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Types of language and general words for language

acrolect

noun

a dialect (=way of speaking a language) that is considered better than all others

basilect

noun

a dialect (=way of speaking a language) that is considered lower in status than other dialects

creole

noun

a language that is a mixture of a European language and one or more other languages, spoken as the first language of a people

dialect

noun

a way of speaking a language that is used only in a particular area or by a particular group

diglossia

noun

a situation in which a language exists in two forms, one formal or literary and the other informal, and you use the form that is suitable for a particular situation

first language

noun

the first language that you learn to speak

first language

noun

the main language that people speak in a region or country

heritage language

noun

in English-speaking countries, a language other than English that is the main language someone learns as a child

home language

noun

someone’s native language

interlanguage

noun

a mixture of two languages, especially one used by someone learning a new language, that contains features of the person’s first language mixed with those of the language they are learning

interlingual

adjective

involving two languages

interlingual

adjective

relating to an interlanguage

language

noun

the method of human communication using spoken or written words

langue

noun

a language considered as a system of communication that belongs to the people who speak it

lingo

noun

a language, especially one other than your own

lingua franca

noun

a language that people use to communicate when they have different first languages

linguistic imperialism

noun

the belief or assumption that everyone should speak English because it is the main means of international communication

litotes

noun

the use of a negative statement to say something positive, for example by describing something as ‘not unreasonable’

metalanguage

noun

a set of words used for describing and discussing language

metonymy

noun

expressions in which you refer to something using the name of something else that is closely related to it, as, for example, when journalists use the expression Downing Street to refer to the British Prime Minister

mother tongue

noun

the main language that you learn as a child

natural language

noun

a language that has developed in a natural way, rather than being created for a specific purpose

parole

noun

language considered as the way that individual people use it

patois

noun

a type of spoken language used by people in a particular area, that is different from the main language in a country

pidgin

noun

a language made up of two or more languages, used as a way of communicating by people whose first languages are different from each other

prose

noun

written language in its ordinary form, as opposed to poetry

register

noun

the type of language that you use in a particular situation or when communicating with a particular group of people

rhyming slang

noun

a way of talking in which you replace the normal word for something with a word or phrase that rhymes with it. An example is ‘dog and bone’ instead of ‘phone’. Rhyming slang is used especially by cockneys (=people from East London).

second language

noun

a language that you can speak but which is not your main language

signing

noun

the use of sign language to communicate, instead of speaking or writing

sign language

noun

a way of communicating with people who cannot hear, using hand signals instead of words

sociolect

noun

a type of language spoken by people in a particular social class or group

speech

noun

spoken language, not written language

stress-timed

adjective

in a stress-timed language, there is a regular pattern of stressed syllables

syllable-timed

adjective

in a syllable-timed language, each syllable has a regular rhythm and there are no stresses

tone language

noun

a language such as Chinese in which the meaning of some words changes when you say them in a different tone

tongue

noun

a language

vernacular

noun

the language spoken by a particular group or in a particular area, when it is different from the formal written language

a living language

a language that people still speak and use in their ordinary lives

plain English/language/wording

language that is easy to understand because it does not use difficult or technical words

emoji

a small digital image … which is used in electronic communication to express emotion or other simple concepts

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

major on (doing) sth

to have or do a lot of something; to focus on a particular thing

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