Free Online Linguistics Glossary

Linguistics, the study of language, is a a neglected but vital part of English language arts.

It’s also an area that excites many students. Teachers ought to expand their linguistic knowledge for that reason, if for no other.Snip from web page of linguistics glossary

Like other sciences, linguistics has its own vocabulary. If you don’t know a morpheme from a motor bike, the LinguaLinks glossary of linguistic terms is a good place to find definitions of those specialized terms. The glossary is available free to anyone, no registration needed.

LinguaLinks  is not a site for K-12 students. Use it for your professional development.

If your grammar terminology is shaky, you can get help understanding terms like clause or verbal noun from LinguaLinks.

The glossary is also useful for anyone who must teach reading.

The glossary is part of the LinguaLinks Library developed by  SIL International, which the organization sells. The organization’s website is worth a look for ideas on using language topics to make school meaningful to students from diverse backgrounds living in a global community.

SIL began in 1934 as the Summer Institute for Linguistics. The nonprofit organization’s  “works alongside ethnolinguistic communities and their partners as they discover how language development addresses the challenging areas of their daily lives.”


Hello, welcome to historical linguistics

Historical linguistics is a repository of fascinating stories.

Book jacket The English Is ComingOn this day 184 years ago, a Washington DC daily recorded the first published use of the word hello in America, although the word certainly was in common use before that.

The 1827 use is attributed to a man named Joe Laughton. Laughton was one of the thousands of spectators who turned out to see a stunt on the Niagara River. The stunt involved a boat decorated to look like a pirate ship and carrying a load of wild animals.

As it went over Niagara Falls,  the boat broke up.

From the sidelines, Joe Laughton thought the boat could be saved. He asked his companions, one of whom wrote the piece that appeared in the U. S. Telegraph, “Hello…wher’s Bil Perry and Olla Parsons?”

Bill and Olla didn’t step out to help.

Some animals swam to safety, but many drowned.

Leslie Dunton-Downer relates the incident in her 2010 book, The English is Coming!