Glossary of Language-Related Terms
Accommodation – the process of tailoring instruction to an individual’s situation, taking into account the nature of his/her disability.

Babbling – long strings of sounds that children begin to produce at about 4 months of age.

Communication – the process of encoding, transmitting and decoding signals to exchange information and ideas between participants.

Diphthong – Vowel like speech sound produced by blending two vowels within a syllable.

Echolalia – Immediate, whole or partial vocal imitations of another speaker.

Expansion – An adult’s more mature version of a child’s utterance that preserves the word order of the original utterance (e.g. “doggy eat” – “yes, the doggy is eating”).

Expressive Language – Expressive language is the ability to communicate wants and needs; the ability to make oneself understood.

Extension – An adult’s semantically related comment on a topic established by a child (e.g. “doggy eat” – “Yes, doggy hungry”).

Genderlect – The style of talking used by men and women.

Grammars – The systems of rules or underlying principles.

Jargon – Unintelligible speech.

Language – Socially shared code for representing concepts through usage of symbols or rule-governed combinations of these symbols.

Lexicon – Individual dictionary of each person.

Morpheme – The smallest unit of meaning (e.g. root words, prefixes, suffixes).

Morphology – Aspect of language concerned with rules governing change in
meaning at the word level.

Phone – Actual produced speech sound.

Phoneme – Smallest linguistic unit of sound, each with distinctive features.

Phonemic Awareness – As aspect of phonological awareness. Phonemic awareness is the specific ability to manipulate sounds, such as blending or segmenting.

Phonics – Sound – letter or phoneme – grapheme relationship; the primary way
most children are taught to read.

Phonological Awareness – An area of language that includes areas of
syllabification, sound identification, manipulation, segmentation, blending, rhyming and alliteration; phonological awareness is necessary for the development of reading.

Phonology – An aspect of language concerned with the rules governing structure, distribution and sequencing of speech-sound patterns,

Pragmatics – An aspect of language concerned with language use within a
communicative context.

Receptive Language – Receptive language is the input system of language. It is
what we see and hear and the information that we take in. Receptive language is the comprehension of information.

Semantics – Aspect of language concerned with rules governing the meaning or
content of words or grammatical units.

Speech – The motor process of producing speech sounds for communication; a
verbal means of transmission.

Syntax – Organizational rules specifying word order, sentence organization and word relationships.

Voiced Phoneme – A speech sound produced in part by vibration of the vocal cords.

Voiceless Phoneme – A speech sound produced without vibration of the vocal cords.