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Language units large and small

Marked forms of words - Inflection, Derivation, Declension, Conjugation · Diminutive, Augmentative

Groups and categories and properties of words - Syntactic and lexical categories · Grammatical cases · Correlatives · Expletives · Adjuncts

Words and meaning - Morphology · Lexicology · Semiotics · Onomasiology · Figures of speech, expressions, phraseology, etc. · Word similarity · Ambiguity · Modality ·

Segment function, interaction, reference - Clitics · Apposition· Parataxis, Hypotaxis· Attributive· Binding · Coordinations · Word and concept reference

Sentence structure and style - Agreement · Ellipsis· Hedging

Phonology - Articulation · Formants· Prosody · Sound change · Intonation, stress, focus · Diphones · Intervocalic · Glottal stop · Vowel_diagrams · Elision · Ablaut_and_umlaut · Phonics

Speech processing · Praat notes · Praat plugins and toolkit notes · Praat scripting notes

Analyses, models, software - Minimal pairs · Concordances · Linguistics software · Some_relatively_basic_text_processing · Word embeddings · Semantic similarity

Unsorted - Contextualism · · Text summarization · Accent, Dialect, Language · Pidgin, Creole · Natural language typology · Writing_systems · Typography, orthography · Digraphs, ligatures, dipthongs · More linguistic terms and descriptions · Phonetic scripts

This article/section is a stub — some half-sorted notes, not necessarily checked, not necessarily correct. Feel free to ignore, or tell me about it.


Prosody is the part of spoken language that are properties of larger-than-single-phoneme units (you'll often see terms like 'non-segmental' / larger than single segments).

Prosody is usually categorized as part of phonetics, though it has tendrils in more than that, largely due to what different languages use it for.

A lot of prosody material tends to focus on syllables and the way we lay intonation (in non-tonal languages), stress, and rhythm into them, which is mostly because that is common in a lot of languages we study, not because that is the only thing in prosody.

When you study prosody, it may be practical to organize into

Physical - what we can measure
Perceptual - how we experience
Lingtuistic - what linguistic mechanisms use this

...also because a number of terms tend can be though of differently from each view

For example
fundamental vocal fold frequency is physical, pitch may be perceptual, intonation linguistic
similar with intensity, loudness, (its effect on e.g. stress)
mode of vocal fold vibration is physical, laryngeal voice quality more perceptual
duration, perceived duration
tone and stress is on the linguistic side, and what does and doesn't determine it varies with language
lots of individual tidbits, like that embedded sentences might often have lower fundamental frequency, are linguistic

...and it can help to keep those three angles separated in your head even if the terms sometimes fail to do so.

There are also questions like that pauses technically do not fit that description directly, but because they are sort of the whitespace around the content, they could be considered prosodic boundaries, so may be is typically considered part of prosody as well - the sound equivalent of "this sentences changes meaning depending on where you put the comma"

Also consider the argument whether pauses are part of rhythm or not. In rehearsed speech pauses tend to be intentional and creative rhythm, while in in spontaneous speech it is often primarily hesitation, which has little to no contentful information. Also, longer pauses are often none of the above, and at best are considered separation from the last utterance.

Prosodic unit

This article/section is a stub — some half-sorted notes, not necessarily checked, not necessarily correct. Feel free to ignore, or tell me about it.