English Language Key Terms


AS English Language Flashcards on English Language Key Terms, created by emilyralphs on 22/04/2014.
Flashcards by emilyralphs, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by emilyralphs almost 10 years ago

Resource summary

Question Answer
Abbreviation Shortened form of a word
Accommodation Theory When someone changes their language in the style of another participant (vice versa)
Acronym An abbreviation formed by initials
Active Voice The voice used to indicate that the grammatical subject of the verb is performing the action (e.g. the boy threw the ball)
Addresser/Addressee The one whom something is addressed by/to
Adjacency Pair The two halves in an interaction (e.g. "Knock knock" and "Who's there?")
Adverbial Gives us additional information on the time, place or manner (e.g. ...in May)
Agenda-Setting Deciding when/where things must be discussed
Antonym A word that means the opposite to another (e.g. big and small)
Audience Spectators or listeners at a performance or the aimed body
Backchannel Behaviour A noise, gesture or expression to indicate that the listener is playing attention to the speaker
Blend A new word combined by two existing ones
Borrowing The adoption of root words from other languages to create new words
Clause A group of words containing a subject and its verb (e.g. It was late when he arrived)
Collocation Words that are typically found together
Colloquial Informal language
Compounding Creating new words by joining others
Connotation An idea/feeling a word creates
Consonant A speech where the breath is at least partially obstructed and can be added to a vowel to form a syllable
Context Circumstances of the text (mode, field, function and tenor)
Convergence More towards the way other people speak to match another group or social identity with purpose to express shared identity
Covert Prestige Pronunciation previously inferior that has become superior
Declarative A statement
Deixis Relies on context to give meaning
Denotation The literal meaning of a word
Derivation (affixing) Taking a basic word and adding prefixes and suffixes to create a new, related word
Descriptive Approach Describes in a descriptive way the grammar in use
Discourse (A word with several meanings) Including the study of the whole text, structure and underlying ideology
Discourse Marker Words that mark divisions between the parts of communication (e.g. 'well and 'right')
Divergence Adjusting your speech to sound different, trying to express seperation
Elision The omission of a sound or syllable when speaking (e.g. I'm or let's )
Ellipsis The omission from speech or writing of a word or words that are unnecessary or able to be understood from contextual clues.
Etymology The study of the origins of words
Face The self image someone presents publicly
Field The broader topic in which something is created
Figurtative Words that aren't used literally, such as in metaphors and similes, often suggesting a comparison between two things
Filler Sounds or words that are spoken to fill potential gaps in utterances (e.g. "er", "um" and "y'know")
First Person Pronoun I/me/we/us
Footing (Bound with tenor) It's where you find yourself in relation to other people
Formality The way people adjust the tone of their language to suit the situation (also register)
Framing Move Discourse marker
Function The purpose of something, beyond its structure
Glottal Stop A speech sound produced by a momentary closure of the glottis, followed by an explosive
Grammar The structure or form of language within a sentence
Grapheme The term for basic unit written in langauge
Graphology The visual aspects of texts
Grice's Maxims Quantity (not saying too much/little), Quality (be truthful), Relevance (be relevant) and Manner (be clear)
Hedge A word or phrase that softens the force with which something is said
Idiolect Language or speech patterns
Imperative An order/command
Implicature What the speaker or write is implying beyond the literal sense
Informality A manner of communication that is spontaneous, private and reliant on the content of participants relationship
Intensifier An adverb used to intensify or modify a verb
Interrogative A grammatical form conventionally expressing a question
Interruption Stopping someone speaking by speaking oneself
Intonation The rise and fall of the voice in pitch
Jargon Specific to particular subjects, usually difficult to understand
Joo's 5 Levels of Formality Frozen, Formal, Consultative, Casual and Intimate
Key Constituent An essential part of something, whole
Lexeme Stem of a word (go)
Lexis Words
Literal Meaning The most basic sense of a word
Marker of Sympathetic Circularity Check the receiver remains engaged in the conversation (like backchanneling)
Metaphor A comparison between two seemingly unrelated things. They create a much stronger, more definite image than similes as the object is transformed into the other (e.g. She was my rock)
Mitigated Imperative A grammatical form expressing an order in a subtle manner (e.g. Please mow the lawn)
MLU (Mean Length of Utterance) A statistical term for the assessing in a conversation how much each person speaks
Modal Auxiliary Verb A verb that modifies the meaning of the main verb in a clause (will, would, should, ought to...)
Modal Expression Indicates the attitude of the speaker towards the situation
Mode The text type/way that language is transmitted from person to person
Monosyllabic (Of a word or utterance) consisting of one syllable
Morpheme The end you stick on (morphs the word) (e.g. I make, he makes, I am making)
Morphology The study of word formation
Neologism Making a new word or expression
Nomilanisation The process of transforming verbs into nouns
Onomatopoeia When a word reflects the sound of an object or action to which it refers
Overlapping Speech When one person starts speaking before the other has finished
Passive Voice When the subject of the sentence isn't mentioned (e.g. You will be prosecuted if...)
Past Tense When a verb expresses something that happened previously
Phatic Referring to the social part of communication, rather than its mesaage
Phoneme The smallest sound in language
Phonology Study of sounds in language
Phrase A small group of words (or single) forming a grammatical unit within clauses and sentences
Pitch The level of voice, the highness or lowness of a tone
Post-Modification Putting the describing part after the noun (e.g. the husky bloke who lives on my street)
Pragmatics The study of how meanings are conveyed in social contexts of language use
Prefix A morpheme added to the beginning of a word to modify its meaning
Pre-Modification Putting a word or words before a noun to build up a phrase
Prescriptive Approach Lays down the rules of 'correct grammar'
Present Tense The form or verb typically expressing something occurring or existing now
Prestige Pronunciation considered superior
Received Pronunciation (RP) The accent provided as the standard pronunciation of individual words in a dictionary, also recognized as a marker of social status
Register A form of language appropriate to a particular situation or context, including its mode, tenor and function
Salutation A greeting
Schwa ə
Second Person Pronoun You/thee/thou
Semantic Field A group of words drawn from a particular area (e.g. food or colours)
Semantics The study of relationships between words and meanings
Slang Informal language, usually spoken, often short lived
Standard English The conventional and accepted forms of words and usage in the English Language
Stigmatised Language considered inferior
Stress Place emphasis on a word and syllable, in speech often perceived as increasedvolume
Structure The way that language is put together and given shape
Sub-text The literacy term for underlying (pragmatic) meanings within a text
Subject-Specific Lexis A group of words relating to particular topics
Suffix A morpheme added to the end of a word to modify its meaning
Synonym A word that has the same or similar meaning to another
Taboo Language Considered forbidden within a certain social circumstance because it's highly inappropriate
Tag Question A short interrogative structure attached to a declarative (e.g. "Nice day, isn't it?')
Tenor The relationship between the write/speaker and the audience, reflecting their roles and status
Terms of Address The manner in which someone refers to another, reflecting the nature of their relationship
Text A sequence of sentences or utterances in spoken, written, preened or electronic language
Text Structure The way that a text is put together and given shape, with the reference to the styles that receivers expect according to subject matter
Third Person Pronoun He/she/it/they
Transactional Language Language used to pass information
Turntaking The ways speakers exchange turns in a conversation
Utterance The physical realization of a sentence in its spoken or written form
Vowel The nucleus of a syllable, technically a speech sound produced by comparatively open configuration of the vowel tract
Word Class A category of words of similar function, such as a noun
Ambiguous Open to more than one interpretation; not having one obvious meaning
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