Linguistic Tutorial #2 Words and their Structure/ Phonetics and Phonology

Terminology Explained!

Lexicon = the vocabulary

Lexical items = (the words) make up the lexicon. To be a lexical item it has to be part of your lexicon, your dialect. It has to be something in use and understandable. (Note, not all lexemes are lexical items – people understand made up words because of the grammar rules outside of the conversation, so if I said ‘I will redify that wall with paint’ you will know I mean I will turn that wall red).

Progressive Participle = -ing, in the state of doing something

Perfect Participle = -ed, -en (past tense)

Morphology = the study of word forms

Affix = Something that is added to a word such as a prefix or a suffix

Prefix = Before – DEvalue, DEform

Suffix = After – devaluED, deformED

Inflectional Morpheme = catS, workED – it adds the word to a different syntactical category whether it makes it plural or past. It does not change the lexeme.

Derivational Morpheme = drinkABLE, NONsense, classIFY – it does change the lexeme. For example in ‘classify’ it changes the noun, class into a verb, to classify.

Infinitive = the form of the verb which does not show any syntactic category

Agreement = when the verb agrees with the subject, in terms of person and number. For example – I work, she works

The Head = WORK is the head of the verb WORKed as it is the more dominant bit of the word


– Phones = the basic sounds that make up all human languages

– Phonemes = the sub-set of phones that function within a specific language

– Phonetic Alphabet = Designed to represent PHONES. Made up of phonetic symbols

– Phonemic Alphabet = Designed to represent PHONEMES.


3 thoughts on “Linguistic Tutorial #2 Words and their Structure/ Phonetics and Phonology

  1. That moment when you’re pretty sure you’re the only nerd in the world who actually cares about the unsung beauty of linguistics, and then you read a blog post about it. This post was seriously a highlight of my day! God bless! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s