I'm about to take a degree in Linguistics and Japanese. I want to explain my thought that linguistics supplements Japanese, and Japanese supplements linguistics. Is there a single verb that implies two entities support each other in this way? "Symbiotic" is a useful adjective, but it's not quite appropriate, because it suggests that the two entities depend on one another for survival. I'm merely trying to express that the two entities enhance or add to one another in some way. I was thinking that a verb like "cosupplement" and "cosupport" would work, but they don't appear to exist as words.

Linguistics and Japanese [mutually add to/supplement] one another.

A noun that refers to two entities adding to one another would also work nicely, as in:

Linguistics and Japanese are [mutually supplementary].

  • I wonder if you mean to say that the study of Japanese and linguistics supplement each other. – GMB Jun 21 '14 at 15:53
  • Do you mean to say that "the study of Japanese and linguistics supplement each other" fits what I'm looking for exactly? Or are you saying that I'm mistaken in my belief that these two subjects supplement one another? – Lou Jun 21 '14 at 15:56
  • No, I just wanted to clarify that the study of the two disciplines, rather than the disciplines themselves is what you are talking about. I do not doubt your supposition that they support one another. – GMB Jun 21 '14 at 15:58
  • Oh yeah, you've got it. I'm talking about the study, not the disciplines themselves. – Lou Jun 21 '14 at 16:02
  • Symbiotic seems like the perfect word to describe a mutually supplementing relationship. Is there an aspect of it that makes it unsuitable for your purposes? – pyrAmider Jun 21 '14 at 16:03

Synergistic - of or pertaining to synergy or synergism; co-operative, working together, interacting, mutually stimulating.

Linguistic and Japanese are synergistic.



You could say that:

Linguistics and Japanese complement each other.

It implies that they help each other, but not to such a degree that they are intrinsically linked.

It definitely says what you want, but perhaps not in strong enough terms.

  • Yes, this is also a good word. Everybody has put forward good suggestions. I guess I was hoping for a verb that didn't require an object, but as I explained to GMB this was a stupid expectation. – Lou Jun 22 '14 at 9:07

"Japanese and linguistics mutually reinforce each other." is what comes to my mind.

  • 1
    Also a nice solution :). – Lou Jun 21 '14 at 22:19

Possible phrasings, if for some reason the word supplement won't do, are "the study of Japanese and linguistics feed or nourish or enrich or stimulate one another."

  • Oh, I was hoping that there would be some word that didn't require a pronoun like "one another", but on reflection that's probably a naive expectation, because any verb between two entities would surely be transitive and therefore must have an object. – Lou Jun 21 '14 at 16:07
  • No, you're right, "supplement" is probably the best I'm going to get. I wonder if there is an adjective that singularly expresses the notion of mutual supplementation, though. – Lou Jun 21 '14 at 16:07
  • One of your original phrasings could avoid the need to include "one another" or some such, by saying "(the study of) Japanese and linguistics are mutually supplementary." – GMB Jun 21 '14 at 16:13
  • You're right, that could work nicely. – Lou Jun 21 '14 at 16:20

Mutualism is defined as two elements that benefit each other. Thus, having a mutualistic relationship. Symbiosis is when the benefits of the combined two elements are greater than each individually. Thus, having a symbiotic relationship.

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