English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm in the middle of a programming article, and I don't know if this thing has a name or not.

Lot's of times you can analyse something in isolation. But as soon as you put that thing among other things, you have to analyse the relationships too. For example, if you want to analyse a word individually, you might use morphology, phonetics, and phonology. But if you want to analyse that word in a sentence, you should stick to syntax, intonation, and stuff like that.

What I'm searching for is a title for "things can be analysed both in isolation, and in context, and these analyses are different from each other in approach, and in result."

Do we have a term for that?

share|improve this question
Compare and contrast? – Kristina Lopez Jul 4 '13 at 12:31
Not that one. Doesn't convey what I have in mind. I go for something like isolation & context, but I do like to see if it already has a name or not. – Saeed Neamati Jul 4 '13 at 12:44
'analysis in context'? – Mitch Jul 4 '13 at 13:10
La double articulation linguistique. – John Lawler Jul 4 '13 at 13:36
Actually in Arabic a similar concept is named Tajzia & Tarkib or Sarf & E'rab analysis, which simply means that you analyze a word's attributes without considering its role in a sentence, or analyzing its role inside a sentence. – Saeed Neamati Jul 4 '13 at 13:43

I am concerned that you used a single-word-request tag on the question, because all of the candidates appear to demand contrasting pairs.

The textual-contextual dichotomy seems analogous to your situation in a slightly different realm, as does connotation-denotation.

In some contexts, you might even consider internal-external or by extension instrinsic-extrinsic

share|improve this answer
Nice pairs. I actually liked textual-contextual. But based on the deductiveness issues I'm seeking here, I guess textual might be replaces with something that conveys isolation more. – Saeed Neamati Jul 5 '13 at 10:29

I am not sure if there is a word but if you are looking for a succinct phrase , how about "Semantic Relativism" ?

share|improve this answer
Thanks for answering, but how it's related? – Saeed Neamati Jul 22 '13 at 10:13

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.