English Language - Language Frameworks

English Language Frameworks - sentences

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  • Created by: Harriet
  • Created on: 04-04-11 17:46

Language Frameworks

When analysing a text, remember: People (Purpose), Are (Audience), Genuinely (Genre), Friendly (Formality), Making (Mode), Ravioli (Representation), Language Features.

There are seven main language frameworks: Lexis (the vocabulary of a language), Semantics (Study of how meaning is created through words and phrases), Grammar (system of rules that governs how words and sentences are constructed. Three parts, system that groups words into classes according to function, system of rules about how words function in relation to each other (syntax) and idividual units that make up whole words (morphology)), Phonology (study of sounds in English), Pragmatics (language in use - how social aspects affect people's language choices), Graphology (study of the appearance of the writing), Discourse (Whole piece of text if more than once sentence). 

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Language Frameworks

Discourse Structure - Way language is organised

1. In written discourse, look at how text is put together

2. In spoken discourse, structure can be less organised.

3. Spontaneous conversation has some structure (Often an opening sequence, Followed by turn-taking and often a closing sequence).

4. Also look at how the discourse fits together (cohesion). Two types of cohesion, lexical and grammatical. An example of grammatical cohesion is using adverbs like similiarly at the beginning of sentance/paragraph to link it to the previous one. Lexical cohesion is when the words in the discourse relate to each other throughout.

Three main steps to discourse analysis: what kind of discourse you're looking at, how each of the language frameworks contribute to the discourse and discourse structure and cohesion

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Introduction to Grammar

Grammar is the set of structural rules that controls the way the language works. Three aspects - word classes, syntax and morphology.

Eight main word classes - Nouns ("naming" words - London, book), Adjectives (describe nouns and Pronouns - large, sunny), Verbs ("doing" words - jump, read), Adverbs (describe verbs, sometimes adjectives and other adverbs - steadily, incredibly), Pronouns (take the place of nouns - you, they, him), Conjunctions ("connecting" words - and, but, or), Prepositions (define relationships between words in terms of space, time and direction - before, underneath, through), Determiners (give specific kinds of info about a noun - a, the, two, his, few).

Word classes can take different positions in a sentence, but there are grammatical rules about how they work with each other (syntax).

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= Proper Nouns (specific people, specific places, specific brands)

=Common Nouns - Concrete Nouns (can physically touch/see), Abstract Nouns (concepts, states, qualities, emotions), Collective Nouns (Groups of animals, people or things).

Nouns can either be singular or plural (bird/birds, lady, ladies, knife/knives, woman/women).

Nouns can be classified as count nouns (can count - 1 brick, 2 bricks) or mass nouns (don't have a plural - information).

Nouns can be modified to give more info.

Pre-modifiers (come before the noun - dangerous animal)

Post-modifiers (after the noun - Examination in progress)

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Adjectives describe nouns: Attribute adjectives are pre-modifying (the sudden noise, the red balloon) and Predicative adjectives are post-modifying and usually linked to the noun they are modifying by a form of the verb be. Other common links are looked, seemed and felt.

Adjectives also make comparisons:

1. Comparative adjectives - generally formed by adding -er. (long/longer).

2. Superlative adjectives - generally formed by adding -est. (long/longest).

Practice Questions:

1. Identify three concrete, abstract and collective nouns (love, table, purity, family, government, disgust, team, wall, sock).

2. Which are count nouns and which are mass nouns? (house, isolation, monkey, furniture, rat, gratitude, hall courage, jug).

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Verbs tell you exactly what happens. Base form (infinitive - normally follows 'to', to be, to laugh).

Main verbs (lexical verbs) identify the action of the sentence - "he gave me his shoe". "Gave" tells you the action involved.Auxiliary verbs go before the main verb in a sentence. Two types: Primary auxiliaries (do, have and be) and modal auxiliaries (can, could, will, would, must, may, might, shall, should).

Can create an active voice (when the subject is the focus) or a passive voice (less direct, focuses on the object).

Verbs change depending on the aspect - Progressive Aspect (actions that don't have a definitive end, made up of one of the auxiliary forms of be and the present participle of a verb + -ing) and Perfect Aspect (actions that have a definitive end, made up of one of the present forms of have (has/have) and the past tense form of the verb. 

Adverbs are used to modify verbs. Adverbs can also modify meaning, such as: manner, place, time, duration, frequency, degree, direction. Some can express feeling (hopefully) and link sentences together (however).

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Pronouns take the place of nouns. First person - Singular (I), plural (we), Second person - singular (you), plural (you), Third person - singular (he, she, it), plural (they). e.g. Sarah thanked Sanjay -> She thanked Sanjay (3rd person singular subject pronoun).

Pronouns can also be used to replace the person/thing who is the object of the sentence. First person - Singular (me), plural (us),Second person singular (you), plural (you), Third person - singular (him, her, it), plural (them). e.g. Graham thanked Adam -> Graham thanked him (3rd person singular object pronoun).

Interrogative pronouns are used to ask questions (which, what, who and whose). Demonstrative pronouns (this, that, these and those) can replace people and things in a sentence where there is some shared understanding of what is being referred to. Determiners show what the noun is referring to.

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Prepositions and Conjunctions

Prepositions show the relationships between things (in terms of space, time or direction. 

Two types of conjunctions - coordinating conjunctions (words like and, but and or) and subordinating conjunctions (however, although, unless). Other subordinating conjunctions give different meanings (after, before are to do with time) and (where, wherever are to do with place). Conjunctions help discourse to flow smoothly. A discourse without conjunctions seems very disjointed, and adding conjunctions makes the discourse much more fluent.

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Phrases and Clauses

Phrases are units of language that have a head word. The simplest noun phrase possible is just a noun itself. It can be accompanied by a pre-modifier, a post-modifier or both. A very simple verb phrase has one verb, but you can also make up a verb phrase from the head word (main verb) and one or more auxiliary verbs.

Sentences are made up of clauses  the simplest meaningful units of the sentence. A sentence can be made up of one clause e.g. Katherine likes going walking, or made up of more than one clause. When there is more than one clause in a sentence, the clauses are separated by conjunctions. Clauses can be made up of subject, verb, object, complement and adverbial. There are seven common types of clause, created by different combinations of S/V/O/C/A. Clauses are defined by status. The status of it depends of it constituents and whether it can stand alone. Main clauses (independent clauses) can stand alone and make sense. Coordinate clauses occur in sentences where there are two or more independent clauses, can stand alone, joined by connective. Subordinate clauses can't stand alone, give extra info about main clause, may have a subordinating conjunction. Combining clauses are coordinate and subordinate clauses in the same sentence.

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There are five types of sentences: Minor (complete and meaningful statements that don't have a subject/verb combination e.g. Goodbye. Sounds good.), Simple (must have a subject and verb, express a complete thought e.g. The snow falls), Compound (independent clause linked to another independent clause by a coordinating conjunction. Either could be main clause in different sentence.), Complex (consists of main clause and subordinate clause. Subordinating conjunction connects the clauses together e.g. The workers left the building when they heard.), Compound complex (made up of at least two coordinate clauses connected by a coordinating conjunction and at least one subordinate clause.

The structure of sentences tells you about the target audience. The length and complexity of the sentences can be varied according to the content and audience of a text. A good example of this is the difference between broadsheet and tabloid newspapers. The writers create a different mood and tone depending on the types of sentences used, to appeal to different audiences. 

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Sentences 2

Sentences can be classified by their function. Declarative (statements that give information e.g. I don't like cheese), Imperatives (give orders, instructions, advice and directions, start with a main verb, and don't have a subject e.g. Answer one question from each section), Interrogatives (ask questions, can be tag questions e.g. It's cold isn't it? In spoken discourse, can turn declarative sentences into questions using stress and intonation - called rising inflection e.g. He will get better?) and Exclamatives (have an expressive function, convey the force of a statement and end with an exclamation mark e.g. I will not do this any more!)

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What about Lexis and semantics, phonology, graphology and pragmatics? :(


This is very helpful!


thank you so much, you have saved my life

Dark Vader


jk lnl

so very confused

Petar Stermsek

This is amazing. Thank you so much! :) 


SO helpful, thank you!

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