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emic Line breaks: emic
Pronunciation: /ˈiːmɪk/

Definition of emic in English:


Studying or describing a particular language or culture in terms of its internal elements and their functioning rather than in terms of any existing external scheme: accurate ethnographic description from an internal or emic perspective, from the native point of view Often contrasted with etic.
More example sentences
  • Ethnographers commonly make a distinction between the etic and emic dimensions of the study of cultural practices, which reflects the difference between the structural and reflective dimensions of meaning.
  • Related to the problems of anachronism and ethnocentrism is the distinction between emic and etic terms.
  • In ethnographic studies, the orientation of the researcher is termed etic or emic.


1950s: abstracted from such words as phonemic (see phoneme) and systemic.

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