Noun Adjective Speech language terminology

This chapter is about Noun Adjective Speech language terminology.

Abstract noun

A naming word for an idea, concept, state of being or belief


The manner of pronunciation in relation to geographical area


Words created by the initials of other grouped words

Adjacency pair

Turn taking where one utterance restrains other eg question and answer


A describing word that modifies a noun


A describing word that modifies a verb


Applying prefixes or suffixes to a word to give new meaning


Repetition of consonant sounds throughout a text


Where there can be more than one possible outcome- intrigue


Explaining something in terms of something else


When an animal takes on human characteristics


A word that, over time, has fallen out of common usage


Repetition of vowel sounds

Asyndetic list

a list with no conjunctions

Attributive adjective

Adjective placed before the noun it is describing


Who the text is aimed at

Auxiliary verb

Supporting verb of the lexical verb

back channeling

Supportive terms to show the listener is following

bald on record (politeness strategy)

when a person acts directly without concern for face needs


The clear and precise physical production of words


the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses


The ability to speak two languages

bound morpheme

A morpheme that does not make sense alone but must be added to a free morpheme


Formal, printed newspaper


Deliberate use of capital letters to signify importance


Reference to something that comes later in a sentence or in a text.

Cataphoric reference

A word or expression in a text that refers forward to another part of the text.

Child directed speech

Simplified way of talking adults use to speak to young children


an overused expression

Code switching

Varying formality/ register in contrast to one another

Collective noun

a word that names a group


Words associated being used together eg Bright sunny


An expression

Colloquial language

Informal, conversational tenor

Common noun

A naming word for something that is tangible

Comparative adjective

An adjective that relates one thing to another

complex sentence

Two clauses brought together by a sub-ordinating conjunction

Compound sentence

Two clauses brought together by a co-ordinating conjunction

compound-complex sentence

A sentence with a co-ordinating and sub-ordinating conjunction

Concrete noun

Things we can experience physically- touch


a word that joins two phrases or sentences


the implied or associative meaning of a word


Combining two or more words by removing a letter and replacing it with an apostrophe


Adjusting your speech patterns to match those around you

Declarative sentence

A statement

Definite article

specific article “the”

Dependant clause

A phrase that can’t stand alone as a complete sentence


conversation between two or more people

Direct address

speaking directly to the audience “you”

Directive utterance

Speaker wants someone to do something


Where a speaker deliberately distances themselves from the audience- footing

Double negative

Two negatives which cancel each other out

Dynamic verb

A verb that expresses an action


the omission of a sound or syllable when speaking


the omission of a word or phrase which is grammatically necessary but can be deduced from the context


a graphical emoticon used to express emotion


Typed symbols that convey emotional aspects of an online message

Emotive language

words used deliberately to create an emotional impact

End focus

Emphasis at the end of a clause or sentence

endophoric reference

referring to another expression within the same text


an inoffensive expression that is substituted for one that is considered offensive

Evaluative adjective

Describes something in terms of the speakers opinion/ evaluation


a sentence that has an expressive function and ends with an exclamation mark

Exophoric reference

Referencing something outside the text

Expressive utterance

expresses speaker’s feelings

Face threatening act

A communicative act that threatens someone’s positive or negative face needs

False start

When a speaker begins to speak, stops and then reformulates it


Subject area

Field specific lexis

Vocabulary associated with a particular topic area

Figurative language

Writing or speech that is not intended to carry literal meaning but used to describe


The way people align themselves to what they are saying


Putting emphasis at the beginning of a clause or sentence

Formulaic utterance

utterances that are used frequently in a particular context for a fixed purpose.

Free morpheme

A morpheme that can stand alone and still makes senses


Intention of text

Future tense

shows action that will happen


a category of literary composition, characterised by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.

Gerund noun

A noun with the suffix -ing


a set of rules to ensure meaning is fully understood and makes sense


A written letter


Images to assist text


Avoiding the point




a ranking system

High frequency lexis

Commonly used words


single word that conveys a complete thought

Holophrastic stage

one word communication


a word that has the same sound but a different meaning as another word


Trying to entertain the audience through making them laugh




a semantic category that names a more general class that contains specific members


A dash that is used to join words and separate syllables of a single word


dash used to break a word apart or in a compound adj.


a more specific word within a category or under a hypernym


raising a question then proceeding to answer it


based on an assumption or guess




The way of speaking individual to one person


A common, often used expression that doesn’t make sense if you take it literally.

Imaginative function

use of language to express oneself artistically or creatively

Imperative sentence

gives a command

Indefinite article

Unspecific article eg “an” or “a”

independant clause

expresses a complete thought and can stand alone as a senctence

Influential power

The power of influence- social media, celeb culture


Casual, speech like

Instrumental power

The power of the law- legal, politics


an adverb that emphasises an adjective or adverb

Interpersonal exchange



Subject specific lexis


something said or done to cause laughter


a type of jargon used by journalists that wouldn’t be used in everyday speech


Placing two contrasting concepts beside one another


To match the name of an object to the object.

language acquisition device

Chomsky’s concept of an innate, prewired mechanism in the brain that allows children to acquire language naturally

Language acquisition support system

factors in the social environment that facilitates the learning of language

Lexical set

A group of words or phrases that are about the same content topic or subject, e.g. weather – storm, to rain, wind, cloudy.



Linguistic variable

a feature of language use that distinguishes one group of speakers from another

Low frequency lexis

Uncommonly used words

Maxim of manner

avoid ambiguity and obscurity; be brief and orderly

Maxim of quality

to be truthful

Maxim of quantity

don’t say too much or too little

Maxim of relevance

Stick to to the point


a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.

Minor sentence

Incomplete sentence which can be fully understood and doesn’t have a ver

Modal verb

An auxiliary verb that expresses necessity or possibility


What form is used


the process of observing and imitating a specific behavior


a word, phrase, or clause that qualifies or describes another word, phrase, or clause

More Knowledgeable Other

A person who has a better understanding or a higher skill level than the learner. (Vygotsky)


in language, the smallest unit that carries meaning


units of meaning involved in word formation


child-directed speech


Uses more than one form


Using no or not to make a positive statement negative

Negative face

The desire to be free from imposition or intrusion

Negative face needs

Desire to be autonomous

Negative politeness

politeness strategy based on the speaker’s minimizing imposition on the addressee

negative reinforcement

Increasing behaviors by stopping or reducing negative stimuli.


New words

Network building

Making connections between words, understanding similarities and opposites in meanings.

Non-count noun

a noun that only has a single form does not need to be changed to make it plural

Noun phrase

A noun and an adjective phrase

object permanence

the knowledge that an object exists even when it is not in sight


a job or profession

Occupational dialect

Words specific to an occupation/job area

Occupational register

A technical vocabulary associated with a particular occupation or activity

Off-record (indirect) strategy



words that imitate sounds


authorized or generally accepted theory


conjoining contradictory terms


Speed of speech delivery


Phrases or sentences of a similar construction/meaning placed side by side, balancing each other


Added information added but not interrupting the main sentence


to restate in other words

Paralinguistic features

Body language – shrugging, facial expressions


Word that has grammatical function but does not add meaning

pathetic fallacy

The attribution of human emotions or characteristics to inanimate objects or to nature; for example angry clouds; a cruel wind.

Perlocutionary act

the effect on the listener


the attribution of a personal nature or human characteristics to something nonhuman


smallest unit of sound

Phonemic contraction

the sounds a child can make are reduced so that they can only make the sounds of their own language

Phonemic expansion

An increase in the variety of sounds a child can produce


the study of speech sounds in language

Phrasal verb

A verb made up of a main verb and a preposition, adverb, or both. The phrasal verb usually has a meaning completely different to its main verb, which can confuse


more than one

Politically correct

conforming to socially acceptable boundaries

positive politeness

Social behavior which expresses positive attitudes to other people

positive reinforcement

Increasing behaviours by presenting positive stimuli, such as food.

Postmodified noun phrase

Adjective comes after noun it is describing

Post telegraphic stage

period of time when a child’s language will include both content and grammatical words and more closely resemble adult speech


shows the relationship between a noun and another word in the sentence.

Prestige form

the form of English which is socially prestigious i.e. held as being higher than others.

Active voice

The subject of the sentence performs the action

Cooperative feedback

A verbal/ non-verbal response that shows you are listening

Deictic reference

Words such as “this”, “that”, “there”- context dependant- refer forwards, backwards or outside the text

Discourse marker

/ topic shift when an individual moves the discussion in a different direction


Speaking only one language


One person speaking either to themselves of to an audience

Monosyllabic lexis

Words with one syllable

Smooth latch

Utterances by different speakers which follow directly on

Vague language

Statements that sound imprecis

Prestige form

The form of English which is socially prestigious

lingua franca

a language used among speakers of different languages for the purposes of trade and commerce

Forensic Rhetoric

a type of rhetoric that pertains to speakers prompting feelings of guilt or innocence from an audience- speech or writing that considers the justice or injustice of a certain change or an accusation

epideictic rhetoric

the type of rhetoric that reaffirms cultural values through praising and blaming

deliberative rhetoric

the type of rhetoric used to argue what a society/ the audience should do in the future


The term used when you transform the verb to an abstract noun

Instrumental power

Used by people or groups to exert hierarchical authority over others.

Influential power

Influencing or persuading others, rather than using an kind of actual authority.


1999 types of power

Wareing types of power:

Political, legal, personal, social group

Political power

Power held by people or groups conferred on them by the law (eg politicians)

Legal power

Specific subdivision of political power

Personal power

Power that is held because of an individual’s occupation or role

Social group power

The power someone has because of the social group they belong to, often owing to social class

Knowledge power

Where a participant clearly has knowledge that other participants do not, and so takes control of the conversation

Normal Fairclough power

2001 Asymmetrical power

Asymmetrical power

The normal rules of turn taking and topic management do not apply. Power/ status is not equal.

Unequal encounter

A discussion in which there is power asymmetry with some participants more or less powerful than others.

Powerful/ less powerful participants

In asymmetrical conversation one/ some participants have more power than others. More powerful participants place constraints on what the rest can say and when, often through interruptions.


Pecking order


The level of authority or significance someone has within a conversation, group or organisation.


The function of a person within a conversation, group or organisation.


The level of power a person has either because of their role or other factors (eg expert knowledge)

Power in discourse

Norman Fairclough

Fairclough Power in discourse:

The ways in which the language is used in a text exerts/ enforces/ exercises power

Fairclough Power behind discourse

The context that enables the text to exert/ enforce/exercise power

Accomodation theorist

Howard Giles


The tendency of speech patterns to converse, to reduce social differences or diverge, increase social differences

Speech community

A group of people sharing a common language

Age grading

A form of social organisation based on age

Age set

Individuals remain permanently to their age set as the set itself becomes progressively more senior

Age specific language

Changing language used during the lifespan of an individual. There are some age exclusive features (consider child language acquisition stage) Jenny Cheshire

Generation specific language

The language if different cohorts of individual living within the same speech community. Jenny Cheshire

Chronological age

number of years since birth

Biological age

Physical maturity

Social age

Linked to life events and experiences

Sociolinguistic maturation

Paul Kerswill. It states that as you grow older you become less susceptible to the influences of slang on your spoken language.

Traditionalists or silent generation


Baby boomers


Generation X


Generation Y (Millennials)


Generation Z, iGen, centennials


Age specific

The changing language used within the lifespan of an individual

Generation specific

The language of a different cohorts of individuals living within a speech community

Labov 1994

Individuals tend to preserve speech patterns as they move through their lifespan

Eckert 1997

Chronological age, biological age, social age

Chronological age

Years since birth

Biological age

Physical maturity

Social age

Tied to life events and family status

Ota, Harwood, Williams, Takai 2000

Age more meaningful in different cultures- 18-19 year olds stronger identity for Americans than Japanese

Giles 2000

Middle aged people have greater ethnolinguistic vitality than younger/ older people

Middle aged


Hockett 1950

Language repeated with generations

Age exclusive

Used only by one generation at a certain age

Helfrich 1979

Some age exclusive features may be due to maturational factors reflecting age

Holmes 1995

Address terms aimed at children show their inferior status, many non-reciprocal forms used such as “dear”

Downes 1998

Less Prestigious variants used more frequently by younger and older speakers. Prestige variants used more frequently by middle- aged speakers

Wolfram and Fasold

Detroit study

Detroit study Wolfram and Fasold

Multiple negation more common in young people. More influenced by social pressures

Cheshire and Milroy

Young people will be more influenced by their friends than anyone else