like Definition of patois on Facebook
noun (plural: )
  1. Any of various French or Occitan dialects spoken in France.
  2. Creole French in the Caribbean (especially in Trinidad and Tobago).
  3. A Jamaican Creole language primarily based on English and African languages but also has influences from Spanish, Portuguese and Hindi.
patronymic Tweet Definition of patronymic Like Definition of patronymic on Facebook
noun (plural: patronymics)
  1. name acquired from one's father's first name. Some cultures use a patronymic where other cultures use a surname or family name; other cultures {like Russia} use both a patronymic and a surname.
PE Tweet Definition of PE Like Definition of PE on Facebook
  1. Prince Edward Island (Canadian province)
  2. physical education
  3. Preliminary Examination
  4. (pathology) pulmonary embolism
  5. Preinstallation Environment (a type of operating systems)
  6. Portable Edition (usually used for a version of a software)
penultimate Tweet Definition of penultimate Like Definition of penultimate on Facebook
  1. A next-to-last thing
  1. Coming next-to-last in a sequence.
In a sequence of events, the event is the one that precedes the final event.
  1. (linguistics) Of or pertaining to a penult
performance Tweet Definition of performance Like Definition of performance on Facebook
  1. The act of performing; carrying into execution or action; execution; achievement; accomplishment; representation by action; as, the performance of an undertaking of a duty.
  2. That which is performed or accomplished; a thing done or carried through; an achievement; a deed; an act; a feat; especially, an action of an elaborate or public character.
  3. A live show or concert.
  4. In Computer science: The amount of useful work accomplished by a computer system compared to the time and resources used. Better Performance means more work accomplished in shorter time and/or using less resources
phatic Tweet Definition of phatic Like Definition of phatic on Facebook
  1. (context, Linguistics) Pertaining to words used to convey polite mood, rather than meaning; for example, "You're welcome" is not used to convey its literal meaning but is said only as an automatic polite response to an expression of thanks.
    • 1978, Anthony Burgess, 1985:
    • :Generally speaking, statements in WE are expected to be of a tautologous nature, thus fulfilling the essential nature of speech.
    • 2006, Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day, Vintage 2007, p. 467:
    • :Dispensing with chitchat, he began straightaway to tell the story of his "people."
phi Tweet Definition of phi Like Definition of phi on Facebook
  1. The twenty-first letter of the Classical Greek, Classical and Modern Greek, the twenty-second letter of Old Greek, Old and Ancient Greek, Ancient.
  2. A visual illusion caused by lights turning on and off in a sequential pattern that implies motion.
  3. (mathematics) The symbol for the golden ratio.
  • Letter of the Greek alphabet: '''Φ Ï�
    Previous: upsilon, Υ
    Next: chi, Χ
philology Tweet Definition of philology Like Definition of philology on Facebook
  1. (linguistics) The humanistic study of historical linguistics.
Phoenician Tweet Definition of Phoenician Like Definition of Phoenician on Facebook
  1. (historical) An inhabitant of Phoenicia (a country located on the shores of North Africa and the eastern Mediterranean Sea around the year 1000 BCE).
    1. An inhabitant of Phoenix, Arizona.
    • 2007 28 July"3 August, "Phoenix: Into the ashes: A city that once won prizes is now a crime-ridden mess", in w:The Economist, The Economist, The Economist Newspaper Ltd, ISSN 0013-0613, volume 384, number 8539, page 33,
    • :Locals also moan that Phoenicians are becoming more antisocial.
proper noun 
  1. The Semitic language spoken by the inhabitants of Phoenicia.
  1. Of, from, or related to the country or civilisation of Phoenicia.
phonetic Tweet Definition of phonetic Like Definition of phonetic on Facebook
  1. (context, linguistics) In such logogram, logographic writing systems as the Chinese writing system, the portion of a character (if any) that provides an indication of its pronunciation; contrasted with radical.
  1. Relating to the sounds of spoken language.
phrase book Tweet Definition of phrase book Like Definition of phrase book on Facebook
  1. A (usually pocket-sized) book consisting of everyday expressions and vocabulary in two languages and intended for travellers who wish to communicate with locals while in other countries (or regions in which a different language is spoken).
phylum Tweet Definition of phylum Like Definition of phylum on Facebook
noun (phyl, a, pl2=phylums)
  1. (context, biology, taxonomy) A rank in the classification of organisms, below kingdom and above class; also called a division, especially in describing plants; a taxon at that rank
Mammals belong to the Chordata.
PI Tweet Definition of PI Like Definition of PI on Facebook
  1. Partial Induction (see AI)
  2. Politically Incorrect (See PC)
  3. Principal Investigator (lead researcher on a grant-funded project)
  4. Private Investigator
  5. Personal Injury
  6. Prison Industries (The prison-run work program for inmates)
pidgin Tweet Definition of pidgin Like Definition of pidgin on Facebook
  1. (linguistics) an amalgamation of two disparate languages, used by two populations having no common language as a lingua franca to communicate with each other, lacking formalized grammar and having a small, utilitarian vocabulary and no native speakers.
    Middle English likely began as a between the Norman invaders and the Anglo-Saxon-speaking (Old English) occupants of Britain. Otherwise, how could they have gotten any business done?
pigeon Tweet Definition of pigeon Like Definition of pigeon on Facebook
  1. One of several birds of the family Columbidae.
  2. (slang) A person who is a target or victim of a confidence game.
Pinyin Tweet Definition of Pinyin Like Definition of Pinyin on Facebook
  1. A system of romanization (phonetic notation and transliteration to roman script) for Mandarin Chinese based on the Mandarin dialect of the Beijing area used in the People's Republic of China, People"s Republic of China.
polyglot Tweet Definition of polyglot Like Definition of polyglot on Facebook
noun (plural polyglots)
  1. One who speaks several languages.
  • A , or good linguist - Howell
    1. A book containing several versions of the same text, or containing the same subject matter in several languages; esp., the Scriptures in several languages.
  • Enriched by the publication of polyglots - Abp. Newcome
    1. (Computer programming): A program written in multiple programming languages.
  • adjective 
    1. Containing, or made up, of, several languages.
    a lexicon; a Bible
    1. Versed in, or speaking, many languages.
    polyonymous Tweet Definition of polyonymous Like Definition of polyonymous on Facebook
    1. Having many names or titles.
    polysemy Tweet Definition of polysemy Like Definition of polysemy on Facebook
    1. the concept that words, signs and symbols may have multiple meanings
    ... , which is the greedy habit habit some words have of taking more than one meaning for themselves. w:Erin McKean?, Erin McKean?, speech at TED.
    polysynthetic Tweet Definition of polysynthetic Like Definition of polysynthetic on Facebook
    1. (grammar) said of a language, characterized by a prevalence of relatively long words containing a large number of morphemes. Typically, the morphemes are bound (i.e., they cannot stand alone as independent words). An example of a polysynthetic language is Ojibwe, where:
    • baataanitaaanishinaabemong = "being able to speak Ojibwe."
  • ngiinitaaozhibii'amaadimin = "we used to write to each other."
    popular etymology Tweet Definition of popular etymology Like Definition of popular etymology on Facebook
    noun (plural popular etymologies)
    1. Same as folk etymology.
    portmanteau word Tweet Definition of portmanteau word Like Definition of portmanteau word on Facebook
    noun (plural portmanteau words)
    1. (linguistics) A word formed which combines the meaning of two words (or, rarely, more than two words) by combining the words, usually, but not always, by adjoining the first part of one word and the last part of the other, the adjoining parts often having a common vowel; for example, smog, formed from smoke and fog.
    pragmatic Tweet Definition of pragmatic Like Definition of pragmatic on Facebook
    1. Practical, concerned with making decisions and actions that are useful in practice, not just theory
    The sturdy furniture in the student lounge was , but unattractive.
    pragmatics Tweet Definition of pragmatics Like Definition of pragmatics on Facebook
    1. (linguistics) the study of the use of language in a social context
    prescriptivist Tweet Definition of prescriptivist Like Definition of prescriptivist on Facebook
    1. Someone who lays down rules regarding language usage, or who believes that traditional norms of language usage should be upheld.
    1. having a tendency to prescribe
    prime Tweet Definition of prime Like Definition of prime on Facebook
    1. the earliest stage
    2. the most active, thriving, or successful stage or period
    3. the chief or best individual or part
    4. (music) The first note or tone of a musical scale.
    5. (fencing) The first defensive position, with the sword hand held at head height, and the tip of the sword at head height.
    6. (context, algebra, number theory) A prime element of a mathematical structure, particularly a prime number.
    3 is a prime.
    1. (backgammon) Six consecutive blocks, which prevent the opponent's pieces from passing.
    I'm threatening to build a prime here.
    verb (prim, es)
    1. (transitive) To prepare a mechanism for its main work.
    You'll have to press this button twice to prime the fuel pump.
    1. (transitive) To apply a coat of primer paint to.
    I need to prime these handrails before we can apply the finish coat.
    1. First in time, order, or sequence
    Both the English and French governments established prime meridians in their capitals.
    1. First in excellence, quality, or value.
    This is a prime location for a bookstore.
    1. (mathematics) Having no integral factors except itself and unity (1 in the case of integers).
    Thirteen is a prime number.
    1. First in importance, degree, or rank.
    Our prime concern here is to keep the community safe.
    1. (mathematics) Having its complement closed under multiplication: said only of ideals.
    primitive Tweet Definition of primitive Like Definition of primitive on Facebook
    1. An original or primary word; a word not derived from another; -- opposed to derivative.
    1. Of or pertaining to the beginning or origin, or to early times; original; primordial; primeval; first; as, primitive innocence; the primitive church.
    2. Of or pertaining to a former time; old-fashioned; characterized by simplicity; as, a primitive style of dress.
    3. Original; primary; radical; not derived; as, primitive verb in grammar.
    4. (biology) Occurring in or characteristic of an early stage of development or evolution.
    PS Tweet Definition of PS Like Definition of PS on Facebook
    1. post scriptum
    2. Postal Service
    3. public school, Public School
    4. Public Services
    PSI Tweet Definition of PSI Like Definition of PSI on Facebook
    1. Pounds per square inch.
    2. Pre-Sentence Investigation.
    3. Protein Structure Initiative.
    4. Pollutant Safety Index or Pollutant Standard Index (Measuement of the air pollutant such as haze)

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