Definition of holophrasis in English:

holophrasis

Line breaks: holo|phr¦asis
Pronunciation: /ˌhɒlə(ʊ)ˈfreɪsɪs
 
/

noun

[mass noun]
1The expression of a whole phrase in a single word, for example howdy for how do you do.
1.1The learning of linguistic elements as whole chunks by very young children acquiring their first language, for example it’s all gone learned as allgone.
More example sentences
  • Infants begin by babbling and cooing, progress to holophrasis and by age three to four children are working on semantics and pragmatics.

Derivatives

holophrase

noun
More example sentences
  • However, they usually regard holophrases as important, being the child's earliest ways of initiating verbal communication.
  • We know too that before children use mature speech, they coo and babble, and then use holophrases and telegraphic sentences.
  • Some people have even suggested that over 60% of what we say consists of such fixed holophrases, or unanalysed wholes.

holophrastic

adjective
More example sentences
  • Anyway, from a syntactic perspective, the one word stage is called the holophrastic stage.
  • It is likely that at some point in time humans spoke a protolanguage in which most words had neither holophrastic nor atomic meanings.
  • As the verbs form the base of these holophrastic words, they play a most important part in the grammatical structure of the language.

More definitions of holophrasis

Definition of holophrasis in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day erroneous
Pronunciation: ɪˈrəʊnɪəs
adjective
wrong; incorrect