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Higher Learning

In this section we provide advanced explanations for some of the linguistic aspects of hiphop. We will regularly update this section to address particular questions that may be raised within discussions of words and zones.

Old School Dialectology

The study of the varieties of a language is often accomplished when dialectologists and linguists travel through different regions and ask questions about what things are called. The best examples of this can be found on the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) website.

Hiphop Lx incorporates many of the principles of DARE, and we also want to provide people with the opportunity to report on what they are saying and hearing and to include their ideas about hiphop and language.

Working Dictionary[i]

This list is specific to the work that is ongoing on the site. We will update as we expand our focus (Please extend list and edit where needed).

Affix - a bound morpheme that is joined before, after, or within a root or stem. A bound morpheme is a grammatical unit that never occurs by itself, but is always attached to some other morpheme.

Clitic - a morpheme that has syntactic characteristics of a word, but shows evidence of being phonologically bound to another word.

Conjunction - a word that syntactically links words or larger constituents, and expresses a semantic relationship between them.

Definition - a thorough description of the meaning of a lexical unit

Deixis - reference by means of an expression whose interpretation is relative to the (usually) extralinguistic context of the utterance, such as who is speaking, the time or place of speaking, the gestures of the speaker, or the current location in the discourse.

Derivation - the formation of a new word or inflectable stem from another word or stem. It typically occurs by the addition of an affix.

Dialect - a variety of a language.

Inflection - variation in the form of a word, typically by means of an affix, that expresses a grammatical contrast which is obligatory for the stem's word class in some given grammatical context.

Lexeme - the minimal unit of language which has a semantic interpretation and embodies a distinct cultural concept.

Lexicon - the knowledge that a native speaker has about a language. This includes information about the form and meanings of words and phrases, lexical categorization, the appropriate usage of words and phrases, relationships between words and phrases, and categories of words and phrases.

Meaning - a notion in semantics classically defined as having two components: Reference, anything in the referential realm denoted by a word or expression, and Sense, the system of paradigmatic and syntagmatic relationships between a lexical unit and other lexical units in a language.

Metonymy - a trope in which one entity is used to stand for another associated entity.

Morpheme - the smallest meaningful unit in the grammar of a language.

Morphology - the study of the internal structure of words.

Morphophonemics - the study of phonemic differences between allomorphs of the same morpheme; a description of variations in a particular language.

Phone - an unanalyzed sound of a language. It is the smallest identifiable unit found in a stream of speech that is able to be transcribed with an IPA symbol.

Phoneme - the smallest contrastive unit in the sound system of a language.

Phonetics - the study of human speech sounds.

Phonology - the study of how sounds are organized and used in natural languages.

Prefix - an affix that is joined before a root or stem.

Presupposition - background belief, relating to an utterance, that must be mutually known or assumed by the speaker and addressee for the utterance to be considered appropriate in context and generally will remain a necessary assumption whether the utterance is placed in the form of an assertion, denial, or question, and can generally be associated with a specific lexical item or grammatical feature (presupposition trigger) in the utterance.

Root - the portion of a word that is common to a set of derived or inflected forms, if any, when all affixes are removed; is not further analyzable into meaningful elements, being morphologically simple, and carries the principle portion of meaning of the words in which it functions.

Speech community - refers to speakers who participate in interactions based on social and cultural norms and values that are regulated, represented, and recreated through discursive practices.

Stem - the root or roots of a word, together with any derivational affixes, to which inflectional affixes are added.

Suffix -an affix that is attached to the end of a root or stem.

Syllable - a unit of sound composed of a central peak of sonority (usually a vowel), and the consonants that cluster around this central peak.

[i] Most definitions can be found at: http://www.sil.org/linguistics/GlossaryOfLinguisticTerms/ © 2004 SIL International

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