261 terms

IB Language and Literature Glossary

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Accent
Describes the way in which someone pronounces langauge
Ad hominem
An argument that attacks a person rather than their ideas
Allegory
A narrative that has two separate meanings

The Crucible, by Arthur Miller, is allegorical in telling the story of the Salem witch hunts while referring to McCarthyism in 1950s USA
Alliteration
Where two or more words begin with the same sound and occur in sequence
Allusion
A reference to something completely separate from the text in which it appears
Example: MacNeice alludes to Hitler in his poem Prayer Before Birth 'Let not the man who is the beast or who thinks he is God come near me'
Ambiguity
When a word has a double meaning
Ambivalence
Having mixed feelings about something
Analogy
Illustrating the subject under discussion by making a parallel comparison
Anecdote
The recounting of a small incident to illustrate a point; sometimes humorous
Anglophone world
Places in which English is spoken
Antagonist
A character that stands in the way of the protagonist's goals
Anthropomorphism
Talking or writing about animals as though they were human beings
The animals in George Orwell's novel, Animal Farm
Anti-novel
A novel that ignores all structural conventions of regular novels
Apostrophe
A figure of speech wherein the speaker speaks directly to something nonhuman
Appeal
A text, usually part of a campaign, most often aiming to fund-raise
Alternatively term used to describe the different ways a speech appeals to an audience
Includes ethos, pathos and logos
Argumentation fallacies
Common but illogical syllogisms, poor strings of logic
Aside
Lines that are spoken by a character directly to the audience
Association of ideas
When one idea calls to mind another, often used in advertising
Assonance
Where two or more similar vowel sounds within words occur in sequence

Example: with wise lies lure me (Prayer Before Birth by Louis MacNeice)
Atmosphere
A general way of describing mood
Audience
Describes the mood of the story, created through both the tone of the narrator and the setting
Ballad
A long, narrative poem charactised by regularity of rhythm and rhyme
Bandwagon effect
When something becomes popular quickly as people follow the example of others
Bathos
Comic shift from something important to something unimportant
An abrupt transition in style from the exalted to the commonplace, producing a ludicrous effect
Occasionally used deliberately to produce a humorous effect
The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant
The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't
Bias
Promoting one, specific point of view in a text and deliberately excluding others
Bildungsroman
A novel or story whose theme is the moral or psychological growth of the main character, a coming of age story
Bilingualism
The ability to speak two or more languages
Blank Verse
Poetry written in unrhymed iambic pentameter
Brand
A product's identity and the feelings a values customers associate with it
Brand loyalty
A consumer's allegiance to a product and their habit of buying it regularly
Broadsheet
A newspaper that is larger than a tabloid; the format is often associated with in-depth reporting and a balanced presentation of opinions
Cacophony
A harsh discordant mixture of sounds; an unpleasant, inharmonious sound effect
Campaign
A series or collection of different text types with one specific aim, frequently used in fundraising and in advertising
Caricature
An exaggerated depiction of a person (exaggeration of some characteristics and oversimplification of others
In order to achieve a grotesque or ridiculous effect
Cathrasis
The effect on the audience of the downfall of the tragic heroine
The cleansing of emotions of the characters
Any radical change that leads to emotional rejuvenation of a person

Macbeth: the audience and readers of Macbeth usually pity the tragic central figure of the play because he was blinded by his destructive preoccupation with ambition
Censorship
The restriction of access to ideas and information
Characterisation
The way a writer creates a character in order to convince the reader
Cliche
A literary device or structure that has been used so often that it has lost some of its artistic significance
Close reading
The practice of analysing and interpreting texts
Code-switching
When people alternate between at least two languages or language varieties in a single conversation.
Colloquialisms
Words or phrases used in informal speech but not typically used in formal speech.
Comedy
A broad literary genre which ends happily or satisfactorily
Comic exaggeration
Exaggeration for humorous effect
Commentary
Close detailed description of a literary or non-literary text. This can be either written or oral and in both cases structure as an essay
Consonance
The repetition of consonant sounds at the end of the word, often found in poetry and in advertisements
Content
Refers to what happens in a text
Context
The circumstances, atmosphere, attitudes, and events surrounding a text.
Context of composition
Refers to factors that influence a writer while creating a text
Context of interpretation
Refers to factors that can influence a reader of a text
Convergence
In linguistics, describes what happens when people come together and accomodate for each other through their use of language
Conventions
The particular aspects of language us that typify a text type. They are the aspects of language use you would expect to find in a given test type
E.g. persuasive devices in an advertisement
Critique
A reasoned criticism of a piece of writing
Crowdsourcing
The act of outsourcing research to a large audience, usually users of a website, in an effort to create content
Culural bias
Judging something from another culture with reference to ones own culture
Culture
1. Describes the values, goals, convictions and attitudes of people of a society
2. Refers to the fine arts and a society's appreciation of them
Culture jamming
The practice of criticizing and subverting advertising and consumerism in the mass media, by methods such as producing advertisements parodying those of global brands
Deductive reasoning
Refers to an argument that comes to a specific conclusion by drawing on general rules
Denotation
Refers to what a word or phrase means in the most literal sense. 'Dictionary definition'
Denoument
The French word for 'unknotting', used to describe the resolution of a story's plot or complicated situation
Dialect
A variety of a language that is unique in its pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary
Dialogue
A conversation between two people
Diction
Choice of vocabulary and phrases, for instance, can be conversational, rhetorical, formal or informal
Dissonance
The use of harsh-sounding, unusual, or impolite words in poetry to create a disturbing effect or to catch the reader's attention by interrupting a smooth flow of words. It is considered to be the opposite of assonance
Divergence
The process of cultures splitting off from each other, developing their use of language separately, with less - or even no - contact
Double entendre
A word or phrase open to two interpretations, one of which is usually risqué or indecent
Dramatic irony
Occurs in plays when the audience knows more about the events than the characters do, and so can understand the implications of the characters' thoughts and actions while the characters cannot
Dystopian
A genre of fictional writing used to explore social and political structures in a dark, nightmarish world
Editorial
The article in a newspaper or journal which expresses the publication's opinions on the news
Elegy
A formal literary tribute to someone who has died
Emotive / Loaded language
Language that reflects both the emotional tone of the writer and instigates an emotional response in the reader
Enjambement
The poetic style of continuing a sentence from one line to the next without pause
Epilogue
A short passage at the end of a novel or play which acts as a conclusion or author's comment
Euphamism
A pleasant term substituted for a more direct, less pleasant one
Existentialism
The philosophy that individuals are responsible for defining their own existence and giving their life meaning
Exposition
The part of a story where the reader is provided with information about the plot, characters and setting. Usually an introduction
Extended Metaphor
A piece of figurative langauge that recurs throughout a literary text, referring to a symbolic, metaphorical relationshiop
Fable
A story with a moral, intending to teach a lesson.
Figurative language
Language that is not literal
Flashback
A technique in storytelling where the reader is taken back to events before the main story. This includes background information that is given throughout the story
Fly-on-the-wall narration
An extreme variant of objective narration, where the reader sees and hears of events, as a camera would record them
Focus group
In marketing, a group of people who are asked by a company to talk about their likes and dislikes about a product or advertisement
Foil
A character whose qualities contrast with those of the main character in order to expose them to the reader
Foreshadowing
A literary device in which hints are given of events to come
Form
In poetry, usually the arrangement of lines and stanzas
Frame narrator
A storyteller who is not the protagonist of a story but a peripheral character who reveals someone else's story to us
Free indirect speech
The narrator is in the characters head and is able to report their thoughts and feelings indirectly.
Free verse
Describes poetry that has neither rhyme nor consistent metre
Gender bias
The tendency to favour one gender over the other, often shown through language
Genre
The word used to describe a literary text type
Global village
Describes how members of a social group can be spread around the world, but remain interconnected through various forms of media
Gothic fiction
A mixture of horror and romance that came out of the romantic movement of the 18th and 19th centuries
Half rhyme
Imperfect, approximate rhymes
Heroic couplet
Two lines of rhyming verse, usually at the end of a sonnet which tend to be closed (there is no enjambement between the lines) and self-contained
Hindsight wisdom
Describes a style of narration in which the narrator looks back, knowing more now than at the time of the events
Historical present tense
The use of the present tense to tell a story from the past
Homonym
A word with more than one meaning, often used in puns. Example: Lead can describe a heavy metal and an object used for walking dogs
Homophone
A word that sounds the same as another word but is spelled differently
Mussel and muscle
Hyperbole
An extreme exaggeration
"I'm starving," when you are only slightly hungry
Idiolect
A person's unique use of vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. It both distinguishes an individual from a group and identifies and an individual from a group
Imagery
Words that create a picture in the reader's mind, to make the thing described clearer or more vivid
Inductive reasoning
A type of logic in which generalizations are based on a large number of specific observations.
Instrumental motivation
Desire to learn caused by the need to achieve something. Often refers to language learning
Integrative motivation
The need to learn is based on the student's requirement to 'fit in'. Often refers to language learning
Irony
Saying one thing and meaning another
Jargon
The specialized language or vocabulary of a particular group or profession
Language borrowing
Describes the act of importing words into one language from another culture's language
Language currency
Refers to the value of language. This can be financial, intellectual and emotional.
Language death
Occurs when the last native speakers of a language have died and no new generations speak their ancestor's language fluently
Language planning
The process of preventing language death
Layout
The way a text is presented on a page (applies to media rather than literary texts)
Lexical set
In general, a group of words that share a specific form or meaning
Lexis
The complete stock of morphemes, idioms, and words possessed by a language - I.e. all the units off potential meaning
Limited narration
Offers the reader insight into the thoughts, actions and events of only one character in a story
Lingua franca
A common language used by people with different native languages
Linguistic determinism
The concept that language influences the way humans think
Linguistic imperialism
The dominance of a language over others
Liturgical
Language typical of prayer and religion
Loanwords
Words borrowed from one language into another
Long tail marketing
Selling a large range of products for which there is a small demand in small quantity instead of a small range of popular products in large quantity; the total number of people with various specialised interests is greater than the number of people with popular interests
Lyrical
Song-like effect, expressing the ideas of the author in an imaginative and beautiful way
Magic realism
A style of fiction with origins in South America. It creates a very realistic setting with a few highly unrealistic elements
Manufactured consent
A term coined by Noam Chomsky describing the phenomenon that a small ruling elite can shape public opinion in their favour by controlling the media
Media literacy
The skill of analysing various texts in relation to the media through which they are published
Melodrama
A fiction genre that exaggerates plot or characters and appeals to the audience's emotions
Metaphor
A comparison in which the thing being described is said to be something else to make the description more vivid
Metonymy
Describes the reference to things or concepts not by name but by something very close to them
Metre
The rhythm or beat of a poem
Metric foot
Single unit of measurement that is repeated within a line of poetry
Mimesis
The act of copying the real world in literature and art
Monologue
A piece of writing which is meant to be spoken by (only) one person
Mood
The feeling that is created in a text
Movement
In literature, is a collection of works which seek to address similar concerns or express similar ideas or which come from a similar time in history
Motif
A recurring idea or image in a text
Narrative voice
The way in which something is written, including point of view, diction, tone and tense
Narrative
A spoken or written account of connected events; a story
Narrative verse
The point of view in which the plot is narrated
Objective narration
Storytelling that is not biased towards an ideological position or a character
Omniscient narration
A narrative in which the reader or viewer has access to the unspoken thoughts of all the characters
Narrator
The person who tells the story
Onomatopoeia
Where a word sounds like the sound it is describing
Paradox
A contradiction or dilemma
Paradox of fiction
Refers to the apparent contradiction of a reader empathising with a fictional character even though they know the character is not real
Oxymoron
A description of something which appears to be its opposite, or impossible
Example: an open secret
Parody
An imitation of a person intending to ridicule them
Pastoral
Describing a rural scene in an idealized, simple way; attribution idyllic qualities to the countryside and innocence to those who live there
Pay-per-click
An advertising model where advertisers pay the websites that hose their ads only when the ad is clicked on
Pathos
The part of speech that appeals to our emotions; use emotional language to evoke emotional response
Personification
Giving human characteristics to something which is not human
E.g. the sunlight danced on the rippling water
Pidgins
Rudimentary languages that have a simplified grammar and a limited vocabulary
Persuasive language
Language used to encourage the reader to think or act in a particular way
Premises
Statements or propositions that arguments rely upon to reach conclusions
Propaganda
Ideas spread to influence public opinion for or against a cause.
Plot
The plan and development of a narrative
Public opinion
The collective opinion and belief of adults within a country
Protagonist
The main character in a literary work
Purpose
Describes the writer's intentions in writing a text
Pun
A play on words
Quatrain
A four-line stanza
Rationale
A reasoned explanation of a text
Refrain
A repeated section, usually in poetry
Repetition
Saying or writing something more than once for a specific effect
Effective in creating a sense of structure and power
Rhetoric
The conventions of speaking for an audience
Rhyme
The repetition of similar or identical sounds at the end of, or within, lines of poetry
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
States that people of different cultures think and behave differently because of the influence that their language has on them. See linguistic determinism
Sarcasm
Mocking, often ironic or satirical language
Satire
A literary style used to make fun of or ridicule an idea or human vice or weakness
Scansion
The process of finding patterns of unstressed and stressed syllables in poetry
Sensationalism
A style of writing that is exaggerated, emotive and often controversial
Scansion
...
Rhythm
A pattern of strong and weak beats
Social novel
A genre that stresses the importance of real social and economic circumstances on fictional characters in an attempt to persuade the reader towards an ideological position
Setting
Where and when the events of a story, play or poem take place
Sonnet
A 14-line poem in iambic pentameter, containing three quatrains and a heroic couplet
Simile
A comparison in which the thing being described is said to be like another in order to make it more vivid
Example: describing someone feeling unwell as 'as white as a sheet'
Stream of consciousness
A style of storytelling which puts the reader in the narrator's mind, allowing the reader to access the narrator's thoughts as they occur
Soliloquy
A dramatic convention in which one person, alone on the stage, speaks their thoughts aloud
Stereotype
The attribution of certain characteristics to a specific group of people, often the product of prejudiced ideas
Stylistic devices
Techniques used by writers and speakers to instigate a response from their audience
Subjective narration
Narrative storytelling biased towards an ideological position or character
Super crunching
The process of data driven desicion making
Suspension of disbelief
Occurs when you surrender doubts about the reality of a story and become caught up in the story
Structure
The organizing and ordering of ideas so that they are effective
Synecdoche
Referring to an entire thing or concept by referring to one of its parts
Style
The feature that characterize a work, text, type, publication or writer
Tabloid
Refers to sensational and biased reporting
Symbol
A thing that represents or stands for something else, especially a material object representing something abstract
Syntax
Choice and organization of words in sentences
Tautology
Saying the same thing twice in different words, unnecessarily
Myself, I personally think
Text
Any verbal or visual production conveying meaning
Text type
The terms used to describe a non-literary genre
Theme
The underlying meaning or idea in a text
Unreliable narrator
Refers to fiction in which the reader is forced to question the storyteller's account of events
Verbal irony
A stylistic device in which the surface meaning and the underlying meaning are different
Tone
The character of a piece of writing, given to it by the voice of the narrator
Tragedy
A technical term applied to drama, but which more broadly applies to other literary forms, I drama, a play in which the main character makes a mistake, realizes their mistakes and pays for it, usually with death
Vernacular
The language of a local context
Verse
This can be either one stanza in a poem, or it can refer to the entirety of poetry
Work
A literary text
Jubilant
Feeling or expressing great happiness and triumph
Exuberant
Full of energy, excitement and cheerfulness
Somber
Dark or dull in color or tone
Melancholy
A feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause
Bleak
Charmless and inhospitable
Cold and forbidding
Not hopeful or encouraging, unlikely to have a favorable outcome
Sinister
looking likely to cause something bad, harmful, or dangerous to happen
Flippant
Not showing a serious or respectful attitude
Tongue-in-cheek
Speaking or writing in an ironic or insincere way
Whimsical
Playfully quaint or fanciful, especially in an appealing and amusing way
Pithy
Vigorously expressive and terse (sparing in the use of words, abrupt)
Satirical
Sarcastic, critical, and mocking another's weaknesses
Cynical
Believing that people are motivated purely by self-interest; distrustful of human sincerity or integrirty
Irreverent
Showing a lack of respect for people or things that are generally taken seriously
Assertive
Having or showing a confident and forceful personality
Dispassionate
Not influenced by strong emotion, and so able to be rational and impartial
Poignant
Evoking a keen sense of sadness and regret
Mellow
Relaxed and good humored
Tempered by maturity or experience
Tranquil
Free from disturbance; calm
Stately
Impressive or grand in size, appearance or manner
Panoramic
A wide view surrounding the observer
Microcosmic
Encapsulating in miniature the characteristics of something much larger
Nostalgia
A sentimental longing or wistful affection for a period in the past
Sensuous
Relating to or affecting the senses rather than the intellect
Attractive or gratifying physically, especially sexually
Provocative
Causing anger or another strong reaction, especially deliberately
Intended to arouse sexual desire or interest
Resonant
Having the ability to evoke enduring images. memories or emotions
Elevated diction
Diction of a high intellectual or moral level and a high rank or social standing
Succinct
Briefly and clearly expressed
Pedantic
Excessively concerned with minor details or rules; over scrupulous
Vulgar
Lacking sophistication or good taste
Making explicit and offensive reference to sex or bodily functions; coarse and rude
Innuendo
An allusive or oblique remark or hint, typically a suggestive or disparaging one

(the making of) a ​remark or ​remarks that ​suggest something ​sexual or something ​unpleasant but do not refer to it ​directly:
Connote
Imply or suggest (an idea or feeling) in addition to the literal or primary meaning
Evocative
Bringing strong images, memories or feelings to mind
Epitomize
To be the perfect example or representation of (something)
Encapsulate
To show or express the main idea or quality of (something) in a brief way
Embody
To represent something in a clear and obvious way
be an expression of or give a tangible or visible form to (an idea, quality, or feeling)
Typify
To represent what is normal for something; to be a good example of
Reminiscent
Reminding you of someone or something else; similar to something else
Redolent
Full of fragrance or color
Causing thoughts or memories of something
Ethos
Trust worthiness of speaker or writer
Need to establish credit with the audience and feel confident of their right to deliver the speech to that audience
Periodic sentences
Sentences that moves towards something important at the end
A long and frequently involved sentence, marked by suspended syntax, in which the sense is not completed until the final word--often with an emphatic climax. Also called a period or a suspended sentence.
Cumulative sentences
A type of sentence in which the main idea (independent clause) is elaborated by the successive addition of modifying clauses or phrases.
Parallelism
Writing /speaking in structures that are grammatically parallel
Helps listener/ reader understand points better by making them flow smoothly
Hypophora
The speaker first asks a question then answers it
Antithesis
used in writing or speech either as a proposition that contrasts with or reverses some previously mentioned proposition, or when two opposites are introduced together for contrasting effect.
Figurative speech
Tends to work best when set off by concrete images; people like to think in metaphors
Tricolon
A list of three
A sentence in which there are three parts or clauses
Has a powerful effect on audience
Polysyndeton
A kind of tricolon using the words 'and' in between each and every item listed whereas it is only necessary to use 'and' before the last item
Used to stress the importance of every item
Logical appeal
Supporting a position with evidence, facts or statistics
Emotional appeal
A method of persuasion that's designed to create an emotional response.
Ethical appeals
A text that establishes the writer as sincere and qualified to make such remarks
Exaggeration
To make a person's vices or beliefs seem ridiculous and unattractive, often to the point of hyperbole
Understatement
The presentation of something as being smaller or less good or important than it really is

Making shocking statements seem casual to emphasize how common the practice has become
Invective
Describes very abusive, usually non-ironical language aimed at a particular target - a string of curses or name calling
Often funny
Danger - one can quickly get tired of it (offers limited opportunity for invective wit)
Burlesque
Ridiculous exaggeration in language or performance which makes the discrepancy between the words and the situation or the character silly.
For example, to have a king speak like an idiot or a workman speak like a king
Speaker (Poetry)
...
Asyndeton
Leaving out conjunctions between words, phrases, clauses.
Caesura(e)
A natural pause or break in a line of poetry, usually near the middle of the line.
Epithet
A descriptive name or phrase used to characterize someone or something
Anaphora
Repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or lines
Spondee
a foot consisting of two long (or stressed) syllables.
Coordinating conjunctions
Joins two or more words or phrases

For, when, and, nor, but, or, yet, so
Intertextuality
The relationship between texts, especially literary ones. Texts within texts
dialectic
the art of investigating or discussing the truth of opinions
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