Linguistic inclusive term for vocabulary, phrases, idioms etc.

francoteves

New Member
Spanish
Hello everybody,

I really didn't know how to name this thread so I apologize about it. My question is: what is the linguistic term that refers globally to the words "vocabulary", "words", "phrases", "collocations", "expressions", "jargon", "idioms", "lexicon" etc?

I am doing an article on this and in the process of writing my paper when I put the word "vocabulary" I feel like I am referring only to single-words (e.g.: coincidence) opposite to when I write "phrase" which refers to more than one word without a verb/subject (e.g.: many thanks) or when I write "expression/idiom" it refers, generally speaking, to more words with a verb/subject (e.g: She is pulling my leg). The problem is I need to refer to these in one word, what is that word? I was thinking of "lexicon" but I am not sure. Is there something like "linguistic inventory"? I really need this word.

Thank you a lot. I hope that wasn´t so confusing.
 
  • francoteves

    New Member
    Spanish
    Well, I know this might not be the best source of information but reading Wikipedia's definition I think "Lexicon" refers to something different:

    "Formally, in linguistics, a lexicon is a language's inventory of lexemes." from Wikipedia
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Maybe "lexical items"

    "A lexical item (or lexical unit, lexical entry) is a single word, a part of a word, or a chain of words (=catena) that forms the basic elements of a language's lexicon (≈vocabulary). Examples are cat, traffic light, take care of, by the way, and it's raining cats and dogs. Lexical items can be generally understood to convey a single meaning, much as a lexeme, but are not limited to single words. "
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexical_item
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Greetings

    I think "usage" might cover the range of concepts francoteves is asking about. ("collocutions", incidentally, not "collocations" - which exist, but in a completely other sense).

    Σ
     

    francoteves

    New Member
    Spanish
    Great! Thank you velisarius. I think this is what I was looking for. This is so far the best concept to embrace all the others.
     

    francoteves

    New Member
    Spanish
    Thank you for answering Scholastic. Perhaps you are right although the term "usage" sounds much broader to what I was looking for. I didn't know about "collocutions"; interesting word.
     

    francoteves

    New Member
    Spanish
    Exactly, for me "collucation" was an interesting word although not useful for what I was looking for. Actually, I had read the same definition from Wiktionary.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    what is the linguistic term that refers globally to the words "vocabulary", "words", "phrases", "collocations", "expressions", "jargon", "idioms", "lexicon" etc?
    The term I know is lexis. The OED defines it like this:

    2. Linguistics. a. = lexicon n. 2; items of lexical, as opp. esp. to grammatical, meaning; the total word-stock of a language.
     
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    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "collocutions", incidentally, not "collocations" - which exist, but in a completely other sense
    The OED begs to differ.

    Collocation: 1c. Linguistics. The habitual juxtaposition or association, in the sentences of a language, of a particular word with other particular words; a group of words so associated.

    Collocution: rare. Talking together, conversation, colloquy.
     
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    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Usage is definitely the word you want. On a shelf by my desk, for example, are these books, all dealing with grammar and other aspects of using the English language: Fowler's Modern English Usage, Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage, Garner's Modern American Usage.
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Greetings once again

    I must apologise for being too hasty. When I first read francoteves' original post I thought he was including accidence, grammar and syntax - hence my "usage" suggestion. That was premature.

    Also, "collocation": I know the word, but have never met it before in the sense presented by se16teddy (#11 here). I gladly stand corrected - and educated.

    I must now endorse lexis therefore, in response to the OP's "OQ".

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    jarabina

    Senior Member
    English - Scotland
    I would just add that in linguistics and teaching we talk of lexis (uncountable) to refer generally to all the things the OP mentions (including collocations etc) and lexical units or items when we want to refer to them individually.

    E.g. The aim is for the students to understand but not produce the lexis.

    Or, Question three refers to three lexical items that students have to identify.
     
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