Study Guide - English Terminology

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ABSTRACT NOUNrefers to ideas, processes, occasions, times, qualities that cannot be touched or seen.| |

ADJECTIVEgives more information about or describes a noun or pronoun|

ADVERBgives more information about (modifies) a verb, an adjective, another adverb, or a sentence.|

ALLEGORYa narrative in which people, objects and events represent moral or spiritual ideas.|

ALLITERATIONthe repetition of the same or similar sounds at the beginnings of words in a line / phrase: “What would the world be, once bereft / Of wet and wildness?” (Hopkins, ‘Inversnaid’)|

ALLUSIONUsually an implicit reference to another work of literature or art, a person or an event. Often an appeal to the reader to share some experience with the writer. An allusion may enrich the work by association and give it depth. When using an allusion, writers tend to assume an established literary tradition, a body of common knowledge, with an audience sharing that tradition and who then “pick up” the reference. Roughly, we can distinguish: (a) a reference to events and people, (b) reference to facts about the writer, (c) a metaphoric allusion, and (d) an imitative allusion.|

AMBIGUITYwords very often connote more than they denote; we recognise that there could be other meanings / verbal nuances / alternative reactions.|

ARCHAICof a much earlier period; out of date or old-fashioned; language no longer in everyday use.|

ASSONANCEthe repetition or a pattern of similar vowel sounds that occur close together:“Thou still unravished bride of quietness, / Thou foster child of silence and slow time”(‘Ode to a Grecian Urn’, John Keats).|

ASYNDETIC LISTINGthe omission of conjunctions in sentence constructions|

BALLADa poem that tells a story similar to a folk tale or legend and often has a repeated refrain. For example, ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.|

BLANK VERSEpoetry that is written in unrhymed iambic pentameter. Shakespeare wrote most of his plays in blank verse.|

CAESURAa break or pause in a line of poetry, dictated, usually, by the natural rhythm of the language.|

CHARACTERISATIONthe description or portrayal of a person by an actor or writer.|

CLICHÉa commonplace, over-used expression that is lifeless.|

COLLECTIVE NOUNrefers to a group of people or things as a single unit, e.g. ‘team’.|

COLLOQUIALinformal language.|

CONCEITa fairly elaborate figurative device of a fanciful kind that often incorporates metaphor, simile, hyperbole or oxymoron and which is intended to surprise and delight by its wit and ingenuity. Particularly associated with the Metaphysical poets.|

CONCRETE NOUNrefers to physical thing like people, animals, places and objects that can be seen and measured.|

CONJUNCTIONa connective that links sentences, clauses, phrases, or words, e.g. ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘if’|

CONNOTATIONimplied additional meaning(s) associated with or suggested by particular lexis|

CONSONANCEthe repetition of similar consonant sounds, especially at the ends of words, as in lost and past or confess and dismiss.|

CONTEXTrefers to the different factors or circumstances that surround and influence a particular text - social, historical and cultural.|

COUPLETin a poem, a pair of lines that are the same length and usually rhyme and form a complete thought. Shakespearean sonnets usually end in a couplet.|

CULTURAL CONTEXT refers to factors that influence the way of living that is followed by specific groups of people. Cultural context includes tradition; attitudes adhered to; entertainment; and the hobbies or sports pursued.|

DECLARATIVEstatement - sentence function.|

DENOTATIONthe most specific or literal meaning of a word (dictionary definition) as opposed to its figurative senses or connotations|

DEVICESthe narrative, literary and linguistic techniques used by a writer.|

DIALOGUEconversation between two or more people.|...
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