circumlocution (linguistics)
Definition - The expression of grammatical relationships by the use of meaning (e.g. phrases or idioms) instead of structure (e.g. inflection).

Example -

(1) the horse that David owns (this is circumlocution because possession is shown by meaning)

(2) David's horse (this is not circumlocution because possession is shown by inflection)

Etymology -
The word derives from the Latin circumlocutionem, speaking around (from circum, around + locutionem, a speaking). Note that the Latin term was coined as a loan translation of the Greek periphrasis, speaking around.

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation is from circa 1510:
"When thou must in speche touche … Such maners unclenly, use circumlocution."
(Barclay Mirr. Good Mann. (1570) Fvj,)



Please comment

Email: