English Language Frameworks

Definitions of the language frameworks for AS and A2 english Language 

  • Created by: Amy Watts
  • Created on: 10-05-12 14:34


Lexis - The vocabulary system; meaning at word and phrase level

Semantics - Meaning and how it is generated

Grammar - The structural realtionships within and between sentences and utterances

Phonology - The sounds of words, how they are pronouced and how they are described, including elements of prosody (stress on syllables)

Pragmatics - The ways in which social conventions and implied meanings are encoded in spoken and written discourse

Discourse - Longer stretches of text, looking particuarly at aspects of cohesion (ii) the way texts create identities for particular individuals, groups or instituitions, e.g. the discourse of law; the discourse of media

Graphology - Language as semiotic system  that creates meaning through textual design, signs and images

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Describes the vocabulary system of a language. 

Lexical choices help to create lexical cohesion within a text. This could be providing structure or across phrases and sentences.

Types of lexical conhesion include; referencing, substitution and ellipsis.

substitution: "my mobile phone is so out of date, i need to get a newer model." Here mobile phone is substituted for newer model to stop repetition and provide better cohesion.

Ellipses: involves omitting sets of elements. "where did you go on holiday?" "portugal". Omitted the words "i went to"  for better cohesion.

Lexical fields: lexical items that have the same semantic value.

Denotation - a strict 'dictionary' meaning of a lexical iterm

Connotation - Associated, symbolic meaning relying on culturally shared conventions

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Refers to the study of meaning and how meaning is created within a text.

Synonymy: lexical items that have generally equivalent meanings. However they may differ in their intensity, dialect, sociolect or formality. Context is important.

Antonymy: words with opposite meanings; can be complementary- true opposites (alive and dead, true and false)  They can also be gradable- (beautiful and ugly)

Hyponymy: A hierarchical structure existing between lexical items. Moving down the chain leads to a more specific lexical item. 


More general                                   More Specific


Figurative language: this can be through metaphors or similies etc. Conceptual metaphors are the way in which abstract terms are mapped on to physical entities through an underlying conceptual structure.  

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Framework of grammar can be divided into morphology and syntax.

Morphology: How words are formed from smaller units called morphemes.

Syntax: How lexical items are sequenced into larger units of language.

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Frameworks that look at the sounds of English. 

Phonology: conceptual study of the sound system

Phonetics: studies the actual sounds of speech, considering how sounds are physically articulated and language phenomena such as accents.

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Pragmatics is studying the way language and meaning rely on contextual information, shared knowledge and implication and inference

Implied meanings rely on implication on the part of the writer/speaker and on the reader to infer. Not all implied meanings are understood as intended and the listener/reader will choose the most relevant to them and the context.

Grice's Maxims: 1. Quantity - use an appropriate amount of detail. 2. Quality - speak the truth and do not knowingly mislead. 3. Relevance - keep what is being discussed relevant to the topic. 4. Manner - avoid vagueness and ambiguity

Generally conversation adheres to these maxims and it could be that if they are flouted, implied meaning is apparent. "Have you finished your homework" "yes ive finished my homework"

Deixis: lexical items that 'point' towards something and place words in context. "I am here now" for example doesn't make sense out of context.

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Visual elements of a text both verbal and non verbal. This may refer to shape, image, colour, space and typography.

Depending on genre some texts rely heavily on graphalogical aspects to get the intended affect, others may be more subtle and merely contribute to the meaning. 

Iconic signs - a direct picture of the thing it represents, often simplified to provide a basic reference for the reader. 

Symbolic signs - Draw on association or connotation and are usually defined by cultural convention. They provide meaning because of the values and qualities society have put on them. example: rose has nothing to do with love/passion but our society agree that is has this connotation.

Typography features include font size and styles. The chooses are directly related to a text's purpose and implied readership.

The layout of the text in terms of positioning the images and text is also important in maximising the impact for the reader. 

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The way in which texts are organised into coherent wholes. It explains how texts are put together.

Common types of discourse structure are; list/instruction (recipes, instructions), problem-solution (product advertisement), analysis (academic articles, newspaper), narrative (novels, witness accounts). 

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