This section contains a list of words relating to linguistics which appear in this article. Definitions and explanations are giving to help those readers who are unfamiliar with linguistics. Hopefully this will render things more accessible to them.
- In a pair of nouns which are in a construct relationship, this is the
noun which has the "normal" form. The term "absolute" is used as it
means "not mixed with or dependant on anything else". If a noun is found
alone (when not in a construct pair), it might be said to be in the
absolute state, but usually it is not discussed as such. It is only
pointed out as being nominative, singular or plural, etc. See Construct
Accusative - The accusative case is used for a noun that is meant to be the direct object of a verb. Example: "ball" is the direct object in the sentence "Joe hit the ball".
Adjective - A class of words which directly modify or describe a noun. Example: "black" in "the black dog is running". Note that if you used "black" in the sentence "black is a great color to wear", it would be a noun.
Adverb - Similar to an adjective, an adverb will modify/describe adjectives or verbs rather than nouns. They express time, place, manner, degree, etc. Example: "quickly" in "the dog ate quickly".
Affix - A syllable or set of syllables which is attached to a word in order to alter its meaning or create a new word. An affix can be attached on the beginning, the end, or in the midle of a word. Example: "-ing" in "building". See Infix, Prefix, Suffix.
Affixation - The process of adding affixes to base words in order to alter their meaning.
Agentive - A word form which indicates the perpetrator of an action. The action would be the base word. Example: "painter" is a person who "paints".
Aspiration - The following of a consonant with a puff of breath. In English, "t", "k", and "p" are usually aspirated, even if it is not realized. This leads to difficulty in pronouncing languages which have variations of the same phonemes which are not aspirated.
Assimilation - A process in which a sound, influenced by a sound right next to it, tends to become pronounced like that neighboring sound. Example: "illiterate" actually comes from "inliterate". The "in-" prefix modifies the base word "literate" so that it means "not literate". The "n" ends up being assimilated to become "l".
Broken Plural - A plural form of the noun which does not resemble the original singular form due to internal changes. Example: "foot" vs. "feet". This type of plural form is very common in Arabic. Also called "irregular plurals".
Case - Various forms of words which indicate relationships between the forms. Examples; singular vs. plural, masculine vs. feminine, absolute vs. construct, etc. Different patterns and affixes are used to show what case a word is in.
Circumflex - One of several marks which go over letters in order to indicate a certain quality of that letter. A circumflex is shaped as " ^ ", resulting in "a" becoming "â". In Khuzdul, this is used to mark long vowels.
Compound - A word made up of two or more base words, which usually results in a change of meaning. A compound can be hyphenated or not. English distinguishes this from a phrase by reduced stress on one of the elements; compare "a grandfather" with "a grand father".
Conjugation - The methodical arrangement of the inflection of verbs, or the process of produincing that arrangement. In simpler terms, how verbs are modified to show various states, like number, gender, tense, etc.
Conjunction - An uninflected word which is used to join parts of a sentence. Examples: and, but, or.
Consonant - A sound made in speech where the speaker either fully stops and then releases the air (p, t, k, b, d, etc), stops it at one point while releasing it at another (l, m, r, etc), forces it through a loosely closed or very narrow passage (v, s, z, th, etc), or uses a combination of these methods (ch, j).
Construct State - A case for nouns that is used to show a relation to another noun right next to it in a sentence. This is most commonly used to indicate a genitive or possessive state. If a word "X" is in the construct state, while a word "Y" is in the absolute state (which is the "normal" form of the noun), then when the two are put together in a phrase "X Y", this is most often translated as "X of Y". Other translations would be "X with Y", "X in Y", or "X from Y". This depends on the context of the two nouns being put together and the sentence they are in.
Corpus - A complete or comprehensive collection. In this case, it refers to a full body of work (all the written examples of Khuzdul that we have).
Declination - A full set of inflections for a noun, pronoun, or adjective which shows the various forms for case, number, gender, etc.
Fricative - A consonant articulated by breath forced through a narrow slit formed at some point in the mouth, producing friction. Examples: f, v, th, & z.
Geminate - A class of nouns in Hebrew which have 3 radicals, and the 2nd and 3rd radicals are the same. These are also called "double verbs" in Arabic. Example: Radid (Arabic: "answer").
Genitive - A case expressing possession or source. In Hebrew and Arabic, this is generally done using the construct state. Example: "The axe of Durin".
Infinitive - The form of the verb that expresses existence or action without reference to person, number, or tense. In English this takes the form of adding the word "to" in front of the verb. Example: "to go", "to think".
Infix - An affix which is inserted into the middle of a word.
Inflection - The change in form in a word which indicates a grammatical relationship, such as number, case, gender, or tense.
Irregular Plural - See Broken Plural.
Morpheme - The smallest meaningful unit or form in language, which may be a base or an affix.
Morphology - A branch of linguistics which deals with the study of the internal structure and forms of words (the study of morphology).
Nominative - A case of the noun which indicates the subject of a verb or phrase. Example: "dog" in "the dog bit the man".
Noun - A class of words denoting a person, place, thing, action, quality, etc.
Object - A noun in a sentence which is the recipient of an action. Example: "man" in "the dog bit the man".
Participle - A set of verbal forms which perform a variety of functions. In English they are formed usually by the suffixes -ing, -ed, or -en. They can function as verbs ("running" in "the dog is running"), as adjectives ("laughing" in "the laughing boy is over there"), or as nouns ("running" in "running is a great sport"), etc. When used as nouns in this manner, they can be referred to as "gerunds".
Phoneme - A set of very similar, but slightly different sounds that are percieved by native speakers as being the same sound. They are also then written as the same sound. Example: "p" in "pin", "spin", and "tip".
Phonology - The study of the sounds and phonemes of a language, or also the full set of sounds and phonemes possessed by a language.
Predicate - The part of a phrase, usually a verbal phrase, which asserts something about the subject. Example: "is running quickly" in the phrase "the black dog is running quickly", or "is black" in "the dog is black".
Prefix - An affix which is added to the beginning of the base word. Example: "hypo-" in "hypothesis".
Preposition - A word showing function or relation of the word it is associated with to another part of the phrase. Examples: to, for, from, in, upon, under, with, by, etc. Also "upon" in "the Dwarves are upon you".
Pronoun - A class of words which function as nouns, but do not actually specify the identity of the subject. Examples: I, we, you, it, them, who, which, anybody, etc.
Radical - A consonant which is a part of a set of consonants that, in a Semitic style language, denote a particular meaning as a base for words.
Root - The fundamental element of a word, exclusive of all affixes and inflectional changes.
Schwa - The neutral, mid-central vowel sound of most unstressed vowels in English. This is the sound of "a" in "ago", "e" in "agent", and "i" in "sanity", etc. The schwa is sometimes called a "reduction vowel".
Segholate - A class of nouns in Hebrew which have 3 radicals, and the 2nd and 3rd radical are different. Example: sabal - "porter".
Spirant - A consonant articulated by passage of breath through a partially closed cavity. Also called a fricative. Example: sh, v.
Status Absolutus - The Latin term for the Absolute State.
Status Constructus - The Latin term for the Construct State.
Stem - The part of a word, including affixes, to which inflection is added. Thus, the root and affixes without inflection.
Stop - A consonant formed by the complete stopping of airflow. Examples: p, b, t, d, k.
Subject - The noun in a sentence which is the primary focus, and about which something is stated in the predicate. Example: "the black dog" in "the black dog is running quickly".
Suffix - An affix which is added to the end of the base word. Example: "-ing" in "talking".
Syllable - A part of a word which is pronounced with a single, uninterrupted sounding of the voice. The basic unit of pronunciation. Example: "syl", "la", and "ble" in "syllable".
Tense - An inflection of verbs that indicates the time of action or state of being that the verb expresses. Example: past tense "I was running" vs. present tense "I am running".
Transliteration - The process of mapping letters of one alphabet into another, usually for the purpose of writing a foreign language in an alphabet that the reader can understand. An example would be a book in Arabic being written with English letters rather than with Arabic script.
Verb - A class of words that express action, existence, or occurrence.
Vowel - Any voiced speech sound characterized by generalized friction of the air passing in a continuous stream through the pharynx and opened mouth, but with no constriction narrow enough to produce local friction. Vowels have the most prominence in syllables. Examples: a, e, i, o, u.