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Glossary of Metalanguage and Literary Terms for VCE
senior english skills builder 2nd edition- the essential preparation for VCE chpter 1 yr 10 melbourne high school. What are the definitions of these words?
Terms in this set (92)
A word formed from the first letter or letters of several words, for example SCUBA- self contained underwater breathing apparatus.
When a sentence has the subject before the verb. The subject directly does the verb.
A word that describes a noun.
A word that describes a verb, adjective or another adverb.
A story in which there are two meanings, there is the literal meaning and the symbolic representation of the story. Example Animal Farm is a story that represents Communism.
A literary device in which the writer repeats the initial consonant sounds of words close together to achieve an effect.
A reference to a famous figure or event from literature, history, mythology or the Bible. For instance referring someone to a 'Cassandra' means that the person bears bad news.
A comparison to things that are very alike, like the eye and the lens of a camera.
The character opposing the protagonist(main character).
Words with the opposite meanings, eg. slow fast.
Words that are directed to the audience by an actor that are not supposed to be heard by other characters.
The readers/viewers of a text.
A narrative poem that has a strong rhyming scheme, repetitive rhythm and is meant to be sung.
Poetry that has no rhyming, but rhythm to indicate that it is a poem.
Exaggerated description of a person.
Techniques used by writers to create characters, eg. describing appearance, getting the character to talk or act etc.
Techniques in a film that a director uses to create a particular effect.
An expression so overused it has lost its effectiveness - 'Its raining cats and dogs'.
A word that joins two words, phrases, clauses or sentences. eg. although, and, but, when etc.
Environment and situations surrounding part or all of a text.
The unraveling of a plot.
Actual words spoken by characters in a text.
Sound that has a source visible onscreen, for example the voices of characters talking.
A concise, witty statement that says something memorable, eg. 'But in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes; -Benjamin Franklin
The closing part of a speech/play.
A statement carved into someone's tombstone that sums up their life/personality.
A structured piece of writing on a particular topic.
A speech at a funeral honouring the dead.
A mild/indirect way of saying something that is unpleasant. eg. 'he passed away' instead of 'he died'.
A short story that has a lesson in life. eg. .The tortoise and the Hare'.
A type of comedy that contains an improbable plot and slapstick humour, for example, films such as Happy Gilmore and Dumb and Dumber.
A device used by writers (and film-makers) in which there is a return to events that occurred in the past.
Poetry that does not have a regular rhythm and pattern and that is very similar to prose, except that it is divided into lines that give it poetic qualities. (See also blank verse.)
A category of text that shares similar conventions (such as plot, style, characterisation), for example, detective fiction, science fiction and coming-of-age narratives.
A deliberate and obvious exaggeration used for effect: for example, I've told you a million times.'
A type of figurative language that does not literally mean what it says, for example, to have a chip on your shoulder or to get cold feet.
Pictures created with words, often by appealing to a range of senses, that writers use to make their descriptions more vivid.
A figure of speech where the literal meaning is different from the intended meaning; a discrepancy between what is said and what is meant, between appearances and reality, or
between what we expect and what takes place. eg. A soldier survives a war and injures himself shaving.
Specialist language that is particular to a trade, profession or other group, such as cricketers (golden duck, yorker)
An incorrect/inappropriate use of a word because of its similarity to the correct word. eg. 'calling that man a monkey is rapist' instead of 'calling that man a monkey is racist'.
A play based on an exaggerated or sensational pot of story. Like Soap operas on TV.
A record of the narrator's own life and experiences.
A figure of speech that compares one object with another and speaks of it as if it actually were the other: for example, 'The road was a ribbon of moonlight' (Alfred Noyes, 'The Highwayman').
Mise en scene
The stage or film setting, or surroundings—all the elements that form a particular scene.
An image formed from the juxtaposition or superimposition of a variety of shots in a film or photo.
A traditional tale, usually about supernatural beings or events, which is sometimes used as
an explanation of natural events, for example, Aboriginal Dreamiime stories and the myths
of the Ancient Greeks.
Words that name people and things. Common nouns are the common or everyday names. Concrete nouns are something you can touch. Abstract nouns are things you cannot touch.
A long prose narrative of imaginary people and events.
A short novel.
A written tribute to someone who has died.
The formation of words that echo the sounds they describe, for example, splash, quack etc.
A figure of speech that brings together two seemingly contradictory things, for example,
'shattering silence' and 'foolish knowledge'.
A short story that illustrates a moral or lesson. The Bible contains many parables.
A statement that appears to contradict itself but that does, however have some element of truth to it.
A humorous imitation of a work. eg. 'You're a wizard Harry!' - look up on you tube if unfamiliar
The verb in a sentence is before the subject.
A character in a text.
A type of metaphor in which objects are given human characteristics.
Copying the writing or work of another person and passing it off as your own.
The sequence of events in a text that tell the story.
Point of View
A contention, opinion, belief or conviction.
Point of view in a narrative
The perspective from which a story is told, which helps the reader to understand who the characters are, what they are feeling, what is being said and who is saying it.
Traditionally, the introduction to a play; now used to refer to the introduction to any literary work.
A word that takes the place of a noun—personal pronouns take the place of nouns that name people, animals or things (me, she, he, it, they); possessive pronouns indicate possessions (yours, mine, his, her, theirs).
Writing that does not have a rhythmic pattern and is written in sentences (unlike poetry).
The main character in a text.
An amusing play on words that sound or look similar and have different meanings. Eg. many many newspaper articles have these - 'Taco Bell, need a job, just taco us about it'. - Sanchez
A particular interpretation of a text. Note that a text will often have more than one such possible interpretation.
The type of language, such as formal or informal, that s appropriate to a particular setting such as vocational, educational or social.
The repetition of similar or identical sounds.
The beat or pattern of stresses that occur in a poem.
The use of mocking exaggerated humour to ridicule: for example, Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift made fun of the government and politics of the day.
The study of the meanings of words.
The study of the system of socially understood signs and symbols: for example, most viewers would understand the 'hidden' meaning of a scene in a horror film where the lights suddenly go out in the house and a scream is heard.
The time and place in which the action occurs.
A story that is, as its name suggests, shorter than a novel; it will generally concentrate on either the presentation of a character, a cleverly devised plot or the development of an interesting idea or theme.
A figure of speech that asks us to compare one thing to another, generally using the words
'like' or 'as' to make the connection. eg.'As smart as Brandon.'
A speech where a character expresses his or her inner thoughts aloud to himself or herself, thereby allowing the audience to see what is going on in the character's mind.
A type of poem originally developed by the Italian poet Petrarch and later used extensively by Shakespeare. A sonnet has fourteen iambic pentameter lines. An English sonnet is made
up of three quatrains (blocks of four lines) and a concluding rhyming couplet (two lines);
a Petrarchan sonnet is made up of an octave (block of eight lines) and a sestet (block of six
Instructions, given by a playwright, about the movement and behaviour of characters, and the organisation of the set.
A grouping of lines of verse in a poem.
A person or thing that is considered to be representative of a group. eg. Alex is a typical Asian.
Something that is used to Suggest or represent something else: for example, a red cross represents a medical facility. Be aware that there can be more than one reading for any symbol.
When you can see Anthony Tran's muscles...The form of verbs that indicates the time (and, to a degree, the duration) of an action: for example, I wrote (past tense), I write (present tense), I will write (future tense).
A structured piece of writing that answers a questions about a text.
The central idea or issue that is behind the events in a written text and is the motivation for a writer: for example, the theme of Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Weslem Front is usually interpreted as the futility of war.
The attitude of the writer towards his or her subject matter and reader.
A drama (usually a play) that tells of serious events that end with disastrous consequences for the main character.
The main character in a tragedy who suffers a downfall due to a defect or weakness in his or her character. In Shakespeare's play Macbeth, the hero's downfall was traditionally thought to have been caused by his vanity and ambition.
A first-person narrator of a text whose subjective (arid perhaps flawed) interpretation of narrator events does not match the interpretation that the author expects other characters or readers to share.
An Action Word.
The overall characteristics of a piece of writing that are unique to and recognizable as belonging to a particular author. eg. Shakespeare's voice is known to be incredibly hard to read...
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