Welcome to the most important booklet that you’ll get all year!!! The words contained in this glossary only provide the basis for quality analysis. Do not make the mistake of assuming that one need only learn a proportion in order to grade well in all assessments on an A-‐level English Language course. All terms MUST be learnt as early as possible; it is evidently better to be as familiar as you can with the terms. Read this over and over, get your family or friends to test you, practise attributing these terms to texts you read... whatever it takes, just make sure you learn these terms (of which there are approximately 200…YAY!).
Common noun – a naming word for a thing that is tangible, e.g. chair, penguin, man, arsonist, murderer, ghost, crumpet, trumpet. Abstract noun – a naming word for an idea, concept, state of being or belief, e.g. tidiness, sadness, antidisestablishmentarianism, love, politics, Marxism. Proper noun – a naming word for a specific example of a common noun (often are names of places or specific people), e.g. Bob, Eiffel Tower, Burnley, Wayne Rooney. Verb – a word that represents an action or process: in simple terms a ‘doing’ word. Active verb – a word that represents a physical action, e.g. jump, run, kill, slap, kiss, make-‐love, wallop, sleep. Stative verb – a word that represents a process that is often only mental, e.g. think, love, ponder, believe, (to) fear. Auxiliary verb – a verb that has to be used with another verb in order to create present participles or the future tense, e.g. “DID you go?”; “I AM going”; you WILL go”. Modal verb – an auxiliary verb that express a degree of either possibility or necessity, e.g. might, could, must, should, may. Adjective – a describing word that modifies a noun. Adverb – a describing word that modifies all types of word, excluding nouns. Superlative – an adjective that displays the most extreme value of its quality, e.g. most, biggest, smallest, worst, furthest, farthest, quietest, zaniest. Most of the time superlatives end with ‘-‐est’. Comparative – an adjective that relates one thing in some way to another and usually ends in ‘er’: bigger, smaller, further, farther, quieter, zanier. Definite article – the. Indefinite article – a or an. Pronoun – a word that takes the place of a noun in a sentence, e.g. him, her, it, he, she, I, you, me (self-‐reflexive pronoun), they. First person pronoun – I, and the first person plural: we, our, us. Second person pronoun – you.
Third person pronoun – him, her, he, she, it, and the third person plural: them, those. Possessive pronoun (1st, 2nd or 3rd person depending) – my, mine, our, your, his, hers, theirs. Demonstrative pronoun – this, that, those. Monosyllabic lexis – words of one syllable. Polysyllabic lexis – words of two or more syllable. Imperative sentence mood – when a sentence is issuing a command. Declarative sentence mood – when a sentence is making a statement. Interrogative sentence mood – when a sentence is asking a question. Exclamatory sentence mood – when a sentence conveys a strong sense of emotion, sense of alarm or overly strong emphasis. Register – the level of formality of a text. Tenor – the tone, or the relationship between author and reader and how it is created. Attitudes – The opinions expressed in the text. Content – What the text is about. Context – Things outside the text which may shape its meaning, e.g. when it was written, who wrote it. Form – the structure and shape of a text. Themes – the recurring ideas and images in a text. Colloquialism – Informal language usage, e.g. bloke, fella, lass, bog (toilet), arse, bum, grub, scram, Exclamation – a one word sentence (always a minor sentence) with an exclamation mark at the end. Ellipsis – when parts of a written structure are missing. In texts, sometimes they are indicated by three full stops in a row, denoting perhaps a significant pause... Do you see?
Syntax – the way words form sentences (the ordering of them to create meaning). Parenthesis – an aside within a text created by sectioning off extra information between brackets, dashes or between two commas. Parenthetic commas, dashes or brackets – see above. Rhetorical question – a question designed not to be answered, perhaps to pique interest or make a point; a stylistic choice. Hypophora – when a rhetorical question is immediately followed by an answer in a text, e.g. “Is this the best film ever? You bet it is!” Hyperbole – deliberate over-‐exaggeration of things for effect. Litotes – deliberate downplaying of things for effect. Parallelism/patterning – the creation of patterns in a text, through repetition of words or phrases (phonological parallelism) or by balancing meanings (semantic parallelism) for deliberate effect. Repetition – the repetition of words or phrases (see parallelism) Tricolon/tripling – grouping in threes, either through repetition or through structures (either within a sentence or paragraph). This can be for emphasis or to add a sense of gathering momentum to a point being made. Imagery – a descriptive or metaphorical use of language to create a vivid picture. Pre-‐modification – a descriptive technique where the descriptive words come before the thing they are describing, e.g. the big, fat wad of cash spewed from his inadequate pocket. Post-‐modification -‐ a descriptive technique where the descriptive words come after the thing they are describing, e.g. the wad of cash, big and fat, spewed from his pocket. Metaphor – a comparison that states that something is actually something else. “Take a leaf out of her book” or “I’m a demon driver”. Simile – a comparison that states that something is ‘like’ or ‘as’ something else. “I drive like a demon” or “he’s as big as a house”. Synecdoche – a metaphor that states that something is only a small constituent part of itself, even though we commonly understand otherwise, e.g. “a new set of wheels” (car) or “he’s behind bars” (prison)
Analogy – explaining something in terms of something else. Allusion – to refer to something indirectly or metaphorically. Pathetic Fallacy – when the environment or weather mirrors emotions. Personification – a device in which the non-‐human is given personal and human qualities, e.g. the trees danced in the wind. Extended metaphor – when a metaphor continues throughout a text with recurring references to the compared item. Homeric/epic simile – see extended metaphor and apply to simile. The ‘Homeric’ part refers to Homer’s Odyssey to connote length and recurrence. Symbolism – using figurative and metaphoric language, items or incident in a way that means that certain things represent other things, e.g. a colour could represent the sadness of a character or a volcano erupting could symbolise the political infighting of the townspeople beneath the volcano. Lexis – another word for the word ‘word’!!! Field specific lexis – the language of a certain area (be it vocation, activity or subject etc), e.g. field specific lexis for computing would include mouse, monitor, RAM, gigabyte etc; field specific lexis for English Language would include everything in this glossary. Lexical set – the selection of relative lexemes from a text. One can take a lexical set of field specific lexis, modifiers, proper nouns… or whatever would support a statement an English student would like to make about a text. Lexical bundle – a recurrent sequence of words or a collection of words that, through repetition of use, just naturally go together, e.g. “I don’t think…”, “would you mind…”, “I don’t want to.” Semantics – the meaning of words. Acronym – words created by the initials of other grouped words, e.g. the UN, NATO, RSPCA. Synonym – an alternative word choice that has the same or a very similar meaning, e.g. a synonym of horror is fright. Homophone – different words that sound exactly the same when said out loud (be very careful of these with regards to your spelling), e.g. they’re, their, there; new, knew, no, know; need, knead, kneed; led, lead.
Homonym – when one word has multiple meanings, e.g. great can mean both size and positivity; cool can mean both coldness and a ‘cool dude’; heavy can mean physical weight or the seriousness of a situation. Archaism – a word that, over time, has fallen out of common usage. Older ones include zounds, thus, betwixt etc, however slang can become archaic as new generations opt to choose new terms for things: dig it, bodacious and radical are perhaps examples of this. Juxtaposition – the placing together of elements (whether text, image etc) for some conscious effect, whether that be complimentary or contrasting. Antithesis – when ideas contrast or oppose one another; a semantic contrast in a text. Often used in reasoned arguments or to create emphasised contrast. Binary opposites – elements of a text that hold opposite ends of a notional scale e.g. hot/cold, big/small, loud/quiet. Oxymoron – The use of apparently contradictory words in a phrase, e.g. peaceful war, hot ice. Collocations – words that, through usage just naturally go together. We collectively understand they are inextricably linked, e.g. Laurel and Hardy, fish and chips, salt and vinegar, John, Paul, George and Ringo, fire and ice, broad grin, broad backed. Asyndetic Listing – the listing of elements that excludes any form of co-‐ordinating conjunction. The prefix ‘a’ basically means ‘absence of’. Syndetic listing – the listing of elements that features a co-‐ordinating conjunction. Phonological features – any devices used that relate to sound, e.g. alliteration, repetition. Onomatopoeia – when a word is spelled exactly as the same as the sound it describes… kaboom, drip, plop, quack, miaow. Consonance – the repetition of double consonants in the middle of words, e.g. I’d better buy more butter before I go out and post these letters. Assonance – the repetition of vowel sounds, e.g. you should wear a hood while you chop the wood good. Assonance can create rhyme. Alliteration (guttural, lateral, sibilant, bilabial/plosive, dental, aspirant, fricative) – the repetition of consonant sounds in a text, often at the beginning of words. You must always correctly label the exact type of alliteration as listed above.
Plot – the structured cause and effect of incidents experienced by a protagonist that makes a story interesting: the exposition, the complication and the resolution. Exposition – the parts of a story (usually early on) where the writer gets across all the information about the situation of a character, who they are, where they are and what the ‘status quo’ is before the plot begins in earnest. It should always be as subtle as possible, which usually means avoiding expressing exposition through dialogue. Narrator – the ‘voice’ that tells a fictional story. Can be a first, second or third person narrator (see personal pronouns to find out more). Protagonist – the character the reader is meant to identify with the most and follow through the story. The hero (or anti-‐hero). Anti-‐hero – a protagonist who isn’t always morally virtuous but has enough qualities to endear themselves to a reader. Antagonist – the character who opposes the goals of the protagonist. Dialogue – the presentation of character’s speech. Monologue -‐ a type of poem or a prolonged piece of drama where one ‘character’ delivers a speech that reveals their innermost feelings. Dramatic monologues can infer an addressee or audience who the speaking character is relating to. Soliloquy – see monologue. Dramatic irony – When the audience is aware of more than one of the characters in either a play or a piece of fiction to create a dramatic effect. Ambiguity – when there can be more than one possible meanings or outcomes in a story, creating a sense of intrigue. Anthropomorphism – when an animal takes on the characteristics of a human being, e.g. wearing clothes, buying cakes and talking. Suspension of disbelief – the reader’s ability to take for granted fantastical aspects of fiction in order to enjoy the story. Genre – category of fiction or type of text, e.g. romance, horror, thriller, magazines, etc. Audience – who the text is aimed at. Purpose – the reason the text has been produced, e.g. to entertain, inform etc.
Foreshadowing – the hinting at things to come through early elements of a story. Mimesis – mimicry. A story, for example, may mimic the gasping breath of a pursued protagonist by using short, sharp, sentences and lots of aspirant alliteration. Pastiche – a piece of art or writing that imitates a form or genre to generate humour. Satire – a piece of writing or art that pokes fun at the societal establishment. Neologism – a newly invented word. Portmanteau – a newly invented word, created by merging two words together, for example snozcumber (from schnoz and cucumber) or chillax (from ‘chill out’ and ‘relax’). Compound words – a word created by utilising two existing words separated by a hyphen, e.g. global-‐village, bone-‐headed, to go-‐straight. There are compound versions of nouns, adjective, adverbs, verbs. Clipping – colloquial omission of parts of words to create a more casual alternative, e.g. ‘cause, bra, pram. Rhetoric – an example of persuasive language, arguably including advertising. Stereotype – a label for a social group, utilising certain characteristics of group members and applying it to everyone within the grouping. Taboo language – words that are considered socially unacceptable to say in polite, civilised society, e.g. swear words or words that are politically incorrect. Connotation – the associations that can be gleaned from words. Denotation – the literal meaning of the words. Irony – language that conveys a meaning other to than that literally expressed by the words, usually for humorous effect. Sarcasm – the use of language in an ironic way with the express purpose of offending or wounding the recipient in some way. Euphemism – the polite way to say something not normally considered socially appropriate, usually to refer to going to the toilet, death etc. I need a tinkle, I need the little boys’ room, he’s pushing up daisies, she’s gone to meet her maker. Dysphemism – an unnecessarily extreme way of saying something, not normally socially appropriate. It could incorporate taboo language or contain too much
information than necessary. You’re husband had his head blown off and there was blood everywhere. Headline – the large text/title of a newspaper article. Often these can incorporate word play and alliteration. Tagline – beneath the headline, there may be a slightly smaller sentence, designed to clarify the gist of the story. Subheading – usually a one or two word, emboldened phrase that breaks up the main article, often foreshadowing what is to come later in the story. Caption – part of a multi-‐modal text, these will be juxtaposed with an image. Often they are used to say something witty or humorous, maybe punning or taking out of context the image in question. Grab quote – an enlarged example taken from the text, usually a sensationalised piece. It attempts to draw the reader’s eye, engender curiosity, and thus make the reader read the story. Slogan – a catchy line, often a minor sentence, that sums up an advert, sticks in the mind, and makes the product, ultimately, seem more appealing. Pun – a play on words: “SupercallygoballisticCelticareatrocious” Caledonian Thistle beat Celtic 5-‐0; “Celebrity Big Blubber” Wally the Whale dies in the Thames, right by the Celebrity Big Brother house. Journalese – the sensationalised language that is particular to tabloid newspapers, e.g. slam, probe, spat (as in fight), shocker. Multiple modifiers – doubling and trebling up of adjectives is used frequently in tabloid newspapers and also other genres of text. Cliché – when language is used over and over until it becomes so well known that it loses its original potency, e.g. at the end of the day, I’m over the moon, he was as quiet as a mouse. Idiom – a saying, often a cliché where the words that make up the saying do not have the same meaning as the overall semantic effect, e.g. I’m over the moon; you’re taking the Mickey; he’s pushing up daisies; you’re having a laugh. Malapropism – when a speaker accidentally uses the wrong word that sounds the same, or like it should belong in their sentence/utterance: The world’s my lobster; I will illiterate you from my memory. Text speak – the phonetic spelling of text too long to type out in full on a mobile phone.
Orthography – the method of spelling/correct spelling – we would refer to the ‘non-‐standard orthography’ of words from the past in comparison to how we write them today. Etymology – the origin of a word or the history of how it came to be. Ampersand – the symbol “&”, arguably more prominent in the past. Non standard capitalisation – you may see in very old texts, capital letters being allocated mid-‐sentence to words other than proper nouns, perhaps for emphasis, or perhaps arbitrarily. Look at the specific text in question and put forward your own reasoning for it. Archaism/archaic language – a word that has fallen out of common usage or is old fashioned. These can also include slang words that have fallen out of the youth lexicon. Anachronistic language – language that seems ‘out of time’. For example, something may be written in a very old fashioned way for stylistic reasons, say a fantasy style novel, yet it may contain dialogue that would appeal to a modern young audience, using slang etc. It’s like when you spot an extra wearing a digital watch in a historical movie. Semantic shift – the shift in a word’s meaning over time, e.g. ‘sick’ evolves to become something other than illness but a slang reference to something positive.. Inverted syntax – when the ordering of words is rearranged to create an alternative weighting to a sentence. Think of Yoda on Star Wars – “Good with the force, he is.” Slang – colloquial language, often coined by the younger generations to imprint their own social identity on the language and differentiate themselves from the perceived establishment. Globalised vocabulary – in the 20th Century, in the advent of mass-‐media, social mobilization and international travel, there have been an influx of new words and phrases that we now take for granted, e.g. kebab, cab, sushi, karaoke, knish, talk to the hand, zombie, savoir-‐faire.
Discourse – the study of spoken language. Mode – the mode of the text is how it is presented. Is it in the written or spoken mode? Whichever mode it is, it will be governed by differing rules and structures. Vocabulary – the amount of words available to an individual. Paralinguistic features – literally ‘beyond language’. The things that aid communication but don’t literally constitute language, e.g. body language, facial expressions, laughter, sighs, whispering. Prosodic features – the ‘sound effects’ of spoken language. Things like stress, intonation and pitch. Stress – the emphasis placed on certain words, through volume, significant pauses beforehand, or inflexion. Intonation – the rise and fall of an individual’s natural speaking voice or the variation or ‘tune’ to keep listeners interested. These naturally differ from nation to nation as different languages have different intonation qualities. Pitch – the rise or fall of the voice. High pitch is squeaky and low pitch is deep. Turn taking – co-‐ordinated and rule governed co-‐operation between two or more participants of a conversation. Adjacency pair – a moment in turn taking where one utterance constrains the response in some way, e.g. a question leads to an answer; a suggestion leads to an acceptance or declination. Back channelling – the process of giving feedback through encouraging noises and positive comments when a speaker is talking to encourage them. Running repair – the process of socially organising a conversation if two people find that they have been talking simultaneously. Topic marker – an utterance that establishes the topic of a conversation. Topic shifter – an utterance that moves a conversation on to another topic, e.g. “Anyway... “ Interrupted construction – the breakdown of an utterance where half way through the speaker will completely change tact, focus or even topic and move onto something else, sometimes abandoning the original utterance mid word. Explain in detail how these have occurred.
False starts – The speaker realises the beginning of an utterance isn’t working and so effectively re-‐starts by rephrasing. Hesitation indicators – moments in discourse that indicate that the speaker is in some way playing for time. This can be seen in certain forms of stuttering and in fillers such as um, err and ahh when the speaker is thinking of the next thing to say. Fillers – the insertion of words, phrases or noises into a speaker’s discourse, e.g. like, y’know, sort of, right. These can be due to the individual’s own idiolect or convey some subliminal conversational purpose, depending on the context. Latch-‐ons – when a speaker takes their turn immediately after the preceding speaker has finished speaking leaving no, or little, pause. This can be due to an attempt for conversational dominance or a degree of familiarity between the speakers, among other reasons. Overlaps – when one speaker speaks over another. Glottal stops – the omission of (usually) dental sounds in the middle of words like butter, letter, better etc, in pronunciation. Occasionally these can occur at the ends of words like ‘what’. Non-‐fluency features – any feature which would indicate that the speaker is not speaking with fluency for whatever reason, e.g. someone might stammer if they are under severe pressure, or a foreign speaker may invert syntax or elide certain words from their utterances. Tag question – a question tagged onto the end of an statement, e.g ‘It’s cold, isn’t it?’ Vocative – a direct reference to another speaker in discourse, e.g. “Bob, can you...” Elision – the omission of a vowel or syllable in the pronunciation of a word… OR the omission of a vowel at the end of a word when the subsequent word begins with a vowel (as apparent in northern pronunciation), e.g. “it’s either one or t’other.” Code switching – the ability of a speaker to alter the register or clarity of their speech to suit a different social situation. Received Pronunciation – the typical pronunciation associated with the social elite of Britain. The Queen’s English etc. Accent – The manner of pronunciation particular to a certain geographical region. Regional Dialect – the actual words used and the spoken grammar which is particular to a certain geographical region.
Sociolect – the vocabulary and spoken grammar which is particular to a certain social group. Idiolect – the speech patterns of an individual. Alternate rhyme Lines of poetry where the rhyme is on every other line (abab) Caesura A mid-‐line pause Couplet A two line verse (often rhyming) End-‐focus A change in the structure of the sentence to place emphasis on a closing sentence element. Enjambment Run-‐on lines Eye rhyme Where the rhyme looks like it should rhyme but the sound is not exactly the same. foregrounding A change in the structure of the sentence to place emphasis on an opening sentence element Form The structure and shape of the text Iambic A unit of poetic meter containing one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable -‐/ Internal rhyme Where the rhyming sound occurs within a line of verse Octet An eight line verse Pentameter A unit of poetic meter containing five feet (10 syllables in total) Petrarchan or Italian A poem of 14 lines, divided into an octet and a sestet, sonnet written in iambic pentameter, rhyming abbaabbba cdecde (sestet may vary) Quatrain A four-‐line verse Rhythm The pattern of syllables and stresses within poetry Sestet A six-‐line verse Shakespearean or A poem of 14 lines, divided into three quatrains and a English sonnet couplet, written in iambic pentameter, rhyming abab cdcd efef gg Stanza The division of lines in a poem, also called a verse Verse Type The type of poem e.g. sonnet, lyric, ballad, ode, narrative poem etc. Volta The turning point in a sonnet
When analysing a text, the worst thing you could possibly do is divestraight in and start analysing. There are things you need to considerbefore you start writing in order for you to successfully structureyour work and analyse in sufficient depth to succeed on this courseto the required level.First, you must GASP at the text, whatever it may be. You’ve probablyguessed that GASP is one of those horrible acronyms, but it should help youremember the process of initial consideration.G – Genre – what type of text is it? Is it a leaflet, advertisement, piece ofrhetoric, transcript of somebody singing in the bath, shopping list, or maybe apiece of high literature… what is it? Once, you’ve answered this question, youshould begin thinking about the general linguistic conventions of such a text.A – Audience – who is it written for (specifically)? So, it’s an advert forchocolate, for example, but who is the target audience? Is the text trying toappeal to men and women, old or young, rich or poor?S – Subject – what is the text about? If it is an article, what is the subjectand will that have an effect on the language used?P– Purpose – what is it trying to do overall?So imagine if you were confronted with, say, an introduction to a Jamie Olivercook book - you may be able to make the following statement:(G) The text is the introduction to a cookbook by Jamie Oliver where hedirectly addresses the reader and welcomes them in a friendly tone. (A) Itis written for people with a direct interest in cooking and, because of hisinformal and approachable manner on television, it could be assumed thata lot of people would read this who might be initially intimidated by thenotion of cooking. (S) The text details the contents of the book and whatthe reader can expect from the overall publication. (P) Overall it isattempting to entice perhaps browsers in bookshops to make a purchase,or for people who have bought the book to take a chance on some of themore difficult recipes within.
After thinking about the GASP you need to write your analytical essay. To do this you will need to apply the CLIPO framework. CLIPO is not a hard and fast rule that must be applied; however you must include all its elements in some form within your analytical work. C – CONTEXT – you need to begin your essay with a rundown of the contextual factors that will shape the thrust of your discussion. Who has written the text, when was it written etc? In essence, you can make this opening to the essay something resembling the GASP paragraph. L – LEXIS – or the ‘language’ used. Make analytical comments on grammar, syntax, imagery, lexical choices etc. I – INTERACTIONAL FEATURES - how does the text interact with the audience. Look at the graphology. Are there any typographical features. Does it address the audience directly using first person pronouns? Does it utilise images? Are modal elements juxtaposed for effect? P – PHONOLOGICAL FEATURES – are there any sound effects utilised by the text? Is there alliteration, assonance, consonance, onomatopoeia, phonetic spelling etc? O – OVERVIEW – sum up your findings and perhaps evaluate the effectiveness of all the features that you have analysed in relation to the points you made in the CONTEXT section, referring once again to GASP. In theory, now you have the makings of a decent essay. However, there is one last framework that you have to nowapply to this ‘skeleton’ in order to flesh it out and proclaim ‘I’m a top notch essay!’
At school, you will probably have been told to use POINT, EVIDENCE &EVALUATION when analysing texts.We’re going to be a little bit more grown up here at College (well, a bitanyway) so from now on we’ll use CQA. Once, you’ve GASP(ed) andplanned your analytical essay with CLIPO, every single point you makemust follow thusly:C – COMMENT – okay, so you’ve spotted a feature of language so nowyou need to mention it. Go on – write a declarative sentence. That’s all youneed to do. Just come out and say it!Q – QUOTE – oh? Does the text really utilise synecdoche to create aparallel image to the central notion that the concept of robots symbolise awhole totalitarian society of emotionless drudgery. What an excellentcomment. Although an examiner will always want proof that you knowwhat you’re talking about and that you aren’t trying to merely create agood impression with waffled terms. Prove it! Follow up your comment witha direct quote from the text to support your astute claims.A – ANALYSIS – Going good so far. You’ve commented well and proved itwith a quote. Now analyse the quote in depth. Discuss the effect of thenotion you’ve outlaid in the comment and relate it to GASP. For example,why is it using metaphor? How does the metaphor work? Why will theintended audience appreciate this particular metaphor? Is it a cliché? If it isa rather commonly understood metaphor, used in wider circles, then whateffect does this have on the audience? Is it usual for this type of text toutilise imagery like this?This is how you write a good essay. This is how youget the top grades. This booklet is just about thebest thing ever …remember …love it, hug it …and it’ll just hug you right back.