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French/English Glossary of Linguistic Terms


How to use the SIL French-English Linguistic Glossary.

Word lists

The French word list is on the left; the English word list is on the right. You can move forwards and backwards in each of these lists. Each of the words in the list is linked to its entry.

If you use one of the filters, the contents of the word lists will be changed according to the current filter.


There are three search boxes available on the glossary page. You can search amongst the English or French terms, or both.

If your search does not return any results, try again with an asterisk at the end of your query, e.g. "noun*" instead of just "noun".

You may also want to change the current filter as this determines which portion of the glossary the search is carried out in.

To get to the beginning of a particular alphabetical section of the glossary, search for e.g. "p*".


The entry for the current term is displayed in the central portion of the browser window. Other terms, which appear in the entry, link to their own individual entry.

The entry shows all fields which have been filled in for that entry. The full list of possible fields are:

The glossary contains both finished and so-called unfinished entries. The entry will be flagged ("This entry requires more research") if it is an unfinished entry.


Word lists and indexes may be filtered according to the status of the entries. The filter can be changed using the drop-down menu: completed entries, all entries, unfinished entries. The default is the completed entries filter. The unfinished entries filter was designed with those who might like to contribute to this glossary in mind. Please note that the filter will also affect what results you obtain in a search.

Index of terms

The index of terms contains an alphabetical listing of terms found in the glossary. The listing may be filtered by language, entry status, and domain by using the drop-down menus at the top of the page. After changing any of the selections from the menus, click on the Submit button to effect the change. Occasionally, changing one or more of the parameters will yield no results, in which case a different beginning letter needs to be chosen.

The default values of the filters are:


A special definitions section is integrated into the glossary. Written in both languages, its main purpose is to allow the user to understand key concepts underlying French terminology, as well as gain access to innovative aspects of francophone linguistic thought and methodology.

These documents are PDF files and contain internal bookmarks to aid in browsing the documents as well as links to glossary entries. Glossary terms that have documented definitions are linked into the document from their entries.

Send a comment or suggest a new term

Click on the appropriate link at the bottom of the entry if you would like to send a comment. Please fill in the form that appears, including your name and email address so that we can give you credit for your contribution. (See Intellectual Property.)


This gives the full list of sources that were used in the compilation of the glossary.


A list of abbreviations used in the glossary (domains and parts of speech) with explanations in both French and English.

Error Messages

If you see an error message on any of the glossary pages, please email us at . Please include the URL of the page you requested when the error message appeared, and, if possible, the error message. Many thanks.