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AS Language Glossary

General Terms
Mode: Medium of communication e.g. speech or writing
Prototype: A ‘best fit’ example of a particular category
Sub-mode: A sub-division of mode e.g. poetry, prose, monologue, conversation,
drama
Genre: The type or category of text e.g. comedy, horror, tragedy
Type: A form of text e.g. recipe, short story, play
Multimodal text: Texts that combine word, image and sound to produce a meaning
Context of reception: The situations in which a text is read and factors that might
influence a reader’s interpretation
Context of production: The situation in which a text is produced and factors that
might influence its writing
Demographic: Another word for target audience
Purpose: The reason a text is produced
Hybrid text: A text with more than one purpose
Idiolect: An individual’s style of speaking
Sociolect: A use of language as a result of membership to a particular social group
Discourse community: A group with shared values and approaches to reading e.g.
teachers, friendship group
Dialect: The language variety of a geographical region or social background
Accent: The way words are pronounced due to geographical region
Standard English: Universally accepted dialect of English carrying a degree of
prestige
Register: Level of formality appropriate to the text’s purpose and context
 Field: General purpose of communication
 Tenor: The relationship between participants in a conversation or between the
text producer and receiver
Jargon: Specialist terminology that may exclude others
Colloquialism: Established set of terms used in everyday language
Slang: Colloquial language particular to individuals or groups

people and places Shows actions. events or states of being.g. attitudes. loudspeaker Diachronic variation: The changes in language over time Synchronic variation: The variation in language at any given point in time e. dank Etymology: The origins of a word Personification: Giving human qualities to a non-human object Hyperbole: Exaggeration Rhetorical question: A question that does not require an answer Anthropomorphism: Giving an animal human-like characteristics Litotes: An example of where something has been reduced to less than its value Meiosis: The process of reducing something to appear lesser than it is Bathos (bathetic): Taking something very extreme and making it everyday Lexis and Semantics Lexis: Deals with the vocabulary system in English language Semantics: Deals with meaning and how that is generated within texts Textual cohesion: Describes how a text is logically structured to create a coherent sense of meaning Word Class Noun Verb Adjective Adverb Description/Function Example Names of objects.g. sick. call Borrowing: The process by which a word is absorbed into another language e.g. feelings.g.g.g. in ‘Naughty But Nice’ and ‘Titus’ Amelioration: To improve the meaning of a word e. brunch Compounding: Joining together two words e.g. bitch Narrowing: To restrict the meaning of a word e. run Bleak Extraordinarily . accident Broadening: To widen the meaning of a word e. feeling or thinking Adds detail to nouns Adds detail to verbs Cottage. cuisine Blending: A word made by putting together parts of other words e.g.g.Intertextuality: References to other texts within another e. love Seems. nice (used to mean silly) Pejoration: To reduce a word to a lower/ less respectable meaning e.

himself. an And. small. me. happiness Types of Verb Material Function Examples Describe actions or events Relational Mental Dynamic Describe states of being or used to identify Describe perception. eat. beautiful Comparative: The form used to compare two items. thought or speech Processes where there is a change in state over time Processes where the state remains constant Hit. hold Be. most beautiful Cohesion: A measure of how well a text fits together as a whole. believe Base form: The simple form of an adjective e. London Pain. our forwards and backwards to them in longer stretches of text Types of Pronoun Examples Person I. that Relative Who. because In.g.g. feelings and concepts without a physical existence Refers to objects that have a physical existence Paris. although. this. remove Shows relation in terms of time or place The. by. believe. on Replaces nouns and can also refer I.g. themselves Demonstrative Those. speak. a. appear. his. you. she. phrases and clauses together Types of Noun Proper Abstract Function Examples Refers to names of people or places Refers to states. smallest. our. run. you. or. its internal logic and construction . read. his. push. love Paint. become Think. but. hold. they Possessive My. more beautiful Superlative: Adjectives using –est or combined with ‘most’ e. eat. seem. which Concrete Stative Countable: table Non-countable: furniture Love.Determine r Conjunctio n Prepositio n Pronoun Positioned in front of nouns to add detail or to clarify Links words. these. whom. smaller. her. adjectives using –er or combined with ‘more’ e. their Reflexive Myself. at.

shall Deontic modality: Express degrees of obligation or necessity e.g. weep.g.g. Mammal Under-specificity: The inappropriately vague. ‘I’ll take my chances’. will. ‘I’m feeling down’ Epistemic modality: Express degrees of possibility. a more specific lexical item e. It is an important cohesive device  Subordinate: A ‘lower’ word in the hyponymic chain. narrow-wide Hyponymy: The term for the hierarchical structure that exists between lexical items.g. I must look into getting a newer model Ellipsis: The missing out of a word or words in a sentence Denotation: A strict ‘dictionary’ meaning of a lexical item Connotation: An associated. beautiful-ugly. whimper  Euphemism: A socially acceptable word or phrase to avoid talking about something potentially distasteful  Dysphemism: A harsh. a more general lexical item e.g. ‘to-the-point’ and perhaps taboo term. must Coinage: A new/made-up word . sometimes with absurd effects Conceptual metaphor: The way in which abstract terms are mapped onto physical entities through an underlying conceptual structure e. Tony would never lie. probability or certainty e. may. ‘Time is money’.g. cry. ‘I believe him.g. symbolic meaning relying on culturally shared conventions Semantic/Lexical field: Lexical items that are similar in meaning and properties Synonym: Words with very similar semantic value e. man-woman  Gradable: Antonyms that are not exactly opposite but can be considered in terms of degree of quality e.g. rather general answer to a question Over-specificity: The giving of an inappropriately too specific answer. my mobile phone is so out of date.g. true-false. Labrador  Superordinate: A ‘higher’ word in the hyponymic chain.Referencing: When lexical items replace those already mentioned or about to be mentioned e.g.’ Anaphoric referencing: Referencing back to an already stated lexical item Cataphoric referencing: Referencing forward to an as yet undisclosed lexical item Substitution: The replacing of one set of lexical items for another e. sometimes used for a dark humorous effect Antonym: Words with opposite semantic value  Complementary: Truly opposite antonyms e. howl.

Loan word: A word taken from another language e. magnifique Epithet/Nominative Determinalism: Labelling someone or something with a feature or quality they exhibit e.” “The noisy party” Head Determin er noun. They can be words in their own right or combine with other morphemes to form lexical units Linguistic rank scale: MorphemeLexical ItemPhraseClauseSentenceUtteranceText Prescriptive approach: Concentrates on how language ought to be structured and sees alternative patterns or versions as deviant and inferior Descriptive approach: Focuses on actual language use and how it operates in real examples and contexts Noun phrase: Group of words centred around a head noun e. qualifier .g.g. ‘villains’ Monosyllabic: Only one syllable in a word Polysyllabic: More than one syllable in a word Statutory language: Legal/obligatory language Phatic language: Small talk Antithesis: Words or phrases that directly contrast with each other Emotive language: Language that encourages readers to respond emotionally rather than rationally. “The Times. to suggest similar qualities between the two Simile: A comparison of one thing with another.g. Many words have emotive connotations and readers may respond to these rather than their denotations Metaphor: Use of a term to describe something that it does not denote. concrete “The pretty cottage by the sea” Premodifyin g adjectiv Prepositional phrase. using the words ‘like’ or ‘as’ Grammar and Syntax Morphology: The study of the formation of words from smaller units called morphemes Morpheme: Smallest unit of meaning.

“He is very intelligent”. “He fought bravely” . can. “The pink ribbon”. be.g.” “Internet scam nets millions”  Often put emphasis on the subject. may. known as an extension. “in rubber masks” Verb phrase: Group of words centred around a main verb e.g.  “GCSE coursework to become history”  Use of infinitive highlights that there is an external force at play. would. “Quite a well-kept garden”. verb phrase includes a finite present or past tense verb e. Syntax places emphasis on the destructive nature of the cement. “MoD issues gag order on armed forces” Passive voice: Omits an actor or agent or includes the agent as part of a prepositional phrase after the verb e. “very quickly”. certainty. ‘into’ is an further constituent of the main verb.g.g.” “You seemed to like it here” Modifier: A word or phrase that affects the meaning of another e.” “He got to play for the rugby team. should.g.g. might. have Semi-auxiliary: A combination of a primary auxiliary and another verb part and ‘to’ e.g. “Gag order is issued on armed forces” Adjectival phrase: A phrase with an adjective as its head-generally appear after the verb ‘to be’ e. often use ‘to’ e.Prepositional phrase: A phrase consisting of a preposition and an added noun phase e. not the vandals who committed the crime. “She appeared to run away. Can be used to help personify/show use of metaphors  “Cement tipped into lake by vandals”  Passive voice shown. do. “be supposed to” Catenative verb: A verb that can attach to another to form a chain.g. “Prime Minister takes big lead. necessity or obligation e. could. will.g. “She always goes jogging in the morning” Active voice: Includes an actor/subject. must Primary auxiliary verb: Used to denote tense changes e. shall.g. Used to represent the actions of exam boardsmetonym Negative “Banks have not signed required customer code” particle Main verb Primary auxiliary verb never appears on its own and is used to express Modal auxiliary verb: A verb which possibility. “very big” Adverbial phrase: A phrase with an adverb as its head-modify verb phrases or other adverbial phrases e. probability.g.

he kicked the ball”-First clause is dependent on the second to create a sense of meaning Main clause: Can stand independently and make sense on its own Subordinate clause: A clause dependent on another to complete the full meaning of a sentence e. he kicked the ball” Subordinate conjunctions: Words that link a main clause to a number of subordinate clauses in complex sentences e. “He kicked the ball and celebrated his goal even though he was tired” Utterance: A group of spoken words. “Although he was tired.g. “I gave him a pen” Direct object: An object directly affected by a verb process Indirect object: An object indirectly affected by a verb process Ditransitive verb: A verb that requires two verbs to form a double-object construction e. “He kicked the ball and scored a goal” Complex sentence: A sentence containing one main clause with one or more subordinate clauses. “Although he was tired. often connected with a subordinate conjunction e.g. or sometimes just by punctuation e.Clause: Can be taken away from a sentence and still make sense.g. put Simple sentence: A sentence consisting of a single main clause e. demanding Before Easter.g. connected by coordinating conjunctions. she had driven over to Paris Is it done yet? Look at the evidence Fronting: Moving a word/phrase to the start of a sentence for a specific purpose . because.g.g. “He kicked the ball” Compound sentence: A sentence consisting of two or more main clauses. while.g. give Intransitive verb: A verb process such a s ‘yawned’ or ‘slept’ that has no object Monotransitive verb: A verb that only requires one object e. roughly equivalent to the sentence in written terms Sentence Mood Declarative Interrogative Imperative Feature Example Telling Asking Inviting. It is a group of lexical items centred around a verb phrase Double-object construction: A clause with a verb that has two objects: one direct and one indirect e. although Compound-complex sentence: A sentence containing at least two main clauses and at least one subordinate clause e.g.g.

sh ch (church).g. ‘crash’ Non-lexical onomatopoeia: ‘non-words’ that work in that same way as lexical onomatopoeia e. v.g. j. s. dj (judge) m.g. g f. n. “constrain’d and forc’d” Parallelism: The repetition of a pattern or structure in related words. t. ‘s’ in an alliterative line creates an eerie atmosphere Assonance: Repetition of vowel sounds for effect Consonance: Repetition of consonant sounds for effect Sibilance: Repetition of ‘s’ sound Phonological manipulation: The way text producers play with sounds and their effects-used in jokes for humorous effects Homophone: A word that sounds the same as another word e. w Lexical onomatopoeia: Actual lexical items where they sound like the noise they make e.g. “The silence surged softly backward”-Use of the fricative. k. ng r. Pragmatics Pragmatics: The study of how context affects meaning in speech and writing Implied meaning/Subtext: Where a meaning beyond the literal one is being conveyed by the writer Inferred meaning: The meaning the reader/listener takes from the text based on background knowledge and context . volume. win/whine Phonemic substitution: The replacing of one phoneme by another for a desired effect e. “When do astronauts eat?” A: “At launch time” Prosodics: Tone. ‘vroom’. pace etc. z. phrases of clauses Phonetics and Phonology Phoneme: Basic unit of sound from with language is created Consonant Group Plosives Fricatives Africates Nasals Approximants Examples b. p.g.g.Hendiadys: Coupling two ideas together using ‘and’ e. d. ‘grr’ Alliteration: A sequence of words beginning with the same sound e.

g. its denotation Illocution: The intention of the speaker Perlocution: How it is received by the reader (effect) Graphology Typography: Font size. there. the rose=love/passion Semiotics: The study of signs and symbols e.g. that. “I am here now”-relies on the centre from which the lexical items have come. you Spatial deixis: here. today. emboldening. then     Locution: Literal significance of an utterance. now  Distal deictic terms: Further from the deictic centre of speaker.g. colour. here. italicising.Cooperative principle: The principle that suggests all communication is essentially a cooperative act Grice’s maxims:  Quantity: Be only as informative as necessary/use an appropriate amount of detail  Quality: Don’t lie and do not knowingly mislead  Relevance: Keep what is being discussed relevant to the topic  Manner: Avoid ambiguity and vagueness and be brief and orderly Implicature: When the maxims are flouted. this. those. then. type. often simplified to provide a basic reference for the reader Symbolic signs: Draw on association or connotation and are usually defined by cultural convention-provide meaning because society has placed certain values or qualities on them e. these. on crisp packets Cultural model: Organisational structure based on shared and agreed criteria by groups of people within a society . ‘here’ and ‘now’ are deictic because they point towards a person. me. underlining and any other modifications to font types Iconic sign: A direct picture of the thing it represents. a place and a time relative to the immediate context Person deixis: I.g. A: “Have you finished your homework?” B: “Yes. ‘I’. there. right Temporal deixis: now. I have finished my homework” – B flouts the maxim of quantity because a simple ‘yes’ would have sufficed which may imply that she is not happy on being checked up on Deixis: Lexical items that ‘point’ towards something and place words in context e. left. tomorrow Proximal deictic terms: Close to the deictic centre of speaker. giving rise to an implied meaning e.

g. guide Identifies a problem Recipes. ouch!” . giving order at a restaurant Interactional speech: Just people talking.Convention: An agreed or shared feature Parenthesis: Adding in additional information through the use of brackets Discourse Discourse structure: The method that explains how texts are put together Discourse Structure List/instructio ns Problemsolution Analysis Narrative Key Features Examples Logical progression through stages. why of the narrative. instructions. what. “Fred ran into a wall. “Now I’m getting to the good part” Internal evaluation: Evaluative comment occurring at the same time as events in the narrative sequence  Intensifying evaluation: Adding detail and vividness e.g. and the ideologies that are often inherent in these Narrating: When a speaker talks for an extended period Labov’s narrative categories: Analyse oral accounts of narrative event  Abstract: The indication that a narrative is about to start and the speaker wants the listeners attention  Orientation: The who. Set the scene and provides further contextual information for the listener  Complicating action: Main body providing a range of narrative detail  Resolution: The final events to give the narrative closure  Evaluation: Reactions  Coda: Sign that the narrative is complete External evaluation: Evaluative comment outside the narrative sequence e.g. can be chronological or non-chronological Academic articles. often used when giving advice or instruction Transactional speech: There is a purpose to the conversation e. guides Product advertisements Breaks down key ideas into constituent parts. use of imperatives to instruct. witness accounts Didactic: To-the-point tone of voice. where. small talk/everyday language use Discourse analysis: How texts present information in order to create identities for particular individuals or institutions. newspaper editorials Novels. evaluates and explores Details a series of events.

personal reference to a story/memory First person: Discourse that uses ‘I’ or ‘We’ etc. yeah. and complete an idea together e. “whisk these together” Juxtaposition: Placing two or more things together. right then. A: “Hello. get people to do something Speech act: Something that happens as a direct outcome of an exchange (only applicable to spoken language) e. Second person: Discourse that uses ‘you’ etc. Discourse feature Back-channelling Discourse marker Fillers Description A feature of speaker support. Explicative evaluation: Explaining reasons for narrative events e. because he was always noisy” Adjacency pair: Two utterances by different speakers which have a natural and logical link. Examples Mmm.g. “Fred annoyed his mum.g. especially in order to suggest a link between them or emphasize the contrast between them e.g. OK OK. non-verbal utterances to show attention or agreements Signal a shift in conversation and topic areas Non-verbal sounds which act as pauses in speech. so.g. um . usually cooperatively Initiation-response-feedback: Triadic structure in speech that allows the first speaker to feedback on the response of a second speaker Insertion sequence: Additional sequence in the body of an exchange structure Powerful participants: Those who hold some degree of status in a conversation and can to some extent control its direction and the potential for speakers to contribute Prolix: When a speaker holds the floor in a conversation Taciturn: When a speaker is quieter in a conversation/doesn’t contribute as much Influential power: Power used to influence or persuade others Instrumental power: Power used to maintain and enforce authority. how are you?” B: “Fine thank you!” Turn-taking: The sharing or speaking roles. but Er. ‘building rapport’ Anecdote: A short. Third person: Discourse that uses ‘she’ or ‘they’ etc. “This goodly summer with your winter mix’d” Rapport: A friendly relationship between people.

something.Hedging False starts/repairs Skip connectors Fixed expression Vague expression Ellipsis Tag Questions Deixis May signal speaker uncertainty A strategy used to avoid directness or to minimise a potentially facethreatening act. yesterday. can be even/uneven to achieve different effects . these. they Now. A repair return to correct a previous utterance A return to a previous topic of conversation Conventional and routine expression in colloquial communication. you. could. thing Just seen Jack (ellipsis I’ve) Tonight. “Here’s mom’s” (Text 18) Poetry Terminology Caesurae: Mid-line pauses used to break up the flow of the poem Metre: The pattern of rhythm. a negative particle and a pronoun Pointing words in a perceptual. 8pm (ellipsis I’ll meet you…at…) You did really well didn’t you? It was tomorrow wasn’t it? I. that. possibly Modal verbs such as: will. today Here. this. at the end of the day Anything. Commonly features epistemic modality When a speaker begins to speak. temporal or spatial dimension Non-verbal occurrences Non-fluency features Non-sequitur A statement that appears unrelated to a statement that it follows Kind of. deliberately non-committal expression in informal contexts Omissions of words for economical purposes or to avoid awkward repetition Consist of an auxiliary verb. might It began er Arsenal kicked off the second half (false start It began) He sorry she broke the vase (repair she from he) Anyway coming back to our original discussion As a matter of fact. me. sometimes metaphorical Similar to hedging. those Pauses. hesitations and repetitions which occur in spontaneous speech “Yes I got you a big bag I think it will be a help to you”. basically. perhaps. pauses then recommences. sort of. there. maybe.

Half-rhyme: An imperfect rhyme where there is some similarity in the sound but not a full repetition of the stressed vowels as found in a full rhyme Enjambment/Elision: The continuation of one line of poetry onto the next without a pause or break Iambic pentameter: The most common rhythm in English. sounds like flowing spoken English End-stopped stanzas: When a stanza ends in a full stop .