Word of the DayMonday, October 20, 2014
\klahyn\ , noun;
Linguistics. (in systemic linguistics) a scale of continuous gradation; continuum.
Biology. the gradual change in certain characteristics exhibited by members of a series of adjacent populations of organisms of the same species.
The cline of register, then, represents the progression followed by social groups and individuals as the meanings which they exchange develop an increasing cognitive and functional complexity.
-- Helen Leckie-Tarry, Language and Context, 1995
We can best begin with a concrete illustration: the frequencies of inclusive/exclusive oppositions, which now form a global cline.
-- Johanna Nichols, Linguistic Diversity in Space and Time, 1992
Cline is derived from the Greek word klīnein. It entered English in the 1930s.
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