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Superlative: An adjective indicating the highest degree, usually ending ­est.

Simple sentence: A sentence that contains only one clause.

Simile: A comparison that includes the words `like' or `as'.

Semantics: The study of word meanings.

Repair: In conversation, a repair resolves a problem that has arisen ­ e.g. speakers may…

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Standard English: The vocabulary and grammar associated with educated users of the language.

Sociolect: A variety of language (or dialect) used by a particular social group.

Passive voice: When the subject of a verb is the element affected by the action (e.g. `The burglar was
caught by the police').


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Morphology: The study of the structure of words.

Idiom: An expression whose meaning cannot be understood from the meanings of the individual
words that make up the expression.

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Morpheme: The smallest unit of language that expresses meaning or serves a grammatical function;
always a letter or group of letters.

Monosyllabic words: Words of one syllable.

Pejoration: A shift in the meaning of a word so that its meaning becomes less positive.

Modifier: A word that gives more information…

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Divergence: When the speech styles of two or more people move away from each other.

Compound: A word or expression formed from the combination of other words (e.g. `blackbird', or
`head waiter').

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Dialect: A variety of language with distinctive features of vocabulary, grammar and accent (e.g.
regional dialects).

Determiner: A word used before a noun to indicate quantity, identity or significance (e.g. `a', `the',

Descriptivism: An approach to the study of language that describes how language is used but does

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Asyndetic listing: Listing which does not involve the use of conjunctions.

Assonance: When the vowel sounds in the middle of two or more words are similar.

Antonym: A word that is opposite in meaning to another word.

Anaphoric reference: A word or expression in a text that refers back to…


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