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112

Eureka! Ok, so it's not a single word, but it's what I was trying to think of: Semantic Satiation Edit: Found a languagehat discussion on this topic.


65

The answer to this is.... complicated. The letter J is, as you mentioned, relatively recent, and originated as a variant of the letter I. Why that happens is a little complicated, and requires unpacking some assumptions in your question. In the original languages (Latin, Greek, Hebrew) which provide us with the names Jesus, Joseph, Justinian, etc., the ...


42

A "native speaker of English" refers to someone who has learned and used English from early childhood. It does not necessarily mean that it is the speaker's only language, but it means it is and has been the primary means of concept formation and communication. It means having lived in a truly English-speaking culture during one's formative years, so that ...


21

The language you speak is English; the dialect is American English (or rather, American English is a group of dialects, one of which you speak). Similarly, British English is also a dialect of English, even though it can be thought of as the "original" dialect. Dialects are defined precisely because languages vary in different regions, be they small or ...


21

"Prisencolinensinainciusol" is a song by the Italian singer/comedian Adriano Celentano with nonsense lyrics that are intended to sound like American-accented English. As it happens, I played it for my wife two nights ago and asked her to guess what language it was sung in; she eventually guessed English, though she couldn't understand the words. So if it's ...


18

Based on this NGram... ...I'm tempted to suggest semantic satiation is a 'failed coinage'. Personally I think it's misleading to imply the phenomenon is restricted to the issue of semantics in the first place. In my experience it's not so much that the word 'loses its meaning'. It's more a matter of saying that almost any word tends to become 'unusual' if ...


16

In addition to the all the good reasons cited in the previous answers, I'd like to emphasise the role of the Catholic Church. When (ca. 496) Clovis, then young king of the Franks, resolved to convert to Catholicism, allegedly under the influence of his wife and Saint Remigius but more probably because he understood what a fruitful collaboration he would ...


15

Disclaimer 1: I do morphology, not syntax. Disclaimer 2: The theoretical stuff is Chomskyan syntax, not proven fact. In any case, the need for do in English is commonly known informally as "do-support". In Chomskyan syntax, the need for do arises from the fact that there is no movement from the head of the Verb Phrase (VP) to the Tense or Inflection Phrase ...


15

Based on Martha's accepted answer, I offer: Orthographic Incredulity


15

It's apparent that different people have different notions of what a "native speaker" is. To a linguist, the term generally implies that a speaker has "internalised" the language through "natural acquisition", rather than through deliberate instruction/learning. A "native speaker", as opposed to an extremely proficient second language speaker, can often ...


15

That's a cataphor. A cataphor is a phrase that is explained by text that comes after the phrase. Example: "Although he loved fishing, Paul went skating with his girlfriend." Here he is a cataphoric reference to Paul.


14

Yiddish: 'nik', as in "beatnik", no-goodnik, peacenik.


13

I expect the strained rhymes in Dante are merely from the fact that it's translated. If you're writing original poetry, you have much more freedom to change things around to make them rhyme than you do if you're translating poetry, and care about keeping it moderately faithful to the original. Anyway, Dante's terza rima scheme is pretty much iambic ...


13

1. What is this phenomenon called, exactly? The phonological phenomenon by which /k/ (as in kirk) is changed in /tʃ/ (as in "church") is termed Palatalisation. It applies to many languages (Romance, Slavic, Germanic...) and it is quite easy to understand where it takes its name from: When you pronounce "kirk", your tongue does not touch your palate. ...


13

These ones are the ones I could find. The link brings you to a more in depth description. Between parentheses, you'll see the origin. The main page that I found at the beginning is "English Morphemes ". I tried to order them in a matching order to fit your question. If you see something that doesn't fit, feel free to let me know. ...


13

It's a Spoonerism.


13

Cohesion describes the way in which a text is tied together by linguistic devices, such as And so we see . . . , Additonally . . . , Therefore . . . , However . . . and On the other hand . . . A text has coherence if its constituent sentences follow on one from the other in an orderly fashion so that the reader can make sense of the entire text.


12

As you have shown yourself, when we want to say that we are doing something other than a specific action, we simply use negation: In other words, I don't want to say that this person is doing a thing different from running. Only that he's not running. You see you are using negation to describe that which you want to describe without negation? ...


12

If anything, I would expect the opposite to happen. During the age of colonization many scholars predicted that the distances between English-speaking populations meant that by our times the average American would not be able to understand the average Australian, for example. What happened instead was the telegraph, and the telephone, and other advances in ...


12

First, if you're actually teaching English to non-native speakers, you must learn and use at least those IPA symbols that represent English phonemes. Get yourself a copy of Kenyon and Knott and use it; or borrow one of your students' bilingual dictionaries. If you help them, your students can understand the pronunciations as they appear in their bilingual ...


11

Short answer: The transition from /t/ to glottal stop does not require intermediate steps. Explanation: There are three main factors involved in the production of a consonant: place of articulation, manner of articulation, and voicing. The glottalization of /t/ is essentially a loss of place. /t/ is a voiceless alveolar stop. These three words in the ...


11

Morphology is often "messy" in this way. Blocking One big reason is probably because there was no need for a semantically distinct word presidence. Though it does not occur 100% of the time, there is a strong effect that is often referred to as blocking (coined in Aronoff 1976, defined here in Aronoff 2005): Blocking: the process by which a potential ...


11

The question of H-dropping in English is a frequently revisited one and the succession of theories put forward could be a topic in its own right. Without going too far back in time one of the most authoritative sources on the subject is James Milroy who, in a paper titled "On the sociolinguistic history of /h/-dropping in English", published in 1983 ...


11

It's on the fringe but uber- has an English entry in Wiktionary. UPDATE Here's a couple more I found in English word-formation by Laurie Bauer: -ese (from Italian) Balinese, Nepalese, Vietnamese -i (from Arabic) Bengali, Iraqi, Israeli, Pakistani


11

American English and British English are considered dialects of English. These are just two of the many dialects currently in use. The definition of a dialect is: A regional or social variety of a language distinguished by pronunciation, grammar, or vocabulary, especially a variety of speech differing from the standard literary language or speech pattern ...


10

Online Etymology Dictionary says: ta: 1772, "natural infantile sound of gratitude" [Weekley]. So it is most probably the imitative of baby talk. American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language says: ta: Chiefly British Used to express thanks. ETYMOLOGY: Baby-talk alteration of "thank you".


10

My compact version of The Oxford English Dictionary lists it as "An infantile word expressing thanks," and dates its first reference from 1772, unless my eyes deceive me (I am momentarily unable to locate the magnifying glass that came with the tome). Edit: Thank god for Eric Partridge. He quotes the same OED reference, only in larger type. Here is the ...


10

hippietrail thinks I should point out that ur- (meaning "original", as in urtext) is another example. Dictionaries say it comes from the German but I think it was at least reinforced by the name of the ancient Sumerian city Ur.


10

The article on semantic satiation led me to the French term jamais vu, which I think I like better for a couple reasons. It seems to apply better to the written form as described in the original question, and also I find it more fun to say.



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