Apr
22
2013

inflection

Posted in Word of the Day by admin

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noun

1. a change in the pitch or tone of a voice; modulation.
example: Often, inflection alone indicates that a person is asking a question.

2. the act of turning or bending, or a turn or bend thus produced.

(Charles Darwin, Insectivorous Plants)

3. in grammar, the alteration in the form of words that allows the communication of grammatical information such as the gender, number, or case of a noun, the tense of a verb, or the degree of an adjective or adverb.
example: Many languages indicate that an action has occurred in past time through the inflection of verbs. “Shake,” “shakes,” “shook,” and “shaken” and forms of the same word but differ due to inflection.

4. the affix used to make such an alteration.
example: The suffix “-er” is an inflection used with adjectives to indicate comparative degree.

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