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Related to periphrastic: circumlocutory


1. Having the nature of or characterized by periphrasis.
2. Grammar Constructed by using an auxiliary word rather than an inflected form; for example, of father is the periphrastic possessive case of father but father's is the inflected possessive case, and did say is the periphrastic past tense of say but said is the inflected past tense.

per′i·phras′ti·cal·ly adv.


(ˌpɛrɪˈfræstɪk) or


1. employing or involving periphrasis
2. (Grammar) expressed in two or more words rather than by an inflected form of one: used esp of a tense of a verb where the alternative element is an auxiliary verb. For example, He does go and He will go involve periphrastic tenses
ˌperiˈphrastically adv


(ˌpɛr əˈfræs tɪk)

1. circumlocutory; roundabout.
2. expressed by or using grammatical periphrasis, as the construction more friendly rather than friendlier.
[1795–1805; < Greek periphrastikós, derivative of periphrázein to use periphrasis]
per`i•phras′ti•cal•ly, adv.


referring to the ability in some languages to use function words instead of inflections, as “the hair of the dog” for “dog’s hair.” — periphrasis, n.
See also: Grammar
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.periphrastic - roundabout and unnecessarily wordyperiphrastic - roundabout and unnecessarily wordy; "had a preference for circumlocutious (or circumlocutory) rather than forthright expression"; "A periphrastic study in a worn-out poetical fashion,/ Leaving one still with the intolerable wrestle/ With words and meanings."-T.S.Eliot; (`ambagious' is archaic)
indirect - extended senses; not direct in manner or language or behavior or action; "making indirect but legitimate inquiries"; "an indirect insult"; "doubtless they had some indirect purpose in mind"; "though his methods are indirect they are not dishonest"; "known as a shady indirect fellow"


Using or containing an excessive number of words:


[ˌperɪˈfræstɪk] ADJperifrástico


References in periodicals archive ?
It is, however, much more difficult, if at all possible, to find examples which are clearly periphrastic.
Papers discuss unidirectionality of grammaticalization in an evolutionary perspective, grammaticalization of Korean numeral classifiers, the grammaticalization of the German preposition von as a genitive equivalent, the grammaticalization of agreement in Chibchan, a grammaticalization perspective on decay and loss of applicatives in Siouan languages, the semantic diversity of generalized action verbs, predicting future change of relative clauses of Japanese, the catalytic function of constructional restrictions in grammaticalization, grammaticalization of periphrastic constructions, grammaticalization of honorific constructions in Japanese, and other topics.
Gaeffke says that the periphrastic jana passive (underlying the above construction) developed early in NIA but was unknown in Middle Indo-Aryan (MIA).
First, the periphrastic indication of the passing of a year (ecce transcurso signifero circulo Sol magnus annum compleuerat) can be read as a Platonic reference to the cosmic chronotope, defined by the orbit of the luminaries on which all earthly and human chronotopes ultimately depend (for the cosmic dimension cf.
Ratner tells Billy, his humorously periphrastic translator, "If you know the right combination of letters, you can make anything.
Elsewhere, causativization/applicativization is a morphological process in languages of this type (languages in which only periphrastic causativization is possible do not exemplify this language type).
The next line, and the herring flag floated far down in the sea, was seen as an image, a kind of periphrastic expression.
This study examines the syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic aspects of morphological and periphrastic or analytic causative constructions in Hausa, a Chadic/Afroasiatic language spoken in Western Africa.
This paper focuses on the treatment of periphrastic verbal constructions in FrGramm, a French computational grammar we have recently implemented in the Xerox Linguistic Environment (XLE).
English is obliged to use a personal pronoun, while the person is included in the final -o of the Italian verb dic-o; negation is expressed in English by a periphrastic form (i.
Section 5 discusses morphological and morphosyntactic aspects, focusing on the use of the second person pronoun, the imperative, the periphrastic DO, and binomials.