Language terms

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accent
the distinctive pronunciation patterns used by a particular group of people
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allusion
a subtle reference to a story of factual aspect outside of the text
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Americanisms
examples of language use distinct to American English speakers
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anomalies
strange, one-off or unexpected result in your data
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anti-language
language that is used by a particular group to prevent others from understanding them
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archaic
a word frrom an earlier period of English usage that is rarely used in the modern contemporary language
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ascender
the typographical feature where a portion of the letter goes above the usual height for letter in any font
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assimilation
the influence exercised by one sound upon the articulation of another, so that the sounds become more alike
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backing
moving the place in which a vowel is pronounced towards the back of the mouth
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behaviourists
those who believe that language is acquired through imitation and reinforcement
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bound morpheme
one that cannot stand alone as an independent word, but must be attached to another morpheme/word (affixes, such as the plural '-s', are always bound, as is the comparative adjective inflection '-er')
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care giver
the term used to refer to the main adult who looks after a child
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central vowel
a woel pronounced roughly in the 'middle' of the mouth cavity
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child directed speech
a distinctive form of language use employed by adults when interacting with young children
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classical allusion
a reference to a character or event in classic Greek or Roman mythology
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code-switching
a language skill that enables the user to change between different languages and language varieties while speaking
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cognitive theorists
those who believe that language acquisition is part of a wider development of understanding
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cohesion
the way in which a text appears logical and well constructed
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consonant
a speech sound that is produced when the vocal tract is either blocked or so restricted that there is audible friction
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content word
a type of word that has an independent 'dictionary' meaning, also called a levis word
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convergence
a process of lingustic change in which people adjust their dialect, accent or speech style to those of others, often occurring to express solidarity and understanding
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copula verb
verb used to join or 'couple' a subject to complement
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corpus
a large, text-based collection of data, usually stored electronically so that it can be quickly analysed and searched
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corpus analysis
conclusions and findings drawn from running tests against a fairly large body of language material, often stored and assessed electronically
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covert prestige
refers to the status speakers who choose not to adopt a standard dialect get from a particular group within society
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creole
a language variety created by contact between one or more language forms and becoming established over several generations of users
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cueing
the strategies used to help decode written texts successfully
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cursive handwriting
handwriting in which the characters are joined in rounded and flowing strokes
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data
examples of any kind of language in use collected, sourced, or presented for analysis
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deixis
lexical items that 'point' towards something and place words in context
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derivational morphology
the creation of new words by adding prefixes and suffixes
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descender
where part of a letter goes below the baseline of a font
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descriptivism
an attitude to language use that seeks to describe it without making value judgements
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diachronic change
refers to the study of historical language change occuring over a span of time
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dialect
the lexical, semantic and grammatical patterns of language use distinctive to a particular group of people
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digraph
a graphic unit in which two symbols combine, or any sequence of two letters produced as a single sound, e.g. 'sh'
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diphthong
a vowel in which there is a perceptible change in quality during a syllable
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discourse
a stretch of communication
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divergence
when a person's speech patterns become more individualised and less like those of the other person in a conversation
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drift
a process of linguistic change over a period of time
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dummy auxiliary
the verb 'do' which is used to form questions and negatives or too add emphasis in a statement
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dynamic verb
a type of verb that expresses activities and changes of state, allowing such forms as the progressive
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egocentric speech
the running discourse style of speech used by children where no listener is directly addressed and the talk is focused on the child's activities
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emergent writing
children's early scribble writing, a stage of their literacy development
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emoticons
the online means of showing facial expressions and gestures
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empirical
work that comes from observation and experience, rather than pure theory
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Estuary English
a variety of English with its roots in the Thames estuary area, but seen to be spreading to many other parts of the UK
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ethically sound
this refers to the methods of gathering data and conducting an investigation that make sure it won't mislead or offend anyone
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ethnographic study
a research method involving observing the 'real life' behaviour of the people being studied
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euphemism
inoffensive word or phrase used to suggest something less pleasant
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expansion
the development of a child's utterance into a longer, more meaningful form
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experiment
an artificial and controlled situation or activity designed to test a specific idea or hypothesis
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extrapolate
to draw conclusions based on a sample of data which might apply more widely
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eye dialect
a way of spelling words that suggests a regional or social way of talking
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fascicle
one of the divisions of a book published in parts
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free morpheme
one that can stand alone as an independent word, e.g. apple
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fronting
moving the place in which a vowel is pronounced towards the front of the mouth
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function word
a word whose role is largely or wholly to express a grammatical relationship
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grapheme
a written symbol, letter or combination of letters that is used to represent a phoneme
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holophrase
a single word expressing a whole idea
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homophone
a lexical item that has the same pronunciation as another
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hypernym
a subordinate, i.e. a word that is more generic or general and can have more specific words under it
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hyponym
a more specific word within a category or under a hypernym
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hypothesis
a statement of theory to be tested by research and data analysis
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idiolect
an individual's own 'linguistic fingerprint'
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idiom
a speech form or an expression of a given language that is peculiar to itself grammatically or cannot be understood from the individual meanings of its elements
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inflectional morphology
the alteration of words to make new grammatical forms
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influential power
power used to influence or persuade others
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informalisation
the way in which language is becoming increasingly informal in all areas of society
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instrumental power
power used to maintain and enforce authority
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interview
an interaction between two or more people for a specific purpose
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Language Acquisition Device (LAD)
the human brain's inbuilt capacity to acquire language
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Language Acquisition Support System (LASS)
this refers to the child's interaction with the adults around them and how this interaction supports language development
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lexicon
the vocabulary of a language
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lexis
the vocabulary of a language
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linguistic variables
specific linguistic features identified as markers for possible variation in an investigation
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London Jamaican
a distinctive variety of language blending Cockney, Jamaican creole and Standard English forms
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longitudinal study
a data-gathering exercise for investigation that takes place over a significant period of time, for example recording the same child's language use over several weeks or months
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mean length utterance (MLU)
a measure of children's ability to produce stretches of language; the number of morphemes is divided by the total number of utterances to find the average length. A higher level of language proficiency
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methodology
the design of an investigation and the stages it goes through
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micropause
a pause of about half a second or less
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miscue
errors made by children when reading
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mixed-mode
features of printed text combined with features expected in conversation
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morphology
the area of language study that deals with the formation of words from smaller units called morphemes
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multimodal texts
texts that combine word, image and sound to produce meaning
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nativists
those who believe that humans have an inbuilt capacity to acquire language
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negative reinforcement
when an undesirable behaviour is unrewarded with the intention that it will not be repeated
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non-standard
language use of any kind that differs from standard grammatical, lexical, semantic, phonological or graphological uses
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object permanence
the awareness that objects continue to exist even when they are no longer visible
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objective
an unbiased factual view of a subject
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observer's paradox
the difficulty of gaining examples of real language data, when the presence of an observer or a contrived situation might change the way people would normally use language
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obsolete
no longer having any use
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omission
the leaving out of a phoneme in a group of phonemes clustered together
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orthography
the study of the use of letters and the rules of spelling in a language
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overextension
a feature of child's language where the word used to label something is 'stretched' to include things that aren't normally part of that word's meaning
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overgeneralisation
a learner's extension of a word meaning or grammatical rule beyond its normal use
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overt prestige
refers to the status speakers get from using the most official and standard form of a language. Received pronunciation as the most prestigious English accent and dialect
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paralinguistics
aspects of speech in addition to the actual words and word-sounds said
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phoneme
the smallest contrastive unit in the sound system of a language
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phonemic contraction
the variety of sounds is reduced to the sounds of the main language used
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phonetic spelling
a way of writing down speech to show the way it was pronounced by using letters and symbols to represent single sounds
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phonetics
the study of the sounds used in speech, including how they are produced
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phonics
a system of teaching, reading and spelling that stressed basic symbol-sound relationships and their use in decoding words; a system used especially in the early stages of reading
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phonology
the study of the sound systems of language and how they communicate meaning
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political correctness
words or phrases used to replace those that are deemed offensive
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positive reinforcement
when a behaviour is rewarded, including verbal praise to encourage this behaviour to be repeated
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pragmatics
the factors that influence the choices that speakers make in their use of language - why we choose to say one thing rather than another
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prescriptivism
an attitude to language use that makes judgments about what is right and wrong and holds language up to an ideal standard that should be maintained
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primary data
spoken or written data collected by a researcher
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proto-word
an invented word that has a consistent meaning
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qualitative
data analysis that focuses on individual instances of language used and analyses them closely and in context
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quantitve
data analysis that summarises findings in a larger sets of data and presents statistical findings
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recast
the commenting on, extending and rephrasing of a child's utterance
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received pronunciation (RP)
the prestige form of English pronunciation, sometimes considered as the 'accent' of Standard English
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register
a variety of language appropriate to a particular purpose and context
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reliable
used to refer to data that is an accurate reflection of real language use
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scaffolding
the process of transferring a skill from adult to child and then withdrawing support once the skill has been mastered
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secondary data
data that has already been collected by another researcher that is made use of in a new investigation
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semantics
the study of meaning
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social interactionists
those who believe that child language develops through interaction with carers
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social variables
the ways in which the context of data differs by social factors like age, gender, ethnicity and social class
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sociolect
a defined use of language as a result of membership of a social group
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standardisation
making all variations of language conform to the standard language
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stative verb
verb that describes a state; stative verbs are not usually used in the progressive aspect, which is used for incomplete actions
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subculture
a cultural pursuit engaged in that happens outside of the mainstream, accepted valued of society
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subjective
a view of a subject that includes personal opinion
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synchronic change
refers to an approach that studies language at the theoretical point in time without considering the historical context
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synchronic change
refers to an approach that studies language at the theoretical point in time without considering the historical context
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synonyms
words with very similar semantic value
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synoptic
bringing together a full range of skills and viewpoints
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syntax
the way words are arranged to make sentences
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trend
patterns in data that seem to show something in particular trending to happen
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typography
the study of the graphic features of the printed page
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underextension
a feature of a child's language where the word used to label is 'reduced' to include only part of its normal meaning
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universal grammar
the explanation that all world language share the principles of grammar despite surface differences in lexis and phonology. Sometimes called linguistic universals
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virtuous error
syntactic errors made by young children in which the non-standard utterance reveals some understanding, through incomplete, of standard syntax
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vocative
a form (especially a noun) used to address a person
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vowel
a sound made without closure or audible friction
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word picture
a feature of radio broadcasting where a presenter will put forward a visual scene using verbal narrative description
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

a subtle reference to a story of factual aspect outside of the text

Back

allusion

Card 3

Front

examples of language use distinct to American English speakers

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

strange, one-off or unexpected result in your data

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

language that is used by a particular group to prevent others from understanding them

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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