The term aspect applies to a system where the basic meanings have to do with the internal temporal constituency of the situation. (The Cambridge Grammar of the English language)

I can guess the intended meaning but can't find a related definition in any of my dictionary.

  • In what context? "Constituency," AFAIK, is describing the membership or parts of something, e.g., the voters who elect the people in a district. Does the constituency change over time? Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 15:13
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    It's likely linguistics jargon, but I'm not familiar with it. "Constituents" would at least make some sense there.
    – gotube
    Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 18:43
  • It seems to be a confusion of consistency with either constitution or constituent, meaning the quality of what constitutes something (as opposed to simply identifying the things that constitute something). Not even in Cambridge dictionary online, despite being in another Cambridge book, and hasn't made the OED - although Oxford have not fully updated their entry for "constituency" since 1893.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 8:54

1 Answer 1


It seems to have been formed from "constituent"+ "-cy". The suffix -cy indicates an abstract noun meaning "a state or condition resulting from being or having something" (eg "pregnancy = a state resulting from being pregnant" or "diplomacy" = the condition of having diplomats".

So "constituency" is the state that the constituents (the events, processes etc) generates in a situation.

This particular phrase derives from a single book Comrie (1976) It doesn't seem to have any currency outside of the quotes of this book.

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    This meaning is not in the OED, or other dictionaries (Collins, Cambridge, Merriam-Webster). But you're always free to make up words as long as you use currently productive elements; it's hard to know if it's grokkable in context, since the CGEL isn't terribly understandable at the best of times.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jun 8, 2023 at 8:57

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