Linguistic terminology terms | LETTER - W

What is a weak epistemic qualification?


A weak epistemic qualification is an epistemic qualification that signals the lowest degree of certainty.

Examples (English)
  • It is possible that …
  • Perhaps
A weak epistemic qualification is a kind of

Caton 1981 87

What is a whole presupposed proposition?


A whole presupposed proposition is a presupposition that does not contain a variable to be instantiated.

  • The utterance the fact that she is a woman is no disqualification presupposes the whole presupposed proposition she is a woman.
  • Generic
    A whole presupposed proposition is a kind of

    Prince 1986 209

    What is a whole-part lexical relation?


    The whole-part lexical relation is an association between a lexical unit representing a part and a lexical unit representing its corresponding whole.


    Cruse 1986 157


    Another name for the whole-part lexical relation is meronymy. A meronymy is a non-hierarchical relationship between lexical units that deals with the significant parts of a whole.

    Meronymy may be represented by the following frame:

  • Y has X(s). An X is a part of Y.


    "An arm has an elbow. An elbow is a part of an arm."

  • Source:

    Cruse 1986 :160, 178




  • Arm
  • House
  • Head
  • Trunk
  • Elbow, forearm, wrist
  • Roof, wall
  • Eyes, mouth, nose
  • Chest, back
  • Underlying structure

    The underlying structure of a whole-part lexical relation set is a tree .


    Here are some frames for testing and eliciting a whole-part lexical relation:

    • A Y has an X and an X is a part of Y.
    • A Y has Xs and an X is a part of Y.
    • The parts of a Y include the X(s), the Z(s), etc.
    • The X(s) and the Z(s) are parts of a Y.

    What is a wh-question?


    A wh-question is a question that contains an interrogative pro-form .

    Also known as:

    Content question, question word question, information question

    Examples (English)

    Here are some examples of words that begin wh-questions in English. Most of them begin with wh-:

    • who
    • what
    • when
    • where
    • why
    • how
    A wh-question is a kind of

    Elson and Pickett 1988 110

    Crystal 1980 294, 383

    Lyons 1977b 757

    Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik 1985 817, 819

    What is a word?


    A word is a unit which is a constituent at the phrase level and above. It is sometimes identifiable according to such criteria as

    • being the minimal possible unit in a reply
    • having features such as

      • a regular stress pattern, and
      • phonological changes conditioned by or blocked at word boundaries
    • being the largest unit resistant to insertion of new constituents within its boundaries, or
    • being the smallest constituent that can be moved within a sentence without making the sentence ungrammatical.

    A word is sometimes placed, in a hierarchy of grammatical constituents, above the morpheme level and below the phrase level.

    Here are some kinds of words:
    A word is a kind of

    Hartmann and Stork 1972 256

    Crystal 1980 168, 383–384

    Cruse 1986 35–36

    Mish 1991 1358

    Pike and Pike 1982 462

    What are writing and style manuals?


    Writing and style manuals are reference guides for writers.

    They contain information on

    • composition
    • grammar
    • punctuation, and
    • other relevant topics for writers.

    Below are bibliographic references for recommended writing and style manuals.

  • CMS 1993
  • Crews 1987