Definition of diachronic in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌdīəˈkränik/


Concerned with the way in which something, especially language, has developed and evolved through time. Often contrasted with synchronic.
Example sentences
  • Currently, linguists generally prefer the synchronic study of spoken language to the diachronic comparison of words in texts, and have tended to regard philology as pre-scientific.
  • Though let me stress that what I have offered here is not an expert opinion; I have done no serious quantitative work on this topic, and I have no real expertise in diachronic lexical semantics.
  • From a diachronic viewpoint, languages seem to change from being more pragmatic to more syntactic; from a synchronic perspective, different languages may simply be at different stages of this evolutional circle.



Pronunciation: /-krəˈnāitē/
Example sentences
  • The lithostratigraphic correlation between the two units appears to be very good, although biostratigraphic resolution is inadequate to assess the degree of diachroneity.
  • The demonstrable geographic variability and diachroneity of the Ordovician diversifications imposes limitations on the level of analysis possible with synoptic databases.
  • Often, however (assuming accuracy of the data), they pose more problems than they solve, and bear witness to major diachroneity of otherwise similar events.


Pronunciation: /ˌdīəˈkränək(ə)lē/
Example sentences
  • Part of the problem in making extrapolations from these patterns to build a theory is that the relationship between language and social structure may vary considerably, both synchronically and diachronically.
  • Each can be studied synchronically or diachronically and the order in which they have been dealt with within a grammar has fluctuated over the years.
  • In extending the lesson given us through our redactor-as-author to other texts, we can hope to avoid treating certain texts only diachronically or synchronically.


Pronunciation: /-ˌkrəˈnistik/
Example sentences
  • It considers work in progress in the field of diachronistic linguistics, providing a snapshot of the discipline at the time the conference was held.
  • One might, for instance, have considered the changing popularity of biblical (as opposed to hagiographical or even secular) imagery in general, assessed diachronistic patterns in the relative popularity of individual subjects, and examined the iconographic evolution of particularly important ones.
  • The diachronistic but yet synchronistic observation of different political structures (from states and empires of the antiquity via India to the United States of America) makes it clear that constitution is much more than a body of laws and that a national community is never a mere community of law but always a community of values too.


Pronunciation: /dīˈakrənē/
Example sentences
  • Enough of diachrony vs. synchrony for this posting.
  • The enactment of masochistic desire is a performance of history, and masochism is a synchronic enactment of diachrony.
  • Levinas, also, describes the relationship with the other as time: ‘it is an untotalizable diachrony in which one moment pursues another without ever being able to retrieve it, to catch up with, or coincide with it’ (‘Dialogue’ 21).


Mid 19th century: from dia- 'through' + Greek khronos 'time' + -ic.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: di·a·chron·ic

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