English Language Revision Cards


LC: Pre-19th Century Context

History of the English Language: Originated from the Celts and various invasions. Much borrowing and use of loan words. Evolved out of Celtic influence. Modern day many different forms of English (e.g. American, Chinglish etc.).

  • Old English - 400-1100 AD
  • Middle English - 1100-1600 AD
  • Modern English - 1600 onward, Late Modern 1700 onward
  • Caxton (1473):  Inventor of the first printing press which printed the first books. Greatly widened reading of and opened to more people, initially only upper classes. Equally educated as a result.
  • Johnson (1755): First English Dictionary. Use of prescriptivism. Some saw this as elitist. Diachronically updated every year.  
  • Chaucer (1343): Author of Canterbury Tales. Old-English. Written in the venacular - widening participation.
  • Shakespeare (1560's - 1610's): Less structured. Introducted many neologisms/ idioms.
  • Contributing Factors: Religion, Trade, Technology, Monarchy, Invasion, Medicine
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LC: Development of 19th Century Texts

  • The Late Modern Period: Changes in orthography. Punctuation, grammatical changes, more people are literate.
  • Reasons for Orthographical Change: Phonological - written words accomodate speech and long vowels. Technological - printing presses introduce own styles. Standardisation of spelling.
  • Change in Punctuation:  Grammatical/rhetorical. Expanded as writing became more common. Commas linked clauses - flamboyant/complex sentences.
  • Change in Capitalisation: Influence of grammarians. Similar to modern. 'Important' words capitalised.
  • Compared to modernity: Seems complex. Fashionable display of learning/ class. Influenced by Latin.
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LC: Examples of Language Change

  • The Great Vowel Shift: Chaucer - Shakespeare. 1400-1600 centuries. Across English. Change in parts of palate used speak. 'Diphthongs' e.g. 'boats of fate' to 'boots on feet'
  • Labov (1963): Martha's Vineyard. Locals adapted to differentiate from tourists. "Change from below" Opposed to influence from above" Supported in Eastender's glottalstop trend.
  • Upspeak: Australian etc. Upward inflection at end of every utterance. 'Asking everything' like a question
  • Glottalstop: Dropping innunceated hard sound to become more common.


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LC: Standardisation

  • Descriptivism: The study of language in it's purest form, without reference to rules or doctrines. Embraces all styles. Venacular styles and formal techniques. Helps expression.
  • Prescriptivism: Standing by rules and doctrines established by grammar authorities. Standardisation. Reason: Language in flux too much, it is helpful.
  • Grammar Standardisation: Descriptivism = bad spelling.  English became easier to learn. Johnson's dictionary was contributing factor.
  • Hart (Died 1574): Capitalisation/ Orthography. John Hart against "superfluation" from more letters than necassary. Wanted capitalisation of proper nouns, names, and sentence beginnings to avoid confusion.
  • Grammarians: Dictionary was systemtic and useful. Which rules to follow? Amalgimation.
  • Irrelevance of Rules vs. The educational value of having them
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CLA: Readng Acquisition

  • Children Learning to Read: Recognise words through environmental cues. Reading/Writing taught from age 4.
  • S.B. Heath (1980's): Studied 3 American communities. 2 working class (one black one white) and 1 middle class suburb. Middle class had ability instilled beyond working class. From values/experiences. Working class communities had more of an oral tradition. e.g. Singing/ storytelling. Could be due to community gatherings, highlighting importance of home/community
  • Reading Book Varieties: Baby and toddler - Labelling and packaging (Aitchison), use of hypernyms and hyponyms. Nouns/ Adjective most commonly used words. Relates to increased knowledge.
  • Early story books: Designed to be read to children. More complicated grammar/ words
  • Young Children's Books: Shared experience (bonding). Experiences. Instructional.
  • Reading Schemes: Entertaining. Include formal learning structures. 8 y.o. plus
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CLA: Bruner's LASS

Bruner's LANGUAGE ACQUSITION SUPPORT SYSTEM consists of four stages:

1. Getting attention of the baby/ child on to the picture in book. Establishing reading the book as an activity.

2. Query. Parent asks the child what is in the book, engaging interest in activity.

3. Label. The parent tells the child what the picture is. Helping to support them.

4. Feedback. Responds to child's utterance, supporting them with positive politeness.

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CLA: Writing

Reasons for Writing: Communication, information, expression, shared understanding, reach a greater audience, permenance, practical purposes, better than ephemeral speech.

  • Writing Acquisition: Being ables to use words and phrases, grammar and phonology to create meaning. Applying pragmatics, discourse structure, graphology, register and orthography.
  • Psuedo-writing: trying to imitate writing but roducing something generally incomprehensible.
  • Harste, Woodward and Burke: 1980's research into early writing. Most children differentiate reading and writing aged 3. Start to parrallel techniques of older more proficient writers. 3+ authoring cycle sets in.
  • Skinner: Positive reinforcement
  • Authoring Cycle: Organisation. Eidence of cognitive process. Intention signifies development. Generativeness - attempt to generate/make meaning. Risk taking in new things. Understanding of language and context. Scribbles are then words have collective meaning.
  • Stanges of writing: Drawing, letter-like forms, copied letters, child's name, words, sentences, text.
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CLA: Writing - 2

  • Kroll's Four Stages of Development: Preparation - up to six, basic motor skills and basic spelling principles. Consolidation - 7/8 similar to speech, colloquial register. Differentiation - 9/10 writing is fluent and different from speech with awareness of context. Integration - Mid teens personal voice, controlled style and use of language choice.
  • Development of genre: Vocab, grammar, tone, audience, reader/writer relationship. Further development and increase in pragmatic awareness. Tone reflective of personality.
  • Spelling: Often sounds do not relate to letters/ writing. Diagraphs - do they represent sounds? Sounds can be affected by position. accent, affixes, inflections, morphemes, homophones etc.
  • Five stages of spelling: Pre-phonemic - scribbling or pretend writing. Semi-phonemic - link letter shapes and sounds. Phonetic - children understand all honemes can be represented. Transitional - combine phonic with visual memory.
  • Categories of spelling: Insertion - adding extra letters, Ommision - leving letters out, Substitution - one letter for another, Transposition - reversing correct order of letters, Phonetic - using sound awareness. Over/under generalisation.
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CLA: Phonology

Preverbal development: Vegetative - reflexive sounds e.g. burping 0/4 months. Cooing - Laughter, sighs etc. 4/7 months. Babbling - repeated patterns of sounds 6/12 months. Proto-words - Word like utterances 9/12 months.

Sounds acquired by ages: 24 months (P,B,M,D,N,T,W). 30 months (K,G,H,NG). 36 months (F,S,I,L). 42 months (CH,J,V,Z,SH,V). 48 months (TH, Su)

Virtuous Errors: Deletion, Substitution, Addition, Assimilation, Reduplication, Constanant cluster reduction, Deletion stressed syllables.

Aitchison's Stages of Lexical Development: Holophrastic - one word 12/18 months. 60% all first words nouns. Two Word - 18/24 months. Telegraphic - three words 24/36 months. Post telegraphic 36 months +.

Theorists: Skinner: Positive Politeness/reinforcement. Piaget: cognitive development. Chomsky: LAD. Bercow and Brown: Fis experiment. Clark: Over extention. Aitchison: Stanges of Lexical Development. Belugi: Grammar.

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CLA: Phonology - 2

Key Grammar: Telegrahic stage. Copula verbs - those which link subject ad description e.g. chocolate TASTES yummy. Clauses - active/passive voice. Verb use - adverbial clauses. Longer Noun Phrases.

Morphological development: Smallest unit of meaning. Free - i.e. cat. Bound - i.e. 's'. Inflectional. Derivational. Converting

Pragmatic Development: Pragmatic development - Halliday and Dore. Bruner - LASS. Vygotsky - Scaffolding.

  • G - Good - Grammar - order of words, Belugi, copula verbs, passive voice etc.
  • L - Lads  - Lexis - choice of lexis, Aitchison's stages, link to pragmatics, B&B
  • S - Should - Semantics - topic, related to context, over extention (Clark)
  • P - Play - Pragmatics - Virtuous errors, Piaget cognitive development.
  • P - Polo - Phonology - Chomsky, Vygotsky, morphologcal development. ages.
  • D - Daily - Discourse structure - Vygotsky, Bruner.
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CLA Pragmatics

Halliday's Functions of Speech: Inexperienced Rowing Industries Parks Really Innocent Halliday

  • Instrumental - Fulfil need
  • Regulartory - Influence other's behaviour
  • Interactional - to develop or maintain relationships
  • Personal - Convey individual opinions
  • Representational - Convey Facts
  • Imaginitative - Create imaginary or play world.
  • Heuristic - learn about environment through questions etc. 

John Dore's Language Functions: Like Really Awful Raddish, Grace Pooed her Pants

  • Labelling - Naming people/ objects
  • Repeating - Mimicing the adult word
  • Answering - responding to another speaker
  • Requesting action - asking for something
  • Greeting
  • Protesting - objecting to requests
  • Practising - When no-one is present
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CLA: Pragmatics - 2

Politeness enables conversation to be maintained. Positive/negative face (often from adult).

Contextual factors include: Who Participates, Relationship between them, Setting/environment,Developmental stage, culture etc.

Mean Length Utterance: Focuses on complexity of morpheme. Assess difficulty. Each morpheme is points based. Average compared against national average.

Morpheme: Smallest unit of meaning.

Post-telegraphic Stage: When remaining function words are acquired/used properly. Longer noun phrases. Verb aspects used more. Clauses combined using co-ordinating conjunctions.

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CLA: Stages

Holophrastic Stage: Single or one words at a time. Expresses whole meaning in one word. 12-18 months Earliest stage of speech. e.g. Daddy.

Two-word Stage: Linking of words. Cognitive development. 18-24 months. e.g. yummy yogurt

Telegraphic stage: Three or more words at a time. 24-36 months. Memorisation of words. Grouping of first words: People, Animals, Proper nouns, feelings.

Post telegraphic stage: 36 months onward.

The Parent's Role/ Child Directed Speech: - Bruner's Lass and Chomsky's LAD

  • Present tense
  • Repetition
  • Higher pitch
  • Child's name rather than pronouns
  • One word utterances and short elliptical sentences
  • Fewer verb/ modifiers.
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CLA: The Telegraphic Stage

What is the telegraphic stage?

  • Three words in a phrase - subject, verb, object.
  • Meaning becomes more explicit through cognitive meaning.
  • Memorisation of phrases.
  • Development of question, negatives and pronouns.
  • Mostly context. Not function.
  • Can be lacking in determiners, pronouns, tenses and prepositions.

Post-telegraphic stage: Begins with alteration of structure. "Can I Ice cream > Can I have ice cream.

What, where, why, when acquired in that order. Object permenance. Conciousness not developed. Time/space is most complex therefore takes time.

First words normally nouns: Piaget: Concrete objects. Object permenance.

Belugi's stages: 1. Uses own name. 2. Recognises I/me pronounds. 3. Uses themselves as subject or object.

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These are amazing, thanks Megan :-) ;-)

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