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Glossary of Linguistics Terms
beginning with letter S
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sadhe Tweet Definition of sadhe Like Definition of sadhe on Facebook
  1. The eighteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, ץ צ.
samekh Tweet Definition of samekh Like Definition of samekh on Facebook
  1. The fifteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, ס.
schema Tweet Definition of schema Like Definition of schema on Facebook
noun (pl=schemata, pl2=schemas)
  1. an outline or image universally applicable to a general conception, under which it is likely to be presented to the mind.
  2. (computing) A formal description of the structure of a database: the names of the tables, the names of the columns of each table, and the type and other attributes of each column. (And similarly for the descriptive information of other database-like structures, such as XML files.)
SE Tweet Definition of SE Like Definition of SE on Facebook
  1. southeast
  1. Second Edition
  2. Special Edition
semanteme Tweet Definition of semanteme Like Definition of semanteme on Facebook
  1. (linguistics) an indivisble unit of meaning
semantic Tweet Definition of semantic Like Definition of semantic on Facebook
  1. Of or relating to semantics or the meanings of words.
semantics Tweet Definition of semantics Like Definition of semantics on Facebook
  1. (linguistics) The science of the meaning of words. Semantics is part of linguistics.
  2. The study of the relationship between words and their meanings.
  3. The individual meanings of words, as opposed to the overall meaning of a passage.
    • You're arguing and completely ignoring my point.
semiology Tweet Definition of semiology Like Definition of semiology on Facebook
  1. The study of meaning.
semiotic Tweet Definition of semiotic Like Definition of semiotic on Facebook
  1. of or relating to semiotics or to semantics
semiotics Tweet Definition of semiotics Like Definition of semiotics on Facebook
  1. The study of signs and symbols, especially as means of language or communication.
shift Tweet Definition of shift Like Definition of shift on Facebook
  1. (historical) a type of women's undergarment, a slip
Just last week she bought a new at the market.
  1. a change of workers, now specifically a set group of workers or period of working time
We'll work three shifts a day till the job's done.
  1. an act of shifting; a slight movement or change
There was a in the political atmosphere.
  1. the gear mechanism in a motor vehicle
Does it come with a stick-?
  1. a button on a keyboard, chiefly for switching between upper and lower case
If you press -P, the preview display will change.
  1. (transitive) To change, swap
His political stance shifted daily.
  1. (transitive) to move from one place to another; to redistribute
We'll have to these boxes to the downtown office.
  1. (intransitive) to change position
She shifted slightly in her seat.
  1. (intransitive) To change gears (in a car).
I crested the hill and shifted into fifth.
  1. (context, transitive, computing) to remove the first value from an array.
  2. (transitive) to dispose of
How can I a grass stain?
  1. (intransitive) to hurry
If you , you might make the 2:19.
  1. (Ireland, crude slang) to engage in sexual petting.
sign Tweet Definition of sign Like Definition of sign on Facebook
  1. (sometimes also used uncountably) A visible indication.
Their angry expressions were a clear they didn't want to talk.
Those clouds show signs of raining soon.
Those clouds show little of raining soon.
  1. A clearly visible object, generally flat, bearing a short message in words or pictures.
The in the window said "for rent".
  1. A traffic sign.
I missed the at the corner so I took the wrong turn.
  1. A meaningful gesture.
I gave them a thumbs-up .
  1. Any of several specialized non-alphabetic symbols.
The sharp indicates that the pitch of the note is raised a half step.
  1. An astrological sign.
Your is Taurus? That's no surprise.
  1. (mathematics) Positive or negative polarity.
I got the magnitude right, but the was wrong.
  1. A linguistic unit in sign language equivalent to word in spoken languages.
What's the for "computer"?
  1. (uncountable) sign language in general
Sorry, I don't know very well.
  1. An omen.
"It's a of the end of the world," the doom prophet said.
  1. (transitive) To write one's signature on (a document), thus showing authorship.
I forgot to sign that letter to my aunt.
  1. (transitive) To give legal consent by writing one's signature.
I'm not signing anything without my lawyer present.
  1. (transitive) To persuade to sign a contract.
It was a great month. I managed to sign three major players.
  1. (intransitive) To write one's signature somewhere.
Please sign on the dotted line.
  1. (intransitive) (colloquial) To give autographs.
I'm sorry, I don't sign.
  1. (intransitive) To communicate using sign language.
I'm learning to sign so I can talk to my new neighbor.
signer Tweet Definition of signer Like Definition of signer on Facebook
  1. One who signs something.
    John Hancock is a famous of the Declaration of Independence.
  2. One who uses sign language.
  1. To sign (put a signature on)
  2. To sign (communicate using sign language)
signified Tweet Definition of signified Like Definition of signified on Facebook
  1. (past of, signify)
sign language Tweet Definition of sign language Like Definition of sign language on Facebook
  1. (countable) One of several natural languages, typically used by the deaf, where the words and phrases consist of hand shapes, motions, positions, and facial expressions.
    • 2000: Wendy Sandler and Diane Lillo-Martin, in The Handbook of Linguistics (edited by Mark Aronoff and Janie Rees-Miller)
    • :It is safe to say that the academic world is now convinced that sign languages are real languages in every sense of the term.
    • (uncountable) The sign language (sense 1) that is used locally or that is mistakenly believed to be the only one.
    • :I'm taking night classes to learn .
    • (uncountable) Sign languages (sense 1) considered collectively.
    • :There are some unique properties found in compared to spoken language.
    • (context, countable or uncountable) communication, Communication through gestures used when speech is impossible, for example, between monks under a vow of silence or people speaking different languages.
    • 1847: Francis Parkman, The Oregon Trail
    • :Even Maxwell the trader, who has been most among them, is compelled to resort to the curious common to most of the prairie tribes.
sin Tweet Definition of sin Like Definition of sin on Facebook
  1. (theology) A violation of a moral or religious law; an error.
  2. A misdeed.
verb (sin, n, ing)
  1. (theology) To commit a sin.
SL Tweet Definition of SL Like Definition of SL on Facebook
  1. (linguistics) source language
  2. Sendero Luminoso
  1. (in gay personal ads) Straight-looking
slang Tweet Definition of slang Like Definition of slang on Facebook
  1. Language that is outside of conventional usage.
  2. Language that is unique to a particular profession or subject; jargon.
  3. The specialized language of a social group, sometimes used to make what is said unintelligible to those not members of the group; cant.
  1. (context, transitive, dated) To vocally abuse, or shout at.
    • 1888: Also, he had to keep his temper when he was slanged in the theatre porch by a policeman " Rudyard Kipling, "Miss Youghal's Sais", Plain Tales from the Hills (Folio Society 2007, p. 26)
slot Tweet Definition of slot Like Definition of slot on Facebook
  1. A broad, flat, wooden bar, a slat, especially as used to secure a door, window, etc.
  2. A metal bolt or wooden bar, especially as a crosspiece.
  3. (electrical) A channel opening in the stator or rotor of a rotating machine for ventilation and insertion of windings.
verb (slots, slotting, slotted)
  1. (obsolete) To bolt or lock a door or window.
sociolect Tweet Definition of sociolect Like Definition of sociolect on Facebook
noun (sociolects)
  1. the variant of language used by a social group.
sociolinguistics Tweet Definition of sociolinguistics Like Definition of sociolinguistics on Facebook
noun (uncountable)
  1. The study of social and cultural effects on language
source language Tweet Definition of source language Like Definition of source language on Facebook
noun (plural source languages)
  1. (linguistics) The language from which a translation is done.
  2. (computing) The language of the source code to be compiled
speech Tweet Definition of speech Like Definition of speech on Facebook
noun (es, -)
  1. (uncountable) The faculty of speech; the ability to speak or to use vocalizations to communicate.
It was hard to hear the sounds of his over the noise.
  1. (countable) A session of speaking; a long oral message given publicly usually by one person.
The candidate made some ambitious promises in his campaign .
spell Tweet Definition of spell Like Definition of spell on Facebook
  1. words or a formula supposed to have magical powers; a magical incantation.
he cast a to cure warts.
  1. a magical effect induced by an incantation or formula.
under a
  1. a relatively short period of time of indeterminate length.
We"re in the midst of a cold .
He had a of bad luck.
  1. (cricket) an uninterrupted series of alternate overs bowled by a single bowler
  2. (horseracing) time off from competition
verb (spells, spelling, spelled or spelt)
  1. to comprise a word, as the letters "a", "n" and "d" spell "and".
  2. to write or say the letters that form a word or part of a word.
  3. to mean, indicate or signify
This spells trouble.
  1. to work in place of someone else; to relieve.
spelling Tweet Definition of spelling Like Definition of spelling on Facebook
  1. an arrangement of letters that form a word or part of a word.
  2. the process of forming words by putting letters together.
  3. the study of how words are spelled.
  1. (present participle of, spell)
spoonerism Tweet Definition of spoonerism Like Definition of spoonerism on Facebook
  1. A phrase in which the initial (usually consonantal) sounds of two or more of the main words are accidentally transposed.
    The spoonerism "The queer old dean" (instead of "the dear old Queen") is attributed to Rev. Spooner.
standard Tweet Definition of standard Like Definition of standard on Facebook
  1. A level of quality or attainment.
  2. Something used as a measure for comparative evaluations.
  3. An object supported in an upright position.
  4. A musical work of established popularity.
  5. The flag or ensign carried by a cavalry unit.
  6. A rule or set of rules or requirements which are widely agreed upon or imposed by government.
  7. A bottle of wine containing 0.750 liters of fluid.
  8. One of the upright members that supports the horizontal axis of a transit or theodolite.
  1. Falling within an accepted range. ex, size, amount, power, quality, etc.
  2. (context, of a tree or shrub) Growing on an erect stem of full height.
  3. Having recognized excellence or authority.
  4. Of a usable or serviceable grade or quality.
starred Tweet Definition of starred Like Definition of starred on Facebook
  1. (past of, star); to be the headline performer in a play or movie.
stock Tweet Definition of stock Like Definition of stock on Facebook
  1. A store of goods ready for sale; inventory.
We have a stock of televisions on hand.
  1. A supply of anything ready for use.
Lay in a stock of wood for the winter season.
  1. Any of the several species of cruciferous flowers in the genus Matthiola.
  2. Farm animals (short form of livestock)
  3. (also rolling stock) Railroad cars.
  4. (finance) The capital raised by a company through the issue of shares. The total of shares held by an individual shareholder.
  5. The part of a rifle or shotgun that rests against the shooter's shoulder.
  6. (nautical) A bar going through an anchor, perpendicular to the flukes.
  7. The axle into which the rudder is attached (rudder stock); it transfers the movement of the helm to the rudder.
  8. (uncountable) Broth made from meat or vegetables, used as a basis for stew or soup.
  9. The type of paper used in printing.
The books were printed on a heavier this year.
  1. A wide necktie popular in the eighteenth century, often seen today as a part of formal wear for horse riding competitions.
  1. To have on hand for sale.
The store stocks all kinds of dried vegetables.
  1. Normally available for purchase.
stock items
stock sizes
  1. Straightforward, plain, very basic
That band is quite stock
He gave me a stock answer
stratum Tweet Definition of stratum Like Definition of stratum on Facebook
noun (strat, a)
  1. One of several parallel horizontal layers of material arranged one on top of another
  2. (geology) A layer of sedimentary rock having approximately the same composition throughout
  3. Any of the regions of the atmosphere, such as the stratosphere, that occur as layers
  4. (biology) A layer of tissue
  5. A class of society composed of people with similar social, cultural, or economic status
structure Tweet Definition of structure Like Definition of structure on Facebook
  1. A cohesive whole built up of distinct parts.
The birds had built an amazing out of sticks and various discarded items.
  1. The underlying shape of a solid.
He studied the of her face.
  1. The overall form or organization of something.
The of a sentence.
The of the society was still a mystery.
  1. A set of rules defining behaviour.
For some, the of school life was oppressive.
  1. (context, computing) Several pieces of data treated as a unit.
This contains both date and timezone information.
  1. (context, fishing, uncountable) underwater, Underwater terrain or objects (such as a dead tree or a submerged car) that tend to attract fish
There's lots of to be fished along the west shore of the lake; the impoundment submerged a town there when it was built.
  1. A body, such as a political party, with a cohesive purpose or outlook.
The South African leader went off to consult with the structures.
verb (structur, ing)
  1. (transitive) To give structure to; to arrange.
I'm trying to my time better so I'm not always late.
I've structured the deal to limit the amount of money we can lose.
subfamily Tweet Definition of subfamily Like Definition of subfamily on Facebook
noun (subfamil, ies)
  1. (taxonomy) A taxonomic category ranking between a family and a genus; formerly called a tribe
substance Tweet Definition of substance Like Definition of substance on Facebook
  1. Physical matter; material.
  2. The essential part of anything; the most vital part.
  3. Considerable wealth or resources.
A man of .
  1. drugs
substandard Tweet Definition of substandard Like Definition of substandard on Facebook
  1. Of inferior quality, not meeting the minimum quality requirements.
    They built this with parts. No wonder it collapsed. category:English adjectives
substratum Tweet Definition of substratum Like Definition of substratum on Facebook
noun (plural substrata)
  1. A layer that lies underneath another
  2. (figuratively) The underlying cause or basis of something
sun letter Tweet Definition of sun letter Like Definition of sun letter on Facebook
  1. One of fourteen Arabic letters that cause the "L" of a preceding definite article to be assimilated. Actually, the sun letter suppresses the sound of the "L" and then geminates: al + sin = as-sin. The effect of the sun letter is limited to pronunciation and does not change the spelling: (ARchar, ا�ص��). The fourteen sun letters are:
::(ARchar, ت) , (ARchar, Ø«) , (ARchar, د) , (ARchar, Ø°) , (ARchar, ر) , (ARchar, ز) , (ARchar, س) , (ARchar, Ø´) , (ARchar, ص) , (ARchar, ض) , (ARchar, Ø·) , (ARchar, ظ) , (ARchar, Ù�) , (ARchar, Ù�) :The rest of the letters are moon letters, which do not affect the pronunciation of the definite article.      
superordinate Tweet Definition of superordinate Like Definition of superordinate on Facebook
noun (Plural: superordinates)
  1. That which is superordinate.
  1. To cause to be superordinate.
  1. Greater in degree, rank or position
  2. (logic)The relation of a universal proposition to a specific proposition of the same form with the universal quantified variable replaced by a specific instance.
surface Tweet Definition of surface Like Definition of surface on Facebook
  1. The up-side of a flat object such as a table.
  2. The outside hull of a tangible object.
  3. (math) (geometry) The locus of an equation (especially one with exactly two degree of freedom, degrees of freedom) in a more-than-two-dimensional space.
verb (surfaces, surfacing, surfaced) (transitive)
  1. (transitive) To provide something with a surface.
  2. (transitive) To apply a surface to something.
  3. (intransitive) To rise to the surface.
  4. (intransitive) To come out of hiding.
  5. (intransitive) For information or facts to become known.
  6. (intransitive) To work a mine near the surface.
sutra Tweet Definition of sutra Like Definition of sutra on Facebook
  1. A rule or thesis in Sanskrit grammar or Hindu law or philosophy.
  2. (Buddhism) A scriptural narrative, especially a discourse of the Buddha.
syllabary Tweet Definition of syllabary Like Definition of syllabary on Facebook
noun (pl=syllabaries)
  1. (orthography) A table or list of syllabic letters or syllables
  2. (orthography) A writing system where each character represents a complete syllable
syllable Tweet Definition of syllable Like Definition of syllable on Facebook
  1. (linguistics) a unit of human speech that is interpreted by the listener as a single sound, although syllables usually consist of one or more vowel sounds, either alone or combined with the sound of one or more consonants. A word consists of one or more syllables.
  2. (grammar) the letters that represent a syllable
synchronic Tweet Definition of synchronic Like Definition of synchronic on Facebook
  1. occuring at a specific point in time.
  2. (context, linguistics) relating to the study of a language at only one point in its history.
synchrony Tweet Definition of synchrony Like Definition of synchrony on Facebook
  1. synchronicity, the state of two or more events occuring at the same time.
syncretism Tweet Definition of syncretism Like Definition of syncretism on Facebook
  1. The reconciliation or fusion of different systems or beliefs (or the attempt at such fusion)
  2. (linguistics) The fusion of different inflexional forms
syntactic Tweet Definition of syntactic Like Definition of syntactic on Facebook
  1. of, related to or connected with syntax
    The sentence "I saw he" contains a mistake.
    • 2001, Martin Haspelmath, Language Typology and Language Universals: An International Handbook, page 674:
    • : the rules specifying how agglutinative morphemes are combined with each other are more syntactic than morphological by their nature and thus are closer to rules specifying how word-forms are combined with each other.
syntagma Tweet Definition of syntagma Like Definition of syntagma on Facebook
  1. A syntactic string of words that forms a part of some larger syntactic unit; a construction.
    • three Transylvanian peoples collectively known under the syntagm of Unio Trium Nationum
      1. A sequence of linguistic units in a syntagmatic relationship to one another.
synthetic Tweet Definition of synthetic Like Definition of synthetic on Facebook
  1. A synthetic compound.
  1. Of, or relating to synthesis.
  2. (chemistry) Produced by synthesis instead of being isolated from a natural source (but may be identical to a product so obtained).
  3. artificial, Artificial, not genuine.
  4. (grammar) Pertaining to the joining of bound morphemes in a word. Compare analytic.

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