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48 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Prescriptive grammar
Sets of rules which are set up to prescribe ‘correct
Descriptive grammar:
System of rules intended to describe the ‘internalised’
grammar of speakers, without value judgements on the ‘correctness’ of those
A neutral term to refer to the language spoken by a particular group
Standard Language:
A variety of language for which normative rules have
been set, and which will be used in some situations by speakers for whom the
standard form of the language is not the first variety that they learned.
Refers purely to pronunciation.
A variety of a language. Linguists use this as a technical term to refer
to standard as well as non-standard varieties. However, the usual ‘ordinary
language’ use of the term refers to non-standard varieties (usually regional
A ‘social dialect’; i.e. a variety which is characteristic of a particular
social group, rather than of a particular region.
A technical term which some linguists use to refer to a particular variety;
it avoids prejudging the extent to which the variety is mainly social or mainly
regional. Linguists also sometimes use the term idiolect to refer to the variety used by an individual, since everyone’s linguistic system is a bit different.
A type of language that is associated with particular situations. A
standard language will have more formal and less formal registers. Informal or
colloquial language is not the same as non-standard language, and formal
language is not the same as a standard language.
Lingua Franca:
A language which is used as a means of communication
between people who do not share a mother tongue; e.g. Latin in the Middle
Ages or various pidgins in the modern world, such as Police Motu in New
Guinea. English is essentially used as a lingua franca in many situations, but
many people use the term only to refer to pidgins. (The term comes from
Italian ‘Frankish language’).
The organisation of sounds in a language. Phonetics studies how
the sounds are made (articulatory phonetics) and what acoustic properties they
have (acoustic phonetics), rather than how the sounds are organised. By
‘organisation’ of sounds we mean which sounds are treated as distinctive in a
language as well as the rules concerning the pronunciation of the sounds in different phonetic environments.
The organisation of the morphemes of a language. The
morphemes of a language are the smallest meaningful units of the language.
E.g. dogs consists of two morphemes— {dog} refers to the animal, and {z}
(spelled <s>) refers to more than one.
Essentially a dictionary. The adjective lexical is used to refer to
words; e.g. we can say that Australian and American English have lexical
differences such as ‘jumper’ versus ‘sweater’.
A term referring to individual vocabulary items, which may encompss more than one verb form - for example the lexeme EAT may involve different word forms eat, eats, ate.
Meaning, and the study of how languages convey meaning.
The organisation of words into larger units, such as phrases and sentences.
This term is used in different ways. ‘Grammar’ is sometimes used
to refer to everything about a language (including phonology and semantics),
but is more commonly used to refer to syntax and morphology
Bloomfield (1933: 178) defined words as ‘the smallest units of meaning that are able to function independently’ (or ‘minimum free forms.) Both bird and birds are words, because neither can be broken down into smaller free forms. Bird and birds together make up the lexeme BIRD.
Bound morpheme
a morpheme which cannot stand on its own, but only occurs bound to another morpheme, e.g. plural -z, -ish, etc. A free morpheme such as bird can stand on its own.
A form which cannot be broken down into smaller parts, but forms the basis for building up other words. Cat is a root which can be used to build words such as cats and catty. A root is by definition a single morpheme.
Any form which is used as the basis for building a larger word. A stem may be a root, such as cat,but it may be more complex: work is a stem which is a root, but worker is a stem which does not consist only of a root. We can add the plural morpheme to this stem to produce workers.
Bound morphemes which are attached to stems, e.g. the plural suffix or a prefix such as re- (redo).
Lexical morpheme:
These have a reference to a concept which exists outside of language, such as treeand jog.
The way in which a lexeme changes its form according to its use in a sentence; e.g. nouns inflect for plural. Bird and birds are inflectional forms of the lexeme BIRD. The study of inflectional morphemes is inflectional morphology.
Derivational morphology:
Morphology which creates new lexemes. Catty is related to cat by derivational morphology,
inflectional morphology
To apply an inflection is to change the form of a word so as to give it extra meaning. cats is related to cat by
An example of vowel changes in inflectional morphology:
"I throw the pencil" - throw present tense
"I threw the pencil" - threw past tense
Possible extra meaning in inflectional morphology:
Number Person Case Gender Tense Mood Aspect Politness
Grammatical category:
A category that we must assume in order to explain the behaviour of different types of words and their interaction with other words. E.g. we must assume a category of number for nouns in order to explain why they appear in a slightly different form according to whether we are referring to one or more than one thing. The term grammatical feature is often used to refer to a property which distinguishes the different inflectional forms.
Two or more forms agree when they are inflected for the same grammatical feature; e.g.verbs must agree with a third person singular subject in English as in John walks (*walk) to work.
One of the ‘grammatical relations’, which are purely grammatical roles which have different characteristics in different languages. In English, this is the noun which occurs directly before the verb, e.g. John in the above sentence. The subject is ordinarily the ‘doer’ or agent of the action, but not always. More when we get to grammatical relations.
Another important grammatical relation. In English, it is a ‘bare’ noun or noun phrase usually directly after the verb (where ‘bare’ means ‘not preceded by a preposition’), e.g. the dogs in he sees the dogs.
A grammatical category which refers to how many entities are being referred to by a noun. In English, number has only two values: singular and plural.
A grammatical category which makes reference to whether a participant in a sentence is the speaker or a group which includes the speaker (first person), the hearer or a group which includes the hearer (second person) and all others (third person).
A grammatical category which makes reference to which ‘type’ (genus) the noun is, where the ‘type’ is determined by such things as sex, animacy, etc. Gender is not strictly speaking a grammatical category of English because we use natural gender, not grammatical gender; i.e. we choose a different lexeme (he, she, it) according to semantics rather than grammar.
A grammatical category which makes reference to the role of a participant in a sentence. Case is very limited in English. We have subject or nominative case in I, object or accusative case in me, and genitive case in my.
Finite verb:
Traditionally, a form of the verb which agrees with the subject. For English, where there is very little agreement, it is more useful to think of a finite verb as one which conveys tense. A form of the verb which does not convey person or number is non-finite; for English, these are the tenseless forms.
A non-finite form of the verb which is not a participle; in English, infinitives have no ending at all and are usually introduced by to. To eat is an infinitive
A verbal form which can also be used as an adjective. In English, the present participle is identical to the gerund. Eating is a participle in I was eating. This -ing form is called the present participle. There is another participle which ends in -ed for weak verbs and often in -en for strong verbs (e.g. I have spoken). in English; this is usually called the past participle.
The use of forms which cannot be related by regular phonological or morphological rules as different forms of the same lexeme; e.g. present go but past went. Not all irregular forms are suppletive; e.g. tooth vs. teeth is not an example of suppletion. But good vs. better is because there are two different
roots involved.
A verb and the things which ‘go with’ it. So John said that Mary had left contains two clauses. Said is the verb in the first clause, and left is the (main) verb in the second clause. Each clause has its own tense and aspect.
A sentence like the dog was killed by the truck is said to be in the passive voice because the grammatical subject is not the ‘doer’ or agent of the sentence.
The active (voice) equivalent of the above sentence is a truck killed the dog
Grammatical Morpheme:
morphemes that have purely grammatical meaning and that do not refer to anything in the real world.
The situation where two forms of the same lexeme have no obvious relationship in the form they take -go, went-. this situation arises when two historically unrelated paradigms merge and almost invariably affects frequently occuring words.
The derivation of words that have different word class memebership without any affixation - for example swim (noun) swim(verb). Conversion can be callled zero affixation
a bound morpheme that is attached to a stem to form a word
Variant sequences of sound found in actual speech that represent the same morpheme. The indefinate article {A} has two different allomorphs.