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Linguistics Girl

Linguistics Girl: The Linguistic Librarian is all about language. Learn about the phonology, morphology, and syntax of the English language as well as linguistic theories and more about language in general. The mission of Linguistics Girl is to provide information about all things linguistic to all readers interested in language. Linguistics Girl is written by Heather Johnson.

  • Word Matrix: Thrall

    <thrall> Old English thrǣl “slave,” from Old Norse thræll Word Sums Thrall Thrall + s = thralls Thrall + ed =...

    Heather JohnsonFebruary 5, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Beer

    <beer> “an alcoholic drink made from yeast-fermented malt flavored with hops” from Old English bēor, of West Germanic origin, based on...

    Heather JohnsonFebruary 2, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Mare

    <mare> “found in or pertaining to the sea,” from Old French marin “of the sea, maritime,” and directly from Latin marinus...

    Heather and Poppy JohnsonJanuary 28, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Hume

    <hume> from Old French humide, umide “damp, wet” or directly from Latin humidus “moist, wet,” variant (probably by influence of humus...

    Heather JohnsonJanuary 27, 2019
  • Word Matrix: Humid

    <humid> from French humide or Latin humidus, from humere “be moist” Word Sums Humid Humid + er = humider Humid +...

    Heather JohnsonJanuary 26, 2019
  • Determiners Are Not Adjectives

    Traditional grammars categorize determiners with either adjectives or pronouns. But determiners are not adjectives. Repeat after me: Determiners are not adjectives....

    Heather JohnsonJanuary 12, 2019
  • Christmastime Is Here: The Etymology of Christmas

    Christmastime is here. Or is Christmas time here? From where and when does the word Christmas come? And is Xmas a...

    Heather JohnsonDecember 13, 2018
  • Pluralizing Last Names: Never Use an Apostrophe

    One way in which nouns differ from other grammatical forms in the English language is grammatical number. Prototypical English nouns have...

    Heather JohnsonNovember 16, 2018
  • The History of All Hallows’ Eve: The Etymology of ‘Halloween’

    Halloween, Hallowe’en, All Hallows’ Eve — English speakers use many names for the holiday that occurs each year on October 31....

    Heather JohnsonOctober 28, 2018
  • Why Is ‘Love’ Not Spelled ‘Luv’?

    Have you ever thought about the English language and considered the orthographic system downright wacky? Many words have a “silent e”...

    Heather JohnsonAugust 30, 2018
  • No Doubt the “Silent B” Owes a Subtle Debt to History

    School children all over the English-speaking world bemoan the many “silent” letters of English spelling. The orthographic system of the English...

    Heather JohnsonAugust 28, 2018
  • Are You Wondering About the ‘R’ in February?

    English spelling appears inconsistent at first. From silent letters to doubled letters, the orthography of English seems downright wacky to native...

    Heather JohnsonAugust 27, 2018
  • The Functions of “Silent E” in Written English

    E is the most common vowel and letter in the English language. Many words end in e in written English. In...

    Heather JohnsonAugust 7, 2018
  • Types of English Adverbs: Manner, Time, Place, Frequency, Degree

    An adverb is a “word that describes a verb, adjective, other adverb, or clause.” An adverb phrase consists of an adverb...

    Heather JohnsonJuly 13, 2018
  • English Adverb Clauses

    Traditional grammars describe adverb clauses as dependent or subordinate clauses that consist of a subordinating conjunction followed by a clause and...

    Heather JohnsonJuly 11, 2018