A sentence that is written in active voice has a subject which has the function of actor — John plays the bass; America invaded Iraq.
A word that modifies a noun, making its meaning more precise — The cold house; The damaging allegations.
A word that modifies other parts of speech in the way an adjective modifies a noun — John ran speedily; The two parties angrily debated the matter.
A clause element that modifies another clause in the same way an adverb modifies a phrase — She ran off in the direction of the house; I didn't know about adverbials until I went to university.
A word that shares a relationship of opposition with another — Start and finish; Black and white; Male and female.
The relationship of opposition between two words, or antonyms.
The use of two adjacent noun phrases to refer to a single referent — The controversial footballer, Joey Barton, was sent off; The biggest mistake of his career, deciding to go to war, will haunt him.
A verb that accompanies a lexical verb in a verb phrase, indicating person, number, tense, aspect or voice — I will become king; World peace might come about one day.
British National Corpus
A collection of spoken and written English which can be searched for patterns in language use.
A statement presented with no modality — London is the capital of England; Capitalism is organised crime; Europe's economies are struggling.
Change of state verb
A verb that suggests a process of change from one thing to another — It has stopped raining; The business expanded its operations.
A grammatical unit that makes a proposition, containing at least a subject and a predicate.
A part of a clause that performs a particular grammatical role — subject, predicate, object, complement or adverbial.
A word that frequently occurs with or near to another — Brutally with honest; Tall and dark with handsome.
The study of which words — or collocates — tend to occur around certain other words.
A clause element that provides a description of the subject or object — Life is beautiful; Bill Clinton was president; Football is the best game in the world.
In corpus studies, concordances give an overview of the contexts in which a particular word occurs.
A subordinate clause beginning with the conjunction 'if', which places a condition on the proposition expressed in the main clause — Labour will win, if they regain trust on the economy.
A particular aspect in the way a word is understood by the speakers of a language, contributing to its meaning.
The area of linguistics that studies talk in interaction, and particular structures in the way we talk.
A collection of written and/or spoken language which can be investigated to find patterns in language usage.
The study of corpora to investigate patterns in language usage.
Critical Discourse Analysis
A discipline that looks at the social impact of the language we use, in particular through implicit ideologies.
A discipline that looks at the different ways in which ideologies are contained in the language we use, e.g. through modality, opposition and transitivity.
The determiner 'the', referring to a specific example of a type — The war on crime.
The position from which terms to do with space, time and identity are understood — a person who is talking from atop a chair will refer to this chair, while someone talking to them from a distance away will refer to that chair.
A word that represents something to do with space, time or identity — Here; There; Now; Then; Me; Them.
Terms that represent space, time and identity relations in language — deictic terms.
A word which determines how a noun should be interpreted — The war in Syria; Five captured criminals; Some reasons for going to war.
The listing of all the instances of a certain phenomenon — A squad consists of ten outfield players, a goalkeeper and five substitutes.
The provision of an instance, or several instances, of a phenomenon — There will, for instance, be increased efficiency and greater corporate responsibility.
A presupposition triggered by a noun phrase — when something is made a referent, it is presupposed to exist — The 9/11 inside job must be exposed ('The 9/11 inside job' exists).
The positive social value that people attempt to maintain during social interactions.
A verb that is followed by a complement which makes a logical presupposition – I know what you did last summer; He realises that he is wrong.
The essential constituent of a phrase, which could perform the syntactic function of the phrase on its own — The war against terror; The great big explosion in the sky; Running very quickly.
A meaning that is created when someone communicates a message beyond the actual words they use.
The determiner 'a', referring to an example of a thing — A reluctance to tamper with the economy.
A term that presupposes an earlier or later occurrence of the proposition — I forgot to brush my teeth again; Stalin rewrote history.
One of the open class of verbs, which will tend to fill the role of head verb in a verb phrase — Debate; Sit; Pontificate; Jog; Describe.
The scientific study of language.
A presupposition caused by a change of state verb, factive verb or iterative word — The kitten stopped destroying everything in sight (it was destroying everything in sight before).
Non-literal language that describes one thing in terms of another — I am a rock; Blair is Bush's lapdog; ARGUMENT IS WAR.
A term or non-linguistic expression (such as a shrug of the shoulders) that expresses modality — The ice caps might have melted by the end of the century; You are certainly correct.
The feature of language that allows a speaker/writer to express certainty, desire or necessity — The Democrats might win the election; I wish there was world peace; You should vote in the election.
The words added to the head of a phrase to provide further detail — Five cheeky monkeys in the zoo; The right and proper method for doing business.
The linguistic study of how things are referred to through language.
The use of a negative particle, negative pre-modifier or semantic negativity — I don't believe it; There are no winners; There is an absence of thought.
The particle n't, which is attached to a verb to make it negative — I haven't got a clue; You won't believe what happened; America can't win this war.
A word that performs the role of a noun, even if that is not its conventional grammatical role — The indifferent won't be tempted to vote; Whether or not she can win is a major if.
The transformation of a process into a thing — usually involving a transition from a verb to a noun — The West declared war on terrorism — The West's declaration of war on terrorism.
A word that stands for a person, place or thing — Animal; House; Fun; War; Globalisation.
A phrase that has a noun as its head — The blue cat; The twelfth president of the United States of America; The debatable decision to ignore warnings.
The entity affected by a verb — Simon bullied Trevor; I like football; The state controls the media.
The phenomenon in language whereby two things are represented as opposite, either through antonymy or particular syntactic structures — Hot or cold; It was cheap talk, not thoughtful policies.
The repetition of linguistic structures, often for rhetorical or literary effect — Ain't no mountain high enough, Ain't no valley deep enough; We have three priorities — education, education, education.
The use of parallel structures, often for rhetorical or literary effect.
A structure that governs who is involved in a particular interaction and what roles they play.
A sentence that is written in passive voice presents the subject as the recipient of the action represented by the verb — Iraq was invaded by the US; Dozens were evacuated from their homes.
The process by which an active sentence is made passive, sometimes with the deletion of the actor — The press attacked her good name becomes Her good name was attacked (by the press).
A syntactic structure that can consist of more than one word, yet unlike a sentence does not express a proposition — The cat; Running freely; At the shops.
The linguistic study of how people interact and 'get on' through language.
The study of language in the context in which it is used, and how context affects language use and meaning.
A clause element that expresses something about the subject, usually through a verb phrase — The economic crisis ruined their chances of re-election; The ref sent off the goalkeeper.
A word that follows a noun phrase or verb phrase, introducing extra information on time, place or manner — The house in the woods; We laughed as we cried; Love among the ruins.
A phrase in which the preposition is the head — On the hill; In the provinces; Over the rainbow.
A means of assessing who has produced the words in a particular instance of speech or writing, who is responsible for composing them, and who or what body is represented by the words used.
A term which takes the place of a noun, and refers to a person, place or thing — She defeated his argument; This is how democracy works; He was unsure who was responsible.
The meaning of a sentence — the thing it expresses about the world.
A determiner that provides information about the quantity of a noun — Two political parties; Some economic policies; Every excuse imaginable.
The thing, person or place referred to by a noun phrase.
The phenomenon through which referring to something using a noun phrase serves to make it into a concrete entity — The decline of Western civilisation; The day-to-day running of parliament.
A clause which gives information about the referent of a noun — The manager, who has been under fire from fans, was sacked yesterday; Customers alighting at Leeds should take their belongings.
The use of language to affect hearers or readers in a particular way, for example to persuade or scare.
The study of the meaning of linguistic expressions.
A grammatical unit that makes a proposition about the world, and at the least contains a subject and a predicate.
A piece of speech that performs an action, e.g. a declaration, an announcement or a blessing.
Speech and thought presentation
The way in which the speech and thought of others are represented in spoken or written language.
The study and interpretation of texts using linguistics.
A clause element that performs the function of actor in a clause — Michu scored for Swansea; The two parties debated the Euro; Globalisation has damaged smaller country's economies.
A clause that is embedded within a main clause — Whoever ends up winning the league, it has been an eventful season; He was swotting up so that he would pass his exams.
The process by which information is placed in subordinate clauses, where it is not as prominent as information in the main clause — The England team performed well except for a couple of slip-ups.
A word that has a more or less identical meaning to another, except for a difference in style — Toilet and loo; Roll and bap; Alcohol and booze.
The relationship between two words — synonyms — that are more or less identical.
The set of rules governing how sentences are constructed.
A piece of spoken or written language.
A structure containing three elements, which gives the impression of being a complete list — Beginning, middle and end; Liberty, egality, fraternity; Life, death and taxes.
A written document representing an incident of spoken language.
The study of how processes are represented in language.
A word that represents a process — Talk; Run; Destabilise.
A phrase with a verb as its head — I walk to work every day; The president is running for a second term; The government is mercilessly routing any protestors.