Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Initialisms
(2,763 words)

Abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms are the result of some form of reduction of the phonological shape or orthographic representation of one or more words. Although “abbreviation” is sometimes used as a cover term for any kind of reduction of an existing word or phrase, strictly speaking, abbreviations are purely graphical shortenings, such as, for instance, the English “Dr.” for “Doctor” (Kreidler 2000; López Rúa 2006). “Acronyms” (< Greek ákron ‘tip, end’ + ónyma ‘name’) are generally understood as words made up of the first letters (or, less commonly, the fi…

Cite this page
Giorgio Francesco ARCODIA, “Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Initialisms”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 23 June 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000001>
First published online: 2015



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