Lexis means 'word' in Greek
- 'lexical analysis' mean studying the origin of words (borrowings/loan words), look at the age of words (archaic/neologisms) and studying patterns in words (compound words).
- Being precise when referring to words means using the word classes: Verbs, Nouns, Adjectives, Adverbs, Pronouns, Determiners, Prepositions, Conjunctions.
- Register = level of formality of words used. Can be a groups specifc language, legal register, teenage register etc.
- Mono/Polysyllabic lexis - look at words and decide if they are mono/poly based on the syllables.
- Attitudes are reflected through Lexis - e.g informal lexis (slang) and emotive lexis (superlatives).
Semantics = study of word meaning
- Semantic fields are groups of words with liked themes.In an essay consider whether the semantic field is obvious or whether there are more subtle fields.
- Connotations link to semantics as it is the wider associations word may conjure. e.g negative/positive suggestions, shadowing/intertextuality
- Synonyms, i.e are there patterns of words which mean similar things?
- Hyponyms: specifc names giving detail or Hypernyms: category or generic names?
- Collocations: words often found together. e.g town hall, town council.
- Changes in meaning - amelioration/pejoration/broadening/narrowing
Pragmatics = the study of how situation affects language choices, how language changes with circumstances, how we interpret language from our experiences.
- Looking at speaker/writters intention, events surrounding the data (context), hidden meanings/implications.
- Ideas within pragmatics may include: Politeness principle ( Brown & Levison), Mitigation & disguised directives, Co-operation in conversation (Grice's Maxims), Irony & sarcasm/humour.
- Pragmatics is all linked to context, consider, the audience's knowledge, audience's attitudes/values, production speed, editors attitude's/values, time of writing/speaking, conventionsof the genre, law, intertextuality, agenda.
Phonology = the systematic organization of sounds in language.
- 'poetic' devices: assonance (Try to light the fire), sibilance (repeated - s sounds), alliteration, repetition, metre & rhythm.
- Prosodic effects in speech, intonation on certain phonemes to create sarcasm or pitch.
- Consider, whether the accent is shown in the text or transcript, using phonetic representation.
- Individuals phonology may change (Giles accommodation theory)
Grammar = a set of structural rules which govern the composition of clauses, phrases and words.
- Morphology: morphemes add something grammatically, look for prefixes, suffixes, unusual forms and innovations.
- Syntax: aka word order. Can be manipulated for greater effect. Some word orders seem dated, whilst often regional variation can create a different word order.
- Sentence types: Clause (collection or words around a verb), Phrase (group of words with no verb), simple sentence (one clause), compound sentence (two/more equally joined clauses), complex sentence (two/more clauses joined so that one needs the other).
- Sentence moods: interrogatives, declaratives, imperatives and exclamatives.
- Other grammatical features include...pre-modification, repition or listing, ellipsis, word class changes.
- Sentence mood --> Sentence type --> syntax --> morphemes
Orthography = 'correct writing', includes spelling, punctuation, capitalisation.
- Orthography has changed across time, look for spellings which appear 'non-standard', new spelling forms, and idiosyncratic ideas.
- English is not phonetically spelt, causing problems for many.
- Standardisation of spelling attempted to 'fix' spelling and pronunciation with dictionaries reinforcing the 'standard'.
- Debate of 'new' areas adding/changing spelling/punctuation through things such as borrowings and technology.
Discourse = how structure is built up
- Cohesive structure = smooth pregression between points/topics.
- Disjointed structure = variation in style between different parts, perhaps to emphasise things.
- Look at openings/endings/sections, lists or repetition as a means of being persuasive, conventions of the genre, graphology in assisting structure, linkage (anaphoric/cataphoric references).
- Discourse in spoken language includes turntaking, agenda handling (smooth transition to new topics, building on what others contribute), structure theories (Labovs narrative theory)