#WOTD: Salience



In this occasion, we are going to discuss a word that I just discovered when reading a research on language teaching and the word is ‘salience.’ Salience (noun) means is the state or condition of being prominent. (Salient; adjective)

Oxford dictionary defines the word ‘salience’ as most noticeable or important. Meanwhile, Cambridge defines the same word as the fact of being important to or connected with what is happening or being discussed.

The word is prominently found in linguistics and other fields of studies, such as sociology, psychology, and political studies. In psychology, for example, we have ‘social salience,’ which means a set of reasons which draw an observer’s attention toward a particular object.

‘Salience’ comes from the Latin ‘salire‘, meaning ‘to leap.’

In short, we could draw a conclusion that ‘salience’ shares the same sense to ‘importance.’

Some examples of ‘salience’ in sentences are:

  • The salience of these facts was questioned by several speakers.
  • Our birthday will always be a date that jumps out at you with a lot of salience.
  • Away from these predominantly liberal arenas, however, white identity has found a more potent form of salience. (The New Yorker)
  • The researchers saw a drop in activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, part of the salience network of the brain. (Time)
  • Crises, particularly wars, may increase the salience of national considerations. (Salon)

Those are some information on the word ‘salience’ that we have gathered for you. Hope it’s clear enough to sufficiently introduce you to the word and its usage.

Thanks for your attention today!


Compiled and written by @Wisznu for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, August 11, 2016


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