Accent – the distinctive way a speaker from a particular region pronounces words.
Acronym – a new word made from the initial letters of all the words I a name or phrase
Active voice – when the subject of the sentence is directly performing the verb e.g. Steve burst the bubble
Adjacency pair – Dialogue that follows a set pattern, e.g. when speakers greet each other
Adjective – a class of words that can appear before (attributive) or after (predicative) a noun to describe it, e.g. pretty
Adverb – a class of words that modify verbs according to time, place, manner, frequency, duration or degree. They can also sometimes modify nouns and adjectives too.
Affixation – the process of adding an affix before (prefix) or after (suffix) an existing words to change either its meaning or grammatical function
Alliteration – when two or more words close to each other in a phrase begin with the same sound, e.g down in the dumps
Allusion – when a text or speaker refers to a saying, idea, etc. outside the text or conversation.
Amelioration – when a word develops a more positive meaning over time
Anaphora – refers to the practice of repeating the same phrase at the beginning of sentences / clauses. (It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness)
Anaphoric referencing – the technique of using pronouns to relate to a previously stated noun (Sally was cold so she turned on the heating)
Antonyms – words with opposite meanings (Good/Bad)
Archaism – an old-fashioned words or phrase that isn’t used in present day English, e.g. forsooth
Article – a kind of determiner that shows if the reference to a noun is general (a/an) or specific. (The). A/An are referred to as the indefinite article as they are general. The is referred to as the Definite article as it is specific.
Aspect – a verbs aspect shows whether the action it refers to is already completed, or if it’s still taking place. Th eprogreesive aspect suggests a continous action and is identified through the use of ing (I was running, I will be running). The perfect aspect suggests a completed action and is identified by the use of the word had/have (I had run, I will have run)
Assimilation – when sounds next to each other in a spoken word or sentence are pronounced in a different way from normal to make them easier to say (e.g. Hambag instead of handbag)
Assonance – when the main vowel sounds of two or more words that are close together in a text are similar or the same e.g. low smoky holes
Asyndeton – when sentences are joined without the use of conjunctions (I came, I saw, I conquered)
Audience – a person or group of people that read, view or listen to a text from a performance. A writer or speaker can aim to appeal to a certain type of audience by using specific literary techniques and language choices.
Auxiliary verbs – verbs used before the main verb in a sentence to give extra information about it, e.g. I have seen him
Babbling – the production of short vowel/consonant combinations by a baby acquiring language
Back- formation – in word formation, back- formation occurs when it looks like a suffix has been added to an existing base form to create a new word, but in fact the suffix has been removed to create a new term e.g the verb enthuse was formed the noun enthusiast
Bathos – the use of anti-climax e.g. ‘He stepped out onto the hallowed Wembley turf, his heart beaming with pride as he clutched the beloved badge on his chest, the smell of the newly cut grass filled his soul with the memories of a thousand legendary men and as he opened his eyes, he realised … he was all alone, no lights, no crowd, no witnesses.
Behaviourism –a theory of language acquisition that suggests children learn language through a process of imitation and reinforcement
Bidalectism – the ability of speakers to switch between two dialect forms, the most common being between standard English and speakers regional variety
Blending – when parts of two words are combined to make a new one, e.g. netizen (internet / citizen)
Borrowing – when words from one language fall into common usage in another as a result of contact
Broadening – when a word that has quite a specific meaning becomes more general over time (also called generalisation, expansion or extension)
Cataphoric referencing – refers to introducing the pronoun before the stated noun (Because she was cold, Sally turned on the heating.)
Child-directed speech (CDS) – the way that caregivers talk to children – usually in simplified and / or exaggerated language
Clause – the simplest meaning unit of a sentence
Cliché – a expression that has lost its novelty value due to being overused
Clipping – when a shortened version of a word becomes a word in its own right,e.g demo, phone
Cluster reduction – when a child only pronounces one consonant from a consonant cluster, e.g. saying pay instead of play
Cognitive theory – a theory of language acquisition that suggests children need to have developed certain mental abilities before they can acquire language
Coining – the general term for creating new words
Collective noun – a noun that refers to a group of people, animals or things e.g. team
Collocation – a sequence of words or terms that co-occur more often than would be expected by chance commonly paired words that ‘sound right’. ‘Crystal clear‘, ‘middle management‘, ‘nuclear family‘, and ‘cosmetic surgery‘ are examples of collocated pairs of words.
Colloquialism – an informal word or phrase that wouldn’t normally be used in formal written English, e.g. how’s it going, mate?
Common noun – a noun that refers to a class of things or a concept those that refer to unique things, e.g. the names of a particular people or places
Comparative – an adjective that makes a degree of comparison, normally by adding an –er suffix. E.g; faster
Epiphora – is the process of using the repeated phrase at the end of a sentence or clause (When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child)
Polysyndeton – when unnecessary conjunctions are used (He was tall and handsome and brooding and witty)
Sibilance – this is a form of alliteration that uses fricative consonants (such as S) repeatedly. (She sells sea shells)