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English Language Glossary
Terms in this set (91)
Words formed from the initials of other words such as LOL, laugh out loud and YOLO, you only live once.
A word describing a noun e.g. sweet, sour, big, small etc.
A word or phrase that modifies the meaning of an adjective or verb expressing manner, place, time, or degree (e.g. gently, here, now, very ).
A morphological process that involves the addition of bound morphemes (or affixes) to a word stem e.g. (de)forestation, (un)acceptable, (dis)ambiguity etc.
Morphemes that can be added to a root (or a stem) to form a more complex word e.g.dog-s, un-appreciative etc.
Denoting a voice of verbs in which the subject undergoes the action of the verb e.g. they were killed instead of he killed them.
Can involve an expression with more than one meaning e.g. "Debbie is ravishing" where ravishing can mean extremely attractive or very hungry.
Words and constructions no longer employed or transferred from earlier phases of a language such as 'hitherto', 'prithee' and 'thou'.
A term in phonetics to describe the process whereby sounds become similar or even identical to neighboring sounds e.g. ham samwhich.
a verb used in forming the tenses, moods, and voices of other verbs. The primary ones in English are be, do, and have.
A process of word formation whereby an affix (real or imagined is removed from another word e.g. versus => verse
A word formation process resulting from the fusion of two or more elements e.g. smoke + fog = smog, international + network = internet etc.
Where words are incorporated from one language into another.
A type of semantic change whereby the contexts in which a word can appear are expanded e.g. virus used to mean an acquired illness or disease to a human being and can now relate to computers.
Where speakers use more than one language or dialect in conversation.
Words historically delivered from the same source e.g. English 'father' and German 'vater'.
A sentence which has an independent clause joined by one or more dependent clauses. It always has a subordinator such as because, since, after, although, or when (and many others) or a relative pronoun such as that, who, or which. An example is:
"When he handed in his homework, he forgot to give the teacher the last page."
A sentence which contains two independent clauses joined by a coordinator. The coordinators are as follows: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. An example is:
"I tried to speak Spanish, and my friend tried to speak English."
A way of forming new words by combining two or more free morphemes e.g. breakdancing, world music and techno-pop.
A word used to connect clauses or sentences or to coordinate words in the same clause e.g. and, but, if.
The emotional implications and associations that a word may carry e.g. the color red has a negative feel .
The smallest meaningful units in the grammar of language e.g. the word unfriendly has three morphemes -un, friend and -ly.
A way of forming new words by simply changing the function of a word e.g. she checked her 'book' to see if she could 'book' an appointment.
A pidgin that has become the first language of a speech community.
Affixes that change the category or at least the meaning of the element to which they are added e.g. run and runner.
When a word undergoes a change where it's meaning becomes more negative e.g. accident used to mean a chance event where now it means to 'chance misfortune'
A modifying word that categorizes the kind of reference a noun or noun group has, for example a, the, every.
A sound formed by the combination of two vowels in a single syllable, in which the sound begins as one vowel and moves towards another (as in coin, loud, and side )
Sequences of language that are larger than a sentence.
When a word undergoes a change where it's meaning becomes more positive e.g. mischevious has gone from disastrous to cheeky and annoying.
The deletion of items in a sentence because they either appear elsewhere or cannot be reconstructed from the context e.g. wanna go for lunch?
A variety that identifies speakers by their race.
The study of the history of words and word origins.
A consonant produced by the rapid contact between two organs of articulation e.g. the almost r- like quality of the 't' in the middle of 'latter'.
Mitigating devices that speakers use to lessen the impact of an utterance, typically adverbs or discourse particles e.g. "could i (like) borrow your lecture notes?"
Words with different origin and meaning but with the same pronunciation e.g. soul and sole, break and brake etc.
A sentence which gives a direct command. It can end in a full stop or an exclamation mark e.g. make me a tea!
Minor part of speech involving words that have emotional meaning e.g. Doh!
International Phonetic Alphabet
A standard system of phonetic notation to represent the sounds of the spoken language.
The patterns of changes in pitch in speech.
Verbs that cannot take an object e.g. he died, she ran.
Language shared by those who belong to a profession, trade or some other occupational group.
Language Acquisition Device
Noam Chomsky's theory which assumes that children are born with an innate mental faculty that enables them to construct and internalize the grammar of their native language on the basis of limited linguistic input they receive.
The swift or gradual move in use of one language to another, either by individual or the speech community as a whole.
The study of words, vocabulary.
Figurative expressions referring to something that they do not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity e.g. "success is a sense of achievement" or "sea of grief".
Switching in the sequencing of sounds e.g. aks for ask.
The study of word formation.
A type of semantic change whereby the contexts in which a word can appear are reduced e.g. hound used to mean any breed of dog now specifically means one breed of dog.
A newly coined word.
a word used to identify any of a class of people, places, or things.
When words are no longer used because they are not of importance or forgotten.
Where children extend word meanings or grammatical rules beyond their normal use e.g. moon for any circular object.
Refers to those features of speech that are marginal to language. This includes aspects of body language' such as stance gesture and gaze.
The study of the sounds of language.
A contact or trading language that is no one's first language.
How high the voice is, reflecting how quickly the vocal cords vibrate.
Clusters of words that form a grammatical unit but are smaller than clauses e.g. 'my hovercraft full of eels'.
The study of language use, specifically the factors that affect a person's choice of language in any social interaction.
The part of the sentence that provides the information about the subject. It includes the verb and everything else e.g. He 'is a teacher'; She 'has washed the car'
A word, letter, or number placed before another e.g. de-, dis-, ex-.
A word governing, and usually preceding, a noun or pronoun and expressing a relation to another word or element in the clause, as in 'the man on the platform', 'she arrived after dinner', 'what did you do it for ?'
Words like it, they, himself that are used in place of a noun phrase.
Pertaining to loudness, pitch, tempo and speech rhythm.
Any socially defined variety of language, in other words, language that is appropriate in a situation whether formal or informal
A sentence, also called an independent clause, which contains a subject and a verb, and it expresses a complete thought e.g. some students like to study in the mornings.
A semantic change that entails the total alteration of contexts e.g. a word comes to mean something completely different.
An idealized variety that constitutes a notional set of norms generally adopted by educated speakers of English.
A letter or a group of letters attached to the end of a word to form a new word or to alter the grammatical function of the original word e.g. -acy, -dom or -ing.
Words that have closely related meanings and can often be substituted for each other.
The study of how words combine to form sentences.
Children use a specific expression in a limited way e.g. boy for all males.
An action or doing word.
Sets of words showing the same grammatical properties.
Words that leave the language.
Words that enter the language.
A change in the form of a word to express a grammatical function or attribute such as tense, mood, person, number, case, and gender.
A modal word or construction e.g. can/could, will/would, shall/should.
A play on words e.g. "I'm reading a book on anti-gravity, it's impossible to put down."
The omission of one or more sounds (such as a vowel, a consonant or a whole syllable) in a word phrase, producing a result that is easier for the speaker to pronounce.
The repetition of identical or similar vowel sounds in neighboring words e.g. "Try to light the fire" and "It's hot and it's monotonous."
Formation of a word by imitating the natural sound associated with the object or action involved e.g. Bang, crack and pop.
A recurring movement of sound or speech. An example is the rising and falling of someone's voice.
A pleasing combination of sounds or two things that are in agreement e.g. when you have two words that both have a "ch" sound that are right next to each other in a sentence like "cheddar cheese".
The literal or primary meaning of a word, in contrast to the feelings or ideas that the word suggests.
Language that uses words or expressions with a meaning that is different from the literal interpretation.
The expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect e.g. You study all-week for a spelling test, then misspell your name on the test.
A figure of speech that juxtaposes elements that appear to be contradictory e.g. 'Pain for pleasure', 'act naturally' and 'alone together'.
An informal term for words and phrases aimed at creating an impression that a specific and/or meaningful statement has been made, when in fact only a vague or ambiguous claim has been communicated, enabling the specific meaning to be denied if the statement is challenged e.g. 'reportedly' and 'arguably'.
Two or more words that often go together e.g. fast food, quick shower, and round of applause.
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.
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