Any mass of ice that occurs on the Earth's continents or surface waters. Such masses form wherever substantial amounts of liquid water freeze and remain in the solid state for some period of time. Examples include glaciers, icebergs, sea ice, and ground ice associated with permafrost.
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Largest geographic biotic unit, a major community of plants and animals with similar requirements of environmental conditions. It includes various communities and developmental stages of communities and is named for the dominant type of vegetation, such as grassland or coniferous forest. Several similar biomes constitute a biome type; for example, the temperate deciduous forest biome type includes the deciduous forest biomes of Asia, Europe, and North America. The standard European term for biome is “major life zone.”
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Process of developing abstract rules or mental constructs based on sensory experience. Concept formation figures prominently in cognitive development and was a subject of great importance to Jean Piaget, who argued that learning entails an understanding of a phenomenon's characteristics and how they are logically linked. Noam Chomsky later argued that certain cognitive structures (such as basic grammatical rules) are innate in human beings. Both scholars held that, as a concept emerges, it becomes subject to testing: a child's concept of “bird,” for example, will be tested against specific instances of birds. The human capacity for play contributes importantly to this process by allowing for consideration of a wide range of possibilities.
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Back-formation is distinguished from clipping because they change the part of speech – clipping also creates shortened words from longer words, but does not change the part of speech.
For example, the noun resurrection was borrowed from Latin, and the verb resurrect was then backformed hundreds of years later from it by removing the -ion suffix. This segmentation of resurrection into resurrect + ion was possible because English had many examples of Latinate words that had verb and verb+-ion pairs — in these pairs the -ion suffix is added to verb forms in order to create nouns (such as, insert/insertion, project/projection, etc.).
Back formation may be similar to the reanalyses of folk etymologies when it rests on an erroneous understanding of the morphology of the longer word. For example, the singular noun asset is a back-formation from the plural assets. However, assets is originally not a plural; it is a loan-word from Anglo-Norman asetz (modern French assez). The -s was reanalyzed as a plural suffix.
Even though many English words are formed this way, new coinages may sound strange, and are often used for humorous effect. For example, gruntled or pervious (from disgruntled and impervious) would be considered mistakes today, and used only in humorous contexts. The comedian George Gobel regularly used original back-formations in his humorous monologues. Bill Bryson mused that the English language would be richer if we could call a tidy-haired person shevelled - as an opposite to dishevelled.
Frequently back-formations begin in colloquial use and only gradually become accepted. For example, enthuse (from enthusiasm) is gaining popularity, though it is still considered substandard by some today.
The immense celebrations in Britain at the news of the relief of the Siege of Mafeking briefly created the verb to maffick, meaning to celebrate both extravagantly and publicly. "Maffick" was a back-formation from Mafeking, a place-name that was treated humorously as a gerund or participle. There are many other examples of back-formations in the English language.