English Language - A-Level AQA Notes

  • Created by: Maycie132
  • Created on: 08-03-18 09:32

Revision Notes

Lexis and Semantics:

·         Lexis: the vocabulary system of words

·         Lexical item: a specific word

·         Semantics: the meaning of or behind words

·         Denotation: the dictionary definition of a word

·         Connotation: an idea/feeling a word invokes

·         Euphemism: a positive slant on a negative word

·         Dysphemism: a negative slant on a positive word

·         Synonyms: different words, same meanings

·         Antonyms: opposite of a word



·         Context: temporal (time) or spatial situations in which a text is produced or received

·         Context of reception: situations where a text is read and those factors may influence a reader’s interpretation

·         Actual reader: any reader who actually engages in the text

·         Actual writer: the ‘real’ person behind the text

·         Implied reader: the audience the writer aimed at

·         Implied writer: a constructed image of the writer the reader may have



·         Purpose: the reason a text is produced

·         Multi-purpose: a text with more than one purpose

·         Dual purpose: a text with two clear and defined purposes

·         Primary purpose: the main reason a text has been produced

·         Secondary purpose: a secondary reason a text has been produced


New Words:

·         Neology: refers to the formation of words

·         Morphemes: relate to the smallest grammatical unit in a language

·         Free morphemes: can stand alone

·         Bound morphemes: don’t stand alone

·         Morphology: the area of language study that deals with the formation of words from smaller units called morphemes

·         Prefix: bound morpheme added to the beginning of the word

·         Suffix: bound morpheme added to the end of the word

·         Blending: joining two words together to create a new one

·         Compound words: creating new words by joining two or more words together

·         Acronym: initial letter word


Language change:

·         3 ways we create new words: 1) borrow from other languages 2) adapt existing words from morphology 3) create new ones

·         Blending: join two words to create a new one

·         Compounding: join two words to retain meaning

·         Affixation: adding a prefix or a suffix to a word


Semantic change:

·         Narrowing: meaning is more specific

·         Pejoration: meaning takes on negative connotations

·         Amelioration: takes on positive connotations

·         Semantic degradation: meaning degrades, loses status

·         Broadening: takes on more meaning

·         Weakening: loses meaning

·         Semantic drift: a process of linguistic change over a period of time

·         Euphemism: positive slant on negative words

·         Idioms: an expression that can’t be easily understood

·         Metaphor: a word acquires a range of meanings


Grammatical change:

·         Negation: initial use of double negatives altered as 2 negatives make a positive

·         Dummy


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