78

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 ...


67

It probably has to do with the phonetic and metrical properties of "ladies and gentlemen" versus "gentlemen and ladies." Say them both out loud and see which one sounds better to you, intuitively. The metrical pattern of "ladies and gentlemen" consists of (arguably) two dactyls. A dactyl is a group of three syllables where the first is stressed and the ...


53

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 ...


50

According to Wiktionary, Galician, Catalan and Occitan have a word fada "fairy" and Italian has fata with the same meaning, which seems like a clear confirmation of a Vulgar Latin form *fata meaning "fairy". (And as tchrist points out, Spanish has hada, because it had a historical change of /f/ to /h/ in many contexts.) I don't know if there are any ...


48

Short answer:It's a contraction. These are modified in pronunciation beyond the more normal form's simple truncation, but they are the same thing, fundamentally. Essentially, it's a form of contraction that has been informally promoted to a word. (yes, that's a neologism as mentioned in the comments) Support: Oxford calls it contraction. Definition ...


38

The word you want is pleonasm: Pleonasm (/ˈpliːənæzəm/; from Greek πλεονασμός (pleonasmós), from πλέον (pleon), meaning "more, too much") is the use of more words or parts of words than are necessary or sufficient for clear expression: examples are black darkness, burning fire. Such redundancy is, by traditional rhetorical criteria, a manifestation of ...


33

In the spoken language, these examples are strings of words where the realisation of the strings in speech is quite different from the citation forms of the individual words. A citation form is the phonetic form of the word when we mention the word without using it in its normal sense. So for example we might say: This is the word "can". Here the item can ...


27

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.


27

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.


26

English doesn't have vowel harmony. "Vowel harmony" refers to situations where there is some process that changes vowels to be in the same class as other vowels in the word, and/or there is a constraint against having vowels of different classes in a word. You can see examples of vowel harmony processes in Turkish on e.g. this web page: Vowel Harmony (some ...


24

Wikipedia says: Haplology (from Greek ἁπλόος haplóos "simple" and λόγος lógos, "speech") is defined as the elimination of a syllable when two identical or similar syllables occur consecutively. The phenomenon was identified by American philologist Maurice Bloomfield in the 20th century. Linguists sometimes jokingly refer to the phenomenon as "haplogy". ...


22

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 ...


22

"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 ...


21

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 ...


21

Tautology - Unnecessary repetition, usually in close proximity, of the same word, phrase, idea, argument, etc. The saying of the same thing twice in different words generally considered to be a fault of style (OED) although it can be used as a literary device. Consider PIN... "PIN number" is tautologous - it repeats "number" next to the initial N, which ...


17

I absolutely loved this question. Of course, we can all think of a handful of words like thingy, that simply act as a stand-in word for the word we are thinking of but cannot, at present, grasp. The 1960 Dictionary of American slang uses the term kadigin for placeholder words, defining it as a synonym for thingamajig. Dr. Richard Nordquist, Professor ...


17

Rhotic English is a term to describes varieties of English in which orthographic R is usually pronounced, even at the end of a syllable. In non-rhotic varieties of English - such as Southern Standard British English - orthographic R is only pronounced if followed by a vowel. It doesn't matter if there is a double R or not in the orthography: car / ka: car ...


16

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. ...


16

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.


15

Translation is a difficult task. Cultures are different, situations are different, histories are different. English is interesting because it has a mixed heritage for many medical terms. For many medical situations there is a basic English term, and there is a Latin technical term, and there might possibly be a Greek or even another Latin term. Part of a ...


14

There is an interesting argument that none of the classical rhyme schemes is natural to English, and that instead alliterative verse is the most natural form. JRR Tolkien is well-known for his work on this theory (in addition to some other, more obscure works). Alliterative verse is characterized by (1) the use of head-rhymes or alliterations and (2) meter ...


14

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


14

They are eye-dialect spellings designed to make the ordinary way these phrases are spoken appear careless or substandard.


14

Perhaps you mean the process of attaching suffixes and/or prefixes to a root word to make a whole family of related words, like hand, handy, handiness, unhand, unhanded, and so on. The name for that is agglutination and languages that rely on this kind of word growth for their grammar are called agglutinative. The word itself is an example of Latin ...


14

Consider phonetic spelling. Phonetic spelling constitutes an alteration of ordinary spelling that better represents the spoken language, that employs only characters of the regular alphabet, and that is used in a context of conventional spelling. - dictionary.com The above article calls IPA an example of phonetic orthography, with the label phonetic ...


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

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 ...


13

It can be described as a relaxed pronunciation type of elision.


13

In light of Auracaria's and your comments below, consider calling these linguistic reductions. Linguistic reductions are lost sounds in words. This happens in spoken English. For instance, "going to" changes to "gonna". The most widely known reductions are contractions. Most contractions are reductions of 'not'. For instance, "cannot" becomes "can't"...


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