AS English Literature and Language Glossary of Terms

All terminology for AS Level English Literature and Language

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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
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
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
Jargon: Specialist terminology that may exclude others
Colloquialism: Established set of terms used in everyday language
Slang: Colloquial language particular to individuals or groups
Intertextuality: References to other texts within another e.g. in `Naughty But Nice' and `Titus'
Amelioration: To improve the meaning of a word e.g. nice (used to mean silly)

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Pejoration: To reduce a word to a lower/ less respectable meaning e.g. bitch
Narrowing: To restrict the meaning of a word e.g. accident
Broadening: To widen the meaning of a word e.g. call
Borrowing: The process by which a word is absorbed into another language e.g. cuisine
Blending: A word made by putting together parts of other words e.g. brunch
Compounding: Joining together two words e.g.…read more

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Reflexive Myself, himself, themselves
Demonstrati Those, this, these, that
Relative Who, whom, which
Types of Function Examples
Proper Refers to names of people or places Paris, London
Abstract Refers to states, feelings and concepts without a Pain, happiness
physical existence
Concrete Refers to objects that have a physical existence Countable: table
Non-countable: furniture
Types of Function Examples
Material Describe actions or events Hit, run, eat, push, read, hold
Relational Describe states of being or used to identify Be, appear, seem, become
Mental…read more

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Euphemism: A socially acceptable word or phrase to avoid talking about something potentially
Dysphemism: A harsh, `to-the-point' and perhaps taboo term, sometimes used for a dark
humorous effect
Antonym: Words with opposite semantic value
Complementary: Truly opposite antonyms e.g. true-false, man-woman
Gradable: Antonyms that are not exactly opposite but can be considered in terms of degree of
quality e.g. beautiful-ugly, narrow-wide
Hyponymy: The term for the hierarchical structure that exists between lexical items.…read more

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Grammar and Syntax
Morphology: The study of the formation of words from smaller units called morphemes
Morpheme: Smallest unit of meaning.…read more

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Semi-auxiliary: A combination of a primary auxiliary and another verb part and `to' e.g. "be supposed to"
Catenative verb: A verb that can attach to another to form a chain, often use `to' e.g. "She appeared to
run away," "He got to play for the rugby team," "You seemed to like it here"
Modifier: A word or phrase that affects the meaning of another e.g.…read more

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Compound-complex sentence: A sentence containing at least two main clauses and at least one
subordinate clause e.g.…read more

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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
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…read more

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Cultural model: Organisational structure based on shared and agreed criteria by groups of people within a
Convention: An agreed or shared feature
Parenthesis: Adding in additional information through the use of brackets
Discourse structure: The method that explains how texts are put together
Discourse Key Features Examples
List/instructions Logical progression through stages, use of Recipes, instructions, guides
imperatives to instruct, guide
Problem-solution Identifies a problem Product advertisements
Analysis Breaks down key ideas into constituent parts, Academic articles, newspaper
evaluates and explores editorials…read more

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Adjacency pair: Two utterances by different speakers which have a natural and logical link, and complete an
idea together e.g.…read more


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