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Glossary of linguistic terms

The linguistic terms needed to understand the content of the following weeks are listed in this step.
Sentence consisting of different types of words
© University of Groningen
Similarly to our first glossary, this one is dedicated to the linguistic terms that will be needed to understand the content of the following weeks. Here is a list of the terms that were introduced and their definitions.


  • Word class describing qualities (of nouns): big, democratic


  • Also called determiner, accompanies a noun or adjective: a(n), the


  • The movement of speech organs such as tongue, lips, jaw, vocal folds etc to produce speech sounds.

Broca, Paul

  • See next step


  • Written element of language, representing syllables or whole words


  • The set of rules of a language that defines how sentences are build to form a unit


  • Written element of alphabet, representing sounds


  • Discipline of linguistics that is concerned with the neural basis of language in the human brain


  • One of the universal word classes, denoting people, places, event, substances…, often marked for gender, number and case: table, elephant, democracy


  • Word class denoting spatial or temporal relation of two entities: under, in


  • Second universal word class, denoting actions or states, often marked for person, number, tense, aspect, mood and various other linguistic features: walking, thinking, voting

Wernicke, Carl

  • See the next step

Word finding difficulties

  • A phenomenon that accompanies several aphasias, but can happen in the healthy brain as well. The situation of searching for a specific content word (noun, verb or adjective), while being able to produce the rest of the sentence

© University of Groningen
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