rankshift

[ rangk-shift ]
/ ˈræŋkˌʃɪft /
Linguistics

verb (used with object)

(in systemic linguistics) to use a unit as a constituent of another unit of the same or lower rank on the rank scale, as in using the phrase next door within the phrase the boy next door or the clause that you met yesterday within the phrase the girl that you met yesterday.

noun

the process of rankshifting.

QUIZZES

HEED THE VOX POPULI, AND TAKE THIS WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ!

Test your memory on these verbal firecrackers from the week of June 29 to July 5!
Question 1 of 7
anchorite

Origin of rankshift

First recorded in 1960–65; rank1 + shift
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for rankshift

rankshift
/ (ˈræŋkˌʃɪft) in systemic grammar /

noun

a phenomenon in which a unit at one rank in the grammar has the function of a unit at a lower rank, as for example in the phrase the house on the corner, where the words on the corner shift down from the rank of group to the rank of word

verb

to shift or be shifted from one linguistic rank to another
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012