Lexis and Semantics

Key terms you must know as they make you sound smart and assist you in catergorising texts

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  • Created by: Shelby
  • Created on: 11-03-13 19:11


Description: The process of abbreviating, it uses the first letter of a group of words. However unlike initalism, the acronmy is pronouced as a single word.

Examples: YOLO, ASAP, LOL

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Adjectival Phrase

Description: A phrase with an adverb as its head.

Example: It was a very big bag, that the woman was carring.

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Adverbial phrase

Description: A phrase with an adverb at its head.

Examples: Very quickly the man ran across the street.

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Description: A sequence of words beginning with the same sound.

Examples: Sea, Sand and Sun; Thor thundered through.

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Anaphoric referencing

Description: Referenceing back to an already stated lexical item.

Examples: I went out with my father, he is a lot of fun.

My dog ran around the house, after that we locked him out.

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Description: Words with opposite semantic value. (opposites)

Example: It is a love, hate relationship.

They love to hate each other.

Everything is black and white.

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Description: The repetion of vowel sounds. Or Rhyme with vowel sounds.

Example: Teenie weenie pumpikin pie

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Auxiliary verb

Description: A verb that supports or 'helps' another; it shows tense or modality. This is to improve the communication and ease of understanding about what is going on.

Examples: am, are, is. -> instead of I happy, the auxiliary verb changes it to I am happy, which helps communication of what is being said.

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Cataphoric referencing

Description: Referencing forwards to an as yet disclosed lexical item.

 Example: He kept me laughing the entire time, thats why I'll visit James again.

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Description: A word, such as conjunction, that connects words, phrases, clauses, sentences or paragraph.

Examples: And, But, Because, However.

The boy walked across the road because he wanted to go into the shops.

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Description: An associated, symbolic meaning relying on culturally shared conventions.

Examples: Blue - Sea, Calm, Relaxation

Roses - Love, Passion, Romance

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Description: The repetition of consonants sound for effect.

Examples: "He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts."

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Co-ordinating conjunctions

Description: words such as as and, but, and or that link clauses to form compound sentances. (Connectives)

Examples: The boy could jump or he could climb down the rocks.

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Description: Lexical items that 'point' towards something and references to things, to be understood some form of context needs to be specified.

Example: Tom was waiting for his interview, and he was nervous for it.

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Description: A dictonary definition of something.

Example: The denotation of character is: 1. The combination of qualities or features that distinguishes one person, group, or thing from another. 2. A distinguishing feature or attribute, as of an individual, group, or category. 3. Genetics A structure, function, or attribute determined by a gene or group of genes.4. Moral or ethical strength. 5. A description of a person's attributes, traits, or abilities.6. A formal written statement as to competency and dependability, given by an employer to a former employee; a recommendation. 7. Public estimation of someone; reputation: personal attacks that damaged her character. 8. Status or role; capacity: in his character as the father.

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Deontic modality

Description: Constructions which express degrees of necessity or obligation.

NB// DEO - means god in latin, meaning you have to do something.

Example: All children must do their homework.

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Description: The missing out of sounds or parts of words in speech or writing.

Example: gonna -> going to

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Description: The missing out of a word or words in sentances.

This is helpful in adding effect into writing, and it is also helpful in shortening quotes from another source.

Example of requoting: 'Then I expect she's feeling confused...everyone else might say about her if she starts going out with Harry.'

Example of emphesis on words present: 'Full moon' or 'Coffee'

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Epistemic modality

Description: Constructions that express degrees possiblity in the request.

Examples: Highly suggest, maybe, perhaps

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Description: A socially acceptible way word or phrase used to avoid talking about something potentially distainful.

Example: gone to a better place - died.

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Description: Antonyms that are not exact opposites but can be considered in terms of degree of quality.

Example: Good, Better, Best

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Description: A word that sounds the same as another word or words.

Example: There, Their and They're

Pear, and pair

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Homophonic representation

Description: The use of single letters and numbers to represent words based on similarity of sound.

Example: 2 -> to, two; K -> Okay

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Description: The term for the hierarchical structures that exsist between lexical terms,

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Description: An abbreviation that uses the first letter of a group of words and is pronounced as individual letters.

Example: OLC, USB, USA

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Intrasitive verb

Description: A verb process that has no objective.

Example: yawned, slept

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Lexical accomodation

Description: The way in which speakers mirror each others' lexical choices as a sign of community membership.


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Lexical/semantic field

Lexical itmems that are similar in a rnage of meanings and/or properties. Words which are linked together by a broader subject.

Example: Science; Periodic table, states, gas, solid, liquid, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Symbols, atomic number.

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Lexical onomatopoeia

Description: Lexical items that rely on a similarity between sound and meaning.

Example: Buzz and pop.

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Description: Words basically -> 'the method that deals with the vocabulary system of a language.'

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Modal auxiliary verb

Description: A verb that never appears on its own and is used to express possibility, certainty, necessity or obligation.

Example: Will, would,can, could, shall, should, may, might, must

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Description: The smallest unit of grammatical meaning. Morpheme can be words in their own right or combine with other morphemes to form words.

Example: C, A, K,

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Description: The area of language study that deals with the formation of words from smaller units, called Morphomes

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Non lexical onomatopeia

Description: 'non words' that work in the same way as lexical onomatopeoia.

Example: Tut, shh.

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Description: A figure of speech where an animal or an inanimate object is described as having human characteristics.

Example: The tree branches waved in the wind.

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Possessive pronouns

Description: A pronoun that that demonstrates ownership.

Example: It's my phone

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Primary auxiliary

Description: Used to denote tense changes

Example: do, be have

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Description: A 'best fit' example for a particular catergory.

Example: An apple - for fruit

 A pen - for stationary

Cat - for a pet

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Description: When lexical items replace those already mentioned or about to be mentioned.

Example: It was moving at a fast speed, when the glue stick hit the boy in the head.

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Relational processes

Description: describing states of being, identification or attributes.

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Description: The projection of a certain way of thinking about a particular individuals, group or institution through the use of language.

Example: Oxford is seen as prestigious by the way it is described, while Brunel is seen as common by the more modern language used.

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Secondary purpose

Description: A secondary (and sometimes more subtle) reason for doing something.

Example: A leaflet is to inform, but its secondary purpose is to pursuade you to go to the restaurant/ buy the prodcut etc.

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Semantic derogation

Description: The sense of negative meaning or connotation that some lexical items have attatched to them

Example: Toilet, peak

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Description: The method that deals with meanings and how they are generated within texts.

The way in which the words in a text is interpreted. Mainly due to the person.

Example: Nutella contains hazelnuts, - What they are saying is that it is contains hazelnuts, parents and consumers consider it HEALTHY because it contains hazelnuts.

It also contains other ingredients, which aren't healthy.

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Subject Pronouns

Description: A pronoun that usually occurs as the actor in a verbal process.

Example: She went walking,

He put all the books away.

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Sub - Mode

Description: A subdivision of mode,

Examples: Poetry, Drama, Conversation

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Description: A 'lower' or 'less important' word in the hyponymic chain; a more specific lexical item.


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Subordinate Clause

Description: A clause that is dependant on another to be complete the full meaning of the sentance.

Example: All the bread was finished.

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Subordinating Conjunctions

Description: Words such as because, although and while that link a main clause to a number of subordinate clauses in complex sentances.

Example: All the bread was finished , therefore they had to eat something different for breakfast.

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Description: Replacing one set of lexical terms for another. Usually used to avoid repetition and to be clearer.

Example: They should use substitution in dictionaries,

Bigot - A person who is bigoted.

Substitute to => A person who is narrrowly or intolerantly devoted to his or her opinions and prejudices.

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Description: Adjectives inflected with -est or combined with 'most' are in the superlative form.

Examples: Best, Most organised

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Description: With words similar in semantic value

Examples: Pluck -> Bold, Brave, Grit, Determination

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Synthetic personalisation

Description: The way advertising and other forms of communication use persinalised language such as second person.

Example: 'Hope you have a nice day.' 'See you after the break' and 'Welcome to Starbucks...'

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Tag Question

Description: A group of words that turn a declarative into an interrogative statements.

Example: 'It's cold, isnt it?' 'That was cleaver, wasn't it?'

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Text Speak

Description: The language (in both Lexis and Grammar ) used by those sending messages on a mobile phone.

Example: WUU2?

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Variant spelling

Description: Deliberately non-standard spelling for effect

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Maira :)


wow!!! thank you so much... it was very helpful :)

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