(chiefly British also inflexion)
Definition of inflection in English:
1 Grammar A change in the form of a word (typically the ending) to express a grammatical function or attribute such as tense, mood, person, number, case, and gender.
- There are inflexions for number and tense, the vocabulary is Latin or Germanic for the most part, with all the baggage those words bring with them.
- To learn the languages with inversions, it is enough to know the words and their inflections; to learn the French language, we must also retain the word order.
- In many hymns (but not all) we have substituted second person plural pronouns and verbal inflections for second person singular ones, but only where this leaves the poetic and rhyming schemes of the hymns unaltered.
1.1The process or practice of inflecting words.
- But what we do in English is shift the subordinate clause verb into preterite inflection (had blue eyes instead of has blue eyes) as if to respect the choice of tense in the main clause.
- Spanish uses word order, rather than noun and pronoun inflection, to encode meaning.
- In sentences, inflection for case allows a certain freedom of word order, more or less as in Latin.
2The modulation of intonation or pitch in the voice: she spoke slowly and without inflection the variety of his vocal inflections
More example sentences
- In such services, both the minister and the congregation routinely use voice rhythm and vocal inflection to convey meaning.
- On the other hand, they were superb ‘readers’ of voices, intonation, inflection, fear, evasion, demand.
- While Caan does a fairly credible job with the accent, voice inflection, and mannerisms, I had a difficult time with his being cast in this role.
2.1The variation of the pitch of a musical note.
- The second line became one of the most distinctive features of all New Orleans brass band parades and even of the music itself as the extra musical inflection became an intrinsic element of the Crescent City sound.
- A flat, natural, or sharp sign can be placed above it, to indicate a chromatic inflection of the upper note.
- In the second period, Balada's music was very abstract and dramatic, without melodic inflection and with a heavy reliance on avant-garde effects.
3chiefly Mathematics A change of curvature from convex to concave at a particular point on a curve.
- However, the optimal cluster size depended on the point of inflection of the curve describing the relationship between female mating bias and cluster size.
- With the parameters we use, this hysteresis covers a rather small range of velocities and only results in a small inflexion in the force-velocity curve.
- The thresholds for low and high CRI are located at the inflexion points of the curve, embracing about 80% of the genes.
- Example sentences
- Over time, synthetic languages have become more analytic, with the effect that inflexional morphology has repeatedly been simplified.
- And as for the genitive form, it is formed by an inflectional process so productive that it applies to absolutely every new noun added to the language, and they can't possibly be serious about blocking it.
- Every so often, though, an inflectional form is closely tied to one particular construction, and then it's tempting to identify the form with the construction (and with the semantics for the construction).
- Example sentences
- This paper presents an algorithm for unsupervised learning of morphological analysis and generation of inflectionally rich languages like Hindi.
- To use morphological cues for syntactic bootstrapping, children must recognize that inflectionally varying words (e.g., pushes, pushed) are instances of the same word.
- Example sentences
- But it's Jazz's rumbling rapping that's become the band's trademark; inflectionless, existential rhyming that hovers over the thumping beats, anchoring the music with some unashamed profundity.
- It's hard to describe the emotional effect those inflectionless beeps have on true fans, although they're more than happy to talk about it between themselves on dozens of discussion boards that have appeared on the internet.
- Beck's voice is a blunt, inflectionless tool, but his somnambulant tone conveys a creepy sense of resigned ennui that will bring most listeners down but still draw them back for more.