All dictionaries translate "discplacement" as "Verschiebung" into German. But it is a linguistic term and I did not come across this word in German linguistic sources. I would like to know what is the corresponding term in German lingustics?

In linguistics, displacement is the capability of language to communicate about things that are not immediately present (spatially or temporally); i.e., things that are either not here or are not here now.

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    The "Wikipedia translation method" says Dislokation. I've no idea how accurate that is, or if this term is actually in use in German linguistics.
    – dirkt
    Aug 24, 2016 at 16:58

2 Answers 2


For the word "displacement" in the sense of Hackett's characterisation of human language, there can be two translations: Dislokation or Dislozierung. It isn't really a fixed term in itself, as Dislokation is also used in the context of syntax (in word order: the movement of a word or phrase to another position in the sentence). And Dislozierung is also used in the context of morphology.

However, Dislozierung appears to be the preferred word in this context.

Dislozierung über das Hier-und-Jetzt hinaus is probably the most non-ambiguous translation: https://www.linguistik.tu-berlin.de/fileadmin/fg72/PDF/04_Folie_Hockett_-_Merkmale_menschlicher_Sprache.pdf



Dislokation from https://books.google.com/books?isbn=3110358638 and https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_F._Hockett#Wissenschaftliche_Beitr.C3.A4ge seems fine!

  • Dislokation may be fit, by the way I think he means "Kreativität" with "Produktivität"
    – Dragut
    Aug 24, 2016 at 21:19
  • This is scarily close to a link-only answer. While the answer in itself may be correct, please include relevant quotes from the sites in your answer here (be sure to cite sources and mark them up as quotations) to prevent link rot.
    – Jan
    Aug 25, 2016 at 9:02

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