Glossary of Linguistic Terms


  1. An utterance is a natural unit of speech bounded by breaths or pauses.
  2. An utterance is a complete unit of talk, bounded by the speaker's silence.

Utterance does not have a precise linguistic definition. Phonetically an utterance is a unit of speech bounded by silence. In dialogue, each turn by a speaker may be considered an utterance.

Linguists sometimes use utterance to simply refer to a unit of speech under study. The corresponding unit in written language is text.

See Also: 

Glossary Hierarchy