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a system of communication using sounds or gestures that are put together in meaningful ways according to a set of rules


sounds or gestures that stand for meanings among a group of people


a sound or gesture that has a natural or self-evident meaning


the modern scientific study of all aspects of language


the study of the production, transmission, and reception of speech sounds


in linguistics, the smallest classes of sound that make a difference in meaning


in linguistics, the smallest units of sound that carry a meaning

Bound Morpheme

a sound that can occur in a language only in combination with other sounds

Free Morpheme

morphemes that can occur unattached in a language

Frame Substitution

a method used to identify the syntactic units of language


in linguistics, the rules or principles of phrase and sentence making


the entire formal structure of a language consisting of all observations about the morphemes and syntax

Form Classes

the parts of speech or categories of words that work the same way in any sentence


a system of notating and analyzing postures, facial expressions, and body movements that convey messages


the extra linguistics noises that accompany languages

Voice Qualities

in para language, the background characteristics of a speaker's voice


identifiable paralinguistic noises that are turned on and off at perceivable and relatively short intevals

Vocal Characterizers

in paralanguage, sound productions such as laughing or crying that humans "speak through"

Vocal Qualifiers

in paralanguage, sound productions of brief duration that modify utterances in terms of intensity

Vocal Segregates

in paralanguage, sound productions that are similar to the sounds of language, but do not appear in sequences that can properly be called words

Language Family

a group of languages that are ultimately descended from a single ancestral language

Linguistic divergence

the development of different languages from a single ancestral language


in linguistics, a method of dating divergence in branches of language families

Core Vocabulary

in language, pronouns, lower numerals, and names for body parts and natural objects

Linguistic Nationalism

the attempt by ethnic minorities, and even countries to proclaim independence by purging their language of foreign terms


the study of the relation between language and culture

Linguistic Relativity

the proposition that diverse interpretations of reality embodied in languages yield demonstrable influences on thought


varying forms of a language that reflect particular regions or social classes and that are similar enough to be mutually intelligible


the study of the structure and use of language as it relates to its social setting

Code Switching

the process of changing from one level of language to another


the ability to refer to things and events removed in time and space

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Voice Recording