(1) A term used in phonetics and psycholinguistics to refer to a hypothetical articulatory state used as a reference point when describing speech production in dynamic terms. In connected speech, the target articulatory features for a sound (e.g. alveolar, voicing) may not be fully attained, because of the anticipatory influence of successive target articulations. The target model postulates an idealized set of articulatory positions and a set of rules which attempt to predict actual patterns of articulatory movement, taking into account such factors as speed of articulation, and the direction and distance between articulators. Similarly, models of speech perception have been proposed which use the construct of an auditory target, which enables the listener to identify the common factors in different accents, voice qualities, etc.
(2) The language (or variety, etc.) which is the focus of a linguistic process of change is known as the target language, e.g. the language into which one is translating or interpreting, the language (or variety, etc.) being taught to foreign learners, and so on.
(3) In transformational grammar, the constituent affected by a transformation is sometimes referred to as the target. For example, the target for WH-movement can be a noun phrase, as in How many parcels will be send to London?, a prepositional phrase, as in In which book did you read about it?, or certain other kind of phrase. A similar use is found in generative phonology, where a rule can be triggered by one segment (the ‘trigger segment’) so as to apply to another ( the ‘target segment’).
（3）转换语法中受一种转换影响的组构成分有时称作目标项。例如WH-移位的目标项可以是一个名词短语（如How many parcels will he send to London? “他将往伦敦寄多少个包裹？”），一个介词短语（如In which book did you read about it? “你在哪本书中读到的？”），或某些其他短语。类似的用法见于生成音系学，一条规则可由一个音段（“触发音段”）引发而应用于另一个音段（“目标音段”）。