English Language Ultra-Comprehensive and All-Inclusive Definitions and Explanations Checklist (for now relating to the SAC (mostly).
The Five Subsystems of English:
Phrase: A group of words
Phonology – How stuff sounds and how to pronounce it.
Clause: A phrase with a verb and a subject (Jesus cried)
Morphology – The parts of words and how they are put together. 6 Semantics – The Meaning of the words and sentences. Syntax – The order of the words to make them mean something.
Coordinating Conjunction: a conjunction which joins two clauses which are equally important.
Discourse Analysis – The analysis of anything written, spoken or signed.
Sentence Structure Types: -
Dependent Clause: A clause which cannot stand by itself (wherever she goes) Adverb
Simple: One clause (also known as an independent clause, because it can stand by itself). Compound: Two independent clauses (simple sentences) joined by a coordinating conjunction. Complex: One Independent clause (simple sentence) joined by one or more dependent clauses.
Sentence Types: (NOTE: these are NOT the structure types, these are the garden-variety types) -
Imperative: Giving a command (Go and buy me a chocolate bar) Declarative: Stating a fact (I love chocolate) Interrogative: Asking a question (Do you like chocolate?) Exclamatory: Expressing sudden feelings (Holy $#!T, is that CHOCOLATE?)
Word Classes: Noun: A thing. (dog, chair, water) Verb: An action. (run, slap, trip) Adjective: A description of something. (slimy, interesting, tasty) Adverb: A word (or phrase – adverbial phrase) which modifies anything but a noun. (quickly, soon) Preposition: Shows how the subject is interacting with the object. (the book is on/above the table) Conjunction: A word which connects two parts of speech (phrases or clauses). (and, however, but) Determiner: A word which indicates whether you are referring to something specific and/or something of a specific type. (the, a, one, this)
Spoken Language: Spontaneous speech: When you say something without planning it; on the spot. Indicators: -
Repair: The speaker realises he made an error and repeats what he said with corrections. “I don’t ...well, I mean, I would love to, but I’m busy on Saturday.” Filled Pauses/Hesitations: Softening the blow of declining an offer. (hmm..er, well, nah.sorry.) “It’s not that I don’t uhh…well…like you, it’s just that I need my space.” False start: Incomplete sentences where the speaker changes what he was going to say. “I think it was……I just really want to see inception again.” Repetition: The speaker says the same word multiple times to add emphasis or clarity. “Well, it’s more that I like him, not…you know…like like him.” Contraction: Words are abbreviated “Don’t you think that I’ve earned a rest?” Reduction: Words are shortened without being abbreviated. “I think it’ll be great, cause we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” Ellipsis: Words are left out of a sentence. “What (will happen) if I miss the dead line?” “John can play something, but I don’t know what (john can play).” Assimilation: The ending sounds of one word are joined to the beginning sounds of the next. “Dombe Silly” (Don’t be silly) (say it really fast). “Deckev Cards” (Deck of cards). Elision: The final letter(s) of a word are left off (and are replaced with an apostrophe in writing). “I ain’t done nuthin’ wrong.”
Phatic Conventions: Establishing rapport (the kind of handshake moment) when you start talking to someone, or saying goodbye. The stuff you say because it’s polite. Indicators: -
Openings: Greeting) “Hi there, how’s it going?” Closings: Saying goodbye) “Well, I’ll see you later, then.” Adjacency pairs: A speaker says something which isn’t a question which requires a response. (Greeting -> Greeting) “Hi there!” -> “Oh, hey.” (Offer -> Acceptance/Rejection) “Would you like to see a movie?” -> “Sure, I’d love to!” (Request -> Acceptance/Rejection) “May I borrow this book?” -> “Sorry, It’s already overdue” (Question -> Answer) “What does this big red button do?” -> “It causes the universe to explode” (Complaint -> Excuse/Remedy) “It’s really cold in here” -> “Sorry, ill close the window then” (Goodbye -> Goodbye) “Well, I’ll catch you later then” -> “Yeah, See you later!”
Social Distance: How close the speakers are, and how it affects their choice of words and topics. Indicators: -
Overlapping: When two speakers say something at the same time. Usually indicated with [square brackets] Ellipsis: Refer to Previous Section Minimal response: A short response which does not interrupt the other person’s speech. Colloquialisms (slang): Er…Slang. For example Mate, wassup, Arvo, smashed. Terms of address: The word which you use to address someone (Mr, John, Doctor, Mum, Sir).
General words: Just general words that apply to everything: -
Audience: Who the conversation is aimed at (more to do with writing or monologues). Participants: Those who are participating in a conversation (don’t have to be speaking however). Interlocutors: The speakers in a conversation (Similar to Participants, but must be speaking) Context: What the conversation is about/discussing. Semantic field: When speech has jargon from a specific topic (i.e. HDD or RAM for computers), it is part of that field. Function: What the whole point of the conversation is (there CAN be more than one, but generally only one MAIN one.
Prosodic Features: Phonological (how it sounds) phenomenon. Indicators: -
Pitch: How high or low the speaker’s voice is, and whether it is normal for that speaker. Tone: The use of Pitch (above) to give words and phrases meaning (applied to multiple words at a time) Stress: The use of Pitch to give words and phrases meaning (applied to only one syllable at a time) Speed (how fast the speech is) Dynamics (how loud the speech is)
Paralinguistics: The parts of spoken conversation which are not actually words. Indicators: -
Laughter: Pretty straight forward. Body language: Posture, facial expressions, whether he is interested in what you are saying. Breathing: Intake or exhaustion of breath as an interruption.
Turn taking: How the speakers take in turns talking Indicators: -
Taking the floor: Interrupting the other speaker. Maintaining the floor: Not allowing an opportunity for the other speaker to speak. Topic Loop: When a speaker returns the conversation to a particular topic after a derailing.
Cooperative principles (Grice’s four Maxims) (his first name was Paul, by the way) Also known as the Principles of Appropriateness, or Gricean Maxims. Relation/Relevance: Say only things which apply to the situation, or were asked of you. Quality: Be Truthful Quantity: Do not give too much or too little information. Manner: Be Clear. Do not be ambiguous, or obscure (like me)
Coherence (the broad term): The text is COHERENT when it makes sense to the READER. It is Relative. This means that to someone text may make sense (the text is coherent), but to someone else it does not make sense (incoherent) Cohesion: The structure or meaning of a piece that holds it together. The bits that make it COHERENT. Phrases or words that help the reader connect the ideas that the text is trying to explain, or points it is trying to make.
Functions: What exactly the aim of the conversation is, what the reason for the conversation is. (If there are multiple, then the MAIN aim/reason.). -
Maintaining relationships: Most conversation falls under this category. If you need two examples of the functions of a spoken text, and you have another one, this one will probably be fine to use. It’s pretty broad. Examples of when it is the reason for a conversation include catching up with friends, or making new friends. Examples of when it is NOT a reason for conversation include The Prime Minister making a speech on TV – that ain’t to make new friends, it’s to make a point. Instructional: To tell a speaker to do something. Persuasive: To convince a speaker that they should think/do something specific. Informative: To inform a speaker of certain information. EG To tell the teacher that Jimmy is using his phone under the desk.
What exactly are the Questions asking you to say? */rant/* When you get a question with certain key words in them, they are more than likely asking for something special/in particular. **Special Note (and rant….beware)**: When the question contains a word or phrase which is commonly associated with a specific concept, then you must mention that concept. I know this all too well. As right as I am (and I know that I am right…technically), Mrs Tang is the one who marks the SACs. She gave us all questions which she had professional answers for. That is, she was given what the examiners were looking for, and that is what she used to decide whether we got
the questions correct or incorrect, and to what degree. Now, this isn’t to say that she is correct in not being flexible. She did NOT SPECIFY prior to the SAC that if a question contains a special word we associate with some special concept, then we MUST WRITE ABOUT IT. For example, that question which asked for TWO examples of conversational strategies which had been FLOUTED. We associate the word FLOUT with Grice’s four maxims for cooperative speech. However I chose to discuss two conversational strategies which were NOT Grice’s Maxims. And so I got ¼ marks. She said that ELAA is for students who are intelligent, and that the answers need to be sophisticated. But what she must have meant was that ELAA is for smart students to write very simple answers. I like writing answers which are less….obvious. Obviously that is wrong.