AQA English Language B Revision Notes

  • Created by: maddie
  • Created on: 17-05-13 16:37


  • Noun- names objects, feelings, attitudes, people or places

Proper e.g. London Abstract e.g. happiness Concrete e.g. table

  • Verb- shows actions, event or states of being, feeling or thinking

Dynamic e.g. run Stative e.g. hold Modal Auxilary e.g. would, will, may

  • Adjective- modifies nouns

Base e.g. happy Comparative e.g. happier Superlative e.g. Happiest

  • Adverb- modifies verbs or other adverbs

e.g. quickly

  • Determiner- positioned in front of nouns to add detail/clarity

e.g. the, an

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  • Conjuction- links phrases/words

e.g. and (coordinating), but, although (subordinating)

  • Pronoun- replaces nouns/ refers to nouns

1st Person e.g. I (personal), My (possessive), Our (possessive), Myself (reflexive)

2nd Person e.g. You (personal), Your (possessive), Yourself (reflexive)

3rd Person e.g. He (personal), Its (possessive), Theirs (possessive), Themselves (reflexive)

EFFECT: 2nd Person= direct address, 1st Person Plural= inclusive

  • Preposition- indicate how something is related to something else

e.g. at, on, into, oppostive, before, during

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Lexical Cohesion

  • Lexical Field- lexical items that are similar in a range of meaning and properties
  • Repitition
  • Collocations

Grammatical Cohesion

  • Conjuctions

 e.g. also (addition), in conclusion (summative), similarly (comparative)

  • Anaphoric/ Cataphoric Referencing- referencing to an already stated/ not yet stated lexical item

e.g. 'The cat was hot, it had been outside all day' (Anaphoric) 'I believed it. It was the truth' (Cataphoric)

  • Ellipsis- the missing out of a word or words in a sentence

e.g. A: 'Where did you go on holiday?' B: 'Portugal'

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LEXIS & SEMANTICS- Semantic Relationships

  • Synonyms-words with very similar semantic value

e.g. pretty, beautiful, stunning, hot

  • Antonym- words with opposite semantic value

e.g. ugly, unattractive (euphemism), butters, hideous (dysphemism)

They have differeing degrees of formality/ dialect/ sociolect

  • Connotations- an associated, symbolic meaning relying on culturally shared conventions

e.g. Bachelor --> handsome, rich, desirable

  • Figurative language

e.g. Similie, metaphor --> extended metaphor, idioms 'face the music' 

  • Collocations- pairs of words commonly found together (broken for effect)

e.g. ***** and span, long day

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  • Noun Phrases

e.g. A noisy party

  • Verb Phrases

e.g.  Coursework becomes history, I may see him

Modal auxilary verbs e.g. may, could, will

  • Adjectival Phrases

e.g. He is very clever

  • Adverbial Phrases 

e.g. It ran quickly

  • Active Voice- actor stated
  • Passive Voice- actor omitted 
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GRAMMAR & SYNTAX- Sentence Types

Sentence Types

  • Minor- sentence which doesn't contain a verb
  • Simple- sentence containing only one clause
  • Compound- sentence containing two or more clauses (connencted by coordinating conjunction)
  • Complex- sentence containing a main clause with one or more subordinate clause
  • Staccato- a succession of short (typically minor) sentences used for dramatic effect 

Sentence Function

  • Declarative
  • Imperitive
  • Exclammatory 
  • Interrogative
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  • Onomatopoeia- items that rely on a similarity between sound and meaning 

e.g. grrrr (non-lexical) crash (lexical)

  • Alliteration 

e.g. We walked with want

  • Assonance 

e.g. Do you like blue?

  • Phonological manipulation- ways in which text producers play with sounds and their effects

e.g. homophones

  • Prosodic features- non-verbal aspects of speech

e.g. tone, intonation, stress

  • Rhyme & Rhythm
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Relies on shared understanding between the text producer and receiver to convey an underlying meaning 

  • Co-operative Principle (Grice)- suggests that all communication is a cooperative act

 e.g. Flouting maxims to emphasise a point or convey an underlying meaning  

  • Diexis- lexical items that point to something (relies on context)

e.g. I am here now

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  • Iconic?- direct picture of the thing being represented- straight forward and simplified
  • Symbolic?- draws on connotations and existing cultural models
  • Photographs? Illustrations?
  • Captions influence a readers response to the image


  • Font size/ style/ colour- depend on text's purpose and implied readership
  • e.g. handwriting font seems more personal, calligraphy appears elegeant and formal


  • Is the text dense or broken up e.g. with boxes/ bullets/ bubbles?
  • Which part of the text catches the readers eye?
  • Use of juxtapositioning?
  • does the text adopt layout conventions of another genre e.g. letter/ recipe/ comic *****
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SPOKEN DISCOURSE- Spontaneous speech features

Conversation Features:

  • Adjacency Pairs
  • Initiation-response-feedback
  • Topic management- typically set by powerful participant
  • Back chanelling
  • Discourse marker- signals a shift in conversation e.g 'ok' 'right then'
  • Non fluency features- due to spontaneuous nature e.g. fillers, false starts, pauses, repitition
  • Hedging- avoids directness and minimise face threatening act
  • Ellipsis- omission of words, informal/avoid (unecessary) repitition
  • Vague/Fixed Expressions e.g. something, at the end of the day
  • Tag questions- speaker support, uncertainty or request of clarification
  • Deixis-  e.g. 'you' 'now' 'that' 
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  • Dialect- form of language with distinct features of vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation

e.g. English --> Yorkshire, Cockney, Welsh

  • Sociolect- a variety of language associated with a particular social group 

Socio-economic status- higher social classes commonly use Standard English, Lower class commonly use regional features

Age- teenagers commonly use slang/ colloquial to strengthen their identity in a group

Occupation- jargon/ slang used for economical or informal reasons

  • Idiolect- speech style unique to an individual

e.g. volume, tone, expressions, grammatical constructions

  • Standard English- most prestigious dialect
  • Recieved Pronunciation- most prestigious accent
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SPOKEN DISCOURSE- Functions & Influences

Functions of spoken language

  • Referential- utterances that provide information
  • Expressive- utterances that expresses the speakers feelings
  • Transactional- utterances with the main emphasis on getting something done
  • Interactional- utterances with the main emphasis on maintaining social realtionships
  • Phatic (small talk)- utterances that establish and maintain social relationships e.g. Hello

Influences on spoken language

  • Speaker identity- age, gender, group membership, regional orignin, socio-economic status...
  • Context- audience (power relationship, social distance...), setting (private, domestic, formal...), topic, purpose
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SPOKEN DISCOURSE- Conversation structure & Theorie

Structure of Conversation

  • Opening sequence- phatic speech act? Topic marker?
  • Turn taking- interruptions? Adjacency pairs? Holding the floor? Verbal/ non verbal cues?
  • Initiation-response-feedback
  • Back-channel behaviour
  • Closing sequence- pre-closing signals? Phatic speech act?

Conversation Theories

  • Accomodation- convergence/ divergence/ over- accomodation
  • Grice's Maxims (co-operative principle)
  • Face theory- positive/ negative politeness
  • Gender theories...
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Public Speeches

  • Grammar- rhetorical devices, sentence length, first/second person, repitition (cohesion)
  • Lexis- simple (monosyllabic), emotive, hyperbole, figurative
  • Phonology (they are intended to be heard)- rhythmic, stress, alliteration, intonation

Scripted Dialogue

  • Supposed to mimic natural speech
  • Lacks non-fluency features, incorrect grammatical construction, interuptions and feedback
  • More coherent than natural speech (prepared)
  • Deliberate purpose
  • Distinctive idiolect
  • Narrative discription (novels)
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WRITTEN DISCOURSE- Newspapers & Advertisements


  • Graphology- banner headline, strap line, byline, standfirst, caption
  • Headlines- purpose (convey info, create drama, persuade, humour) features (compression, informal, familiar phrases, pun, phonology, present tense)
  • Tabliod- colourful, typographical variation, large photos, dramatic, sensationalised, humorous, bias, simple lexis and sentences, informal, lighthearted
  • Broadsheet- restrained graphology, dense text, factual information, formal, polysyllabic words, complex sentences


  • Graphology- layout, typographical features, logos, colour
  • Form and structure- voice of narrator? style of writing e.g. letter? order in which text appears
  • Attitudes- direct address, interactive features e.g. questions/ forms tone e.g. informal/ familiar/ flattering
  • Grammer- short sentences, mimic speech, imperitives, punctuation e.g. !!
  • Phonology
  • Content- stereotypes, humour, intertexuality (reference to another text)

Hidden agenda? Ideology? Pragmatics?

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  • Purpose- entertain, arouse emotion, influence views, humour, explore character/ setting
  • Author's attitude
  • Narrative voice- informal? conversational language? distinct voice? intimate relationship with reader? subtle?
  • Characters
  • Rhetorical Teachniques
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Dialogue- mimics natural speech?
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