AS AQA English Language B Glossary/Revision Notes

A glossary of key terms for the AQA English Language B, Unit 1 Categorising Texts exam. These could be a form of notes also, as most of English Language is terminology and the key is remembering it!

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  • Created by: Rory
  • Created on: 19-12-12 18:35
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AS English Language Notes (in Glossary Form)
General Terms
Mode: Medium of communication e.g. speech or writing
Prototype: A `best fit' example of a particular category
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
Purpose: The reason a text is produced
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
Jargon: Specialist terminology that may exclude others
Colloquialism: Established set of terms used in everyday language
Slang: Colloquial language particular to individuals or groups
Personification: Giving human qualities to a non-human object
Hyperbole: Exaggeration
Rhetorical question: A question that does not require an answer
Lexis and Semantics
Rory Sheridan

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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 Description/Function Example
Noun Names of objects, feelings, attitudes, people Cottage, love
and places
Verb Shows actions, events or states of being, Seems, run
feeling or thinking
Adjective Adds detail to nouns Bleak
Adverb Adds detail to verbs Extraordinarily
Determiner Positioned in front of nouns to add detail…read more

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Base form: The simple form of an adjective e.g. small, beautiful
Comparative: The form used to compare two items, adjectives using ­er or combined with
`more' e.g. smaller, more beautiful
Superlative: Adjectives using ­est or combined with `most' e.g. smallest, most beautiful
Cohesion: A measure of how well a text fits together as a whole, its internal logic and
Referencing: When lexical items replace those already mentioned or about to be
mentioned e.g. `I believe him. Tony would never lie.…read more

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Metaphor: Use of a term to describe something that it does not denote, to suggest similar
qualities between the two
Simile: A comparison of one thing with another, using the words `like' or `as'
Grammar and Syntax
Noun phrase: Group of words centred around a head noun e.g. "The Times," "The noisy
"The pretty cottage by the sea"
Prepositional phrase: A phrase consisting of a preposition and an added noun phase e.g.…read more

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Primary auxiliary verb: Used to denote tense changes e.g. do, be, have
Semi-auxiliary: A combination of a primary auxiliary and another verb part and `to' e.g.
"be supposed to"
Modifier: A word or phrase that affects the meaning of another e.g. "The pink ribbon",
"Quite a well-kept garden", "She always goes jogging in the morning"
Active voice: Includes an actor/subject; verb phrase includes a finite present or past tense
verb e.g.…read more

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Sentence Mood Feature Example
Declarative Telling Before Easter, she had driven over to Paris
Interrogative Asking Is it done yet?
Imperative Inviting, demanding Look at the evidence
Phonetics and Phonology
Phoneme: Basic unit of sound from with language is created
Consonant Group Examples
Plosives b, p, t, d, k, g
Fricatives f, v, s, z, sh
Africates ch (church), dj (judge)
Nasals m, n, ng
Approximants r, j, w
Lexical onomatopoeia: Actual lexical items where they sound like the noise they make
e.g.…read more

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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, giving rise to an implied meaning e.g.…read more

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Narrative Details a series of events, can be Novels, witness accounts
chronological or non-chronological
Transactional speech: There is a purpose to the conversation e.g.…read more

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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
Speech act: Something that happens as a direct outcome of an exchange (only applicable to
spoken language) e.g. "whisk these together"
Juxtaposition: Placing two or more things together, especially in order to suggest a link
between them or emphasize the contrast between them e.g.…read more

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Ellipsis Omissions of words for Just seen Jack (ellipsis I've)
economical purposes or to Tonight, 8pm (ellipsis I'll
avoid awkward repetition meet…read more


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