Monday, March 12, 2012

Random Linguistics Definitions Beginning with the Letter "W"

'wanna-contraction' The reduction in American English of forms like want to or going to in I want to (wanna) do it or I'm going to (gonna) do it.

wh-form Any of a class of words in English that typically begin with wh-: e.g. who, which, why. Also of phrases that begin with such words: e.g. which book, what people.
Thence extended, by linguists whose native language is English, to forms that play similar syntactic roles in other languages.

'whimperative' Coined in the 1970s for a sentence that has the form of an interrogative but the force of an order or instruction: e.g. Why don't you shut up?, meaning 'Shut up!'.

Definitions from: The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics, Second edition, 2007
Image credits: Carolita Johnson

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