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Author Topic: Useful English Language Resources and Essays!  (Read 49600 times)  Share 

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Useful English Language Resources and Essays!
« on: April 28, 2015, 12:28:36 pm »
Welcome to this collation of tips, guides, essays and resources from our members over the years! We love contributions, so feel free to post a guide on this board and PM a moderator so we can link it here!

Happy reading, and all the best for your Eng Lang journey :D

Remember, please respect these members and do not plagiarise their work under any circumstances. ATARNotes content does show up on Google searches and your teachers are likely to discover any plagiarism.

A Guide to English Language for New/Prospective Students by Bhootnike
What English Language actually is by cara.mel
English Language Course Synopsis by stonecold
How I studied for VCE English Language 3/4 by AzureBlue
Tips from high-scoring students

Features of Australian English by AppleThief
Introductory metalanguage by appianway
Glossary of Grammar and Metalanguage
Compilation of Quotes for Essays by stonecold
Preparing for the exam by dmitridr
• TrueTears and stonecold have uploaded several sample pieces, notes, assessments, transcripts and other resources: download it HERE.

stonecold's essay
Vexx's four essays
thefeminist's essay
Thushan's eight essays
User-submitted and marked essays - reading these and taking notes on feedback given is really helpful!

VCE Study Guides EL Posts
Macquarie University Australian Voices Website
Wikipedia: Australian English
Dictionary of Australian Slang
Stylistic features definitions and examples
ABC Lingua Franca website (updated with weekly podcasts on language)
Politics and the English Language (George Orwell)
A glossary of Australian slang

• Heinemann English Language Units 3/4
• Living Lingo English Language Units 3/4
• Derrick Ha's English Language 3/4 Exam Essays
• Hannah Gould's English Language 3/4 Summary
• Mastering Advanced English Language by Sara Thorne
• Insight English Language Exam Guide by Kirstin Fox
• Any publications by eminent linguists including Kate Burridge, David Crystal, Don Watson, Felicity Cox, Bruce Moore, Noam Chomsky etc.  They have several books available, which you should be able to get from the library, or even possibly download.
The Adventure of English by Melvyn Bragg, available as a book or documentary.  This text delves into the historical origins of the English language, and later looks at the evolution of Modern English in a variety of countries including Australia.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 12:12:02 pm by heidiii »
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Re: English Language Resources and Essays
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2015, 12:38:48 pm »
A Guide to English Language For New/Prospective Students

by Bhootnike
original thread here

O Hello There,
What is that you ask?
What is English Language.. ?
Oh, of course.
The question that seemingly no one can construct a definitive answer to, and the subject that many people do not conceive properly!

So lets begin from the nitty grittys of this subject!

What IS English Language?!!!

English Language is VCAA's name for a field in English studies known as Linguistics.
You may have heard of this term from words such as 'lingua franca' or 'linguistically speaking' or 'I am bilingual!" Clearly the word has something to do with language! That's a no brainer!!
So in simple terms, Linguistics is essentially the scientific study of the English language.
People who study linguistics, unsurprisingly, are known as linguists.
A linguist can specialise in a plethora of fields, from sociolinguistics to the English of Law.
Language as a whole is just so diverse, that in turn, linguistics is just as diverse.

VCE English Language was initially started in 2000, and has since gone some changes in the course, notably the change in course at the end of 2011, which was implemented for 2012 - i.e. this year! Lucky me!

Year 11, units 1/2:
From now on, I'll refer to this subject as English Language, not linguistics.
Just because VCE students are a special bunch!

Unit 1: The Nadir of English Language studies
In math, before you embark on learning on say... calculus, you need to know what a function is, what a gradient is and what different notations mean!
English Language is no different! You start off by learning basic linguistics - how to talk about language, or more specifically, the Metalanguage.

Yu learned some good ol' grummar!
It's really important to have some knowledge of grammar in English Language. ( as you do in any english !)
You study the different parts of speech, e.g. nouns, pronouns, verbs, tenses, modals, articles, sentence types etc etc.

You study how Language is important in life, and the different modes of language: spoken, written and signed.

You look at the influence of technology in language and how e'speak or netspeak has established, and how this influences our language use in everyday life (e.g. when people actually say.. "LOL" - so gay..)

You look at Child Language Acquisition and how babies learn language in their early developmental stages.
You learn some theories about this and you analyse some 'baby speak'.
One interesting topic you cover is the concept of 'Wild kids' - pretty much, children who grow up with animals and have no human contact!

If you get time, you may get time to look at spoken and written language, not in depth but fundamentals. - more on this later (unit 3)

Unit 2: Let's look at the History of English!

You study the history of the English language and how it has changed over time. Did you know that at one stage, English was the language of the lower class, whilst Latin was the prestigious language of academics?
You look at where our alphabet originated from, where our words came from, the history, or etymology of words, and also the grammar.

You look at globalisation of langauge.
Also, Australian English is touched on - things like the influence of American Language on Australian English.

Some stuff that to be honest, I don't know where it belongs include:
The notion of a standard English
New Englishes (E.G. singlish, hinglish, etc )
Creoles & Pidgins

Tasks for 1/2:
Short answer tasks, extended response tasks, essays, maybe some power point presentations...

Frequently asked questions:

"So, do we watch a movie? Or do we a read a book?"
No! You look at articles, or extracts from a movie transcript, song, book, column, whatever!
The beauty of English Language lies in the fact that, this subject analyses the language, NOT the characters or the story.
This is the essential difference between normal English, Lit and EngLang!

"I heard that people who are good at maths and science, or who are a bit 'musically minded' are better suited to this subject?, is this true?"

They say that English Language 'suits' students who are strong in math and science because these subjects require analytical skills and the ability to pick out discrete details and patterns in their respective fields. You may need a set formula or approach to solving something.
They also say that these students enjoy the fact that they find most of their answers in the textbook, and do not necessarily require good creative writing skills, or skills which require their own interpreation of a text.
Having said this, people who enjoy music, or have a inept ability, or simply love language, will be suited to English Language.
In my opinion, you need to really enjoy the subject. You need to have a sense of excitement about the subject and that you're a linguist! You must love words!

"umm do I have to write Essays?"

First things first. If you decide to do English Language because apparently there's no essay, you're in for hell!
'Cos believe me! The essays you end up doing are going to be absolute kick ass essays! So good that normal English essays will look like kids play! Heck, I could find all these linguistic elements in a article my friend was about to write an essay on ; it was about the persuasive techniques incorporated in the text! He didn't understand all these ideas and I was thinking O my GOD. No WONDER VegemitePi hates Physics so much!

So, in English Language, instead of writing creative writing (which I actually was good at and liked!), and essays on characters and stuff, you write expository or opinionative essays based on the content of the course. E.g "Swearing has different functions in different contexts. Discuss." or "Corporate language is making its way into our simple and ordinary things, which in turn, makes our world seem much more complicated than it really is. Do you agree? "

The rest of the Unit 3/4 exam are short answer, and an analysis piece.

"Is English language harder than Lit or English?"

The skills you need in order to do well in English Language are quite different to those required for English or Lit.
It is fair to say however, and no, NO BIASED OPINIONS, - that English Language is considered more 'harder' , 'competitive' and/or academically challenging than English.
Please read on!

When I say it is harder, it really is a subjective opinion. One person may say its easy, whereas another may say, NO! ITS HARD!.
VCAA reckons its harder, hence why they give us +2 for scaling! They say its harder for many reasons - the depth of the subject, how broad you can venture into the linguistic world. In other words, there's really no 'scope' in the course/study design. You are not limited to what you can discuss. I.e in chemistry, if you started talking about quasistatic processes in a equilibrium question, rather than directly answering it in the vce way, chances are you probably aint gonna get a mark!
Consider this subject to be a big big big expedition, and you are a hiker. You can go anywhere you like! (as long as the topic/issue your talking about is relevant to your work!)
I personally don't find it hard, no way, I enjoy it as a subject. And if you enjoy a subject, being 'hard' doesn't come into the equation!
So, please, dont be put off by 'harder'.
If you enjoy the content covered in this subject, and if you atleast find it appealing, - more than the stuff covered in other englishes, chances are, you will find English Language EASIER! and I can definitely say this is what has happened in my case! I chose the right one, and in turn, I haven't had any regrets over my choice, because I know that this is the English I can do best at, and knowing English counts the most in my ATAR, I am convinced that my choice was appropriate!

"Does it scale up?!"
Yes. By two! :D
Why? Look above ^. It's comparatively 'harder' than other Englishes.  If you enjoy the subject, it won't be hard, and in the end..  it'll be a bonus +2 ! woo!

"Can I do both English, and English Language in VCE?"
Yeah! Go for it, if you're unsure about which English suits you, for sure.
English is your most important subject, so make sure you choose the right one!!
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 02:15:39 pm by bangali_lok »
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Re: English Language Resources and Essays
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2015, 12:43:20 pm »
What English Language actually is

by cara.mel

This post is a summary about what you actually do in English Language, which should help people entering year 11 or 12 decide whether to do this subject (due to the fact a lot of people toss up being English and English Language)
If you have any suggestions, comments etc, particularly if you have finished this subject, please post.
Also tell me if sentences don't make sense =P

To the best of my knowledge, EL has existed as a subject since 2000, but only in recent years is it beginning to gain momentum, being offered as a subject at more and more schools. In 2006, 1,569 people did EL. Due to the fact its a small subject, there are not many resources around yet (only one study guide, 3 companies that I know of that make practise exams, Heinemann has the textbook monopoly and it's not a very good one)

What you do in this subject, in one sentence, is analyse the world around you. You get texts from ANY source (not just advertising, information, persuasive/opinionative pieces, newspaper articles etc, but anything which has words on it – conversations and interviews (with proper transcripts with pauses, changing pitch etc), ads with pictures in them, instructions, chain mail, emails/MSN conversations/SMS in general, basically anything that has English on it, from the context of Australia. You also explore how language is used in our society, and get to write essays about this.

Yes, you have to write essays. Yes, you need to actually be able to write them.
The exam is 2 hours, 60% short answer and 40% essay. The short answer is split 50-50 into a written text(s) section and a spoken text section. The essay you get 3 topics to choose from.

Summary of each unit:
Unit 1 – Language and communication – If you are going to do 1 unit out of units 1/2, do this one.
This starts with a metalanguage (words used to describe language) 'toolbox' you're going to be using for the next 3 units. Functions, context, mode (spoken vs written) and audience, and how each of these affect your text. How language is put together in terms of phonology, morphology and syntax (including the ridiculed 'YAY I know what a noun is', but a lot of other stuff as well), and how these combine together to give you your text, and the semantics (meaning) behind it. Also the consequences of the meaning behind it (connotations of words, persuading people etc)

Following this is a smaller area of study about how we acquire language as kids. Not very useful but it is a very good backdrop to practise the things you have learnt from the previous area of study, which is assumedly why it is there.

Unit 2 – Language change
None of the stuff from this unit is directly useful to you in units 3/4. A few general ideas are, but nothing specific.
Area of study 1 is how English has changed over time (Old English/Anglo-Saxon -> Middle English -> Modern English), how words have changed in meaning over time, how a standard came about and the rules of English.
Area of study 2 is English as a global language – how it came to be that way, pidgin languages and creoles, looking at fun examples of engrish =P, and the implications of it (your language is linked to your identity, would you be happy to give it up for English, or remain bilingual)

Unit 3 – Language in society
The two areas of study for this are language variation according to users, and variation according to use. This is mainly what the essay is based on (although, technically all sections of the exam test units 3 and 4)
Users – looks at Australian English (how we talk in a monotone without opening our mouths, don't bloody enunciate things clearly, bloody shorten words all the time: “today I decided to take a sickie, so I slept in til this arvo and had brekky in front of the telly at 3”, say 'yeah-no', among other things), other language communities within Australia (ethnic groups and Aboriginal English), the notion of a Standard Australian English, influences on our language such as Americanisms, people lol-ing too much.
Uses – looks at how we change our language for a particular purpose (beyond what you do in unit 1). Includes things such as slang and jargon -> inclusive/exclusive, the principle of appropriateness, political correctness and gendered language (think chairperson), language used in the public domain eg euphemisms and doublespeak.

Unit 4 – Texts in their Australian Contexts
This unit is pretty much a lead up to the exam. It's not terribly interesting, especially if you actually paid attention in the past and recall a lot of it. Split into a spoken area of study and a written area of study. By now you will know all the basics, but they will chuck a lot of new metalanguage at you, and you need to learn every single one, even though only about 10% will be useful to you on the big day.
New things off the top of my head include maxims or 'rules' for a conversation (don't give a life story when someone asks you how you are), a lot of stylistic features for written texts (there's more to life than alliteration and onomatopoeia), coherence and cohesion.

Why you should(/shouldn't) pick this subject:
EL is not an easy, bludgy alternative to English. Just because you don't have to read books and memorise quotes doesn't mean you have to spend any less time on it (and for the record, you memorise pages of examples instead). The questions you get in this subject are very specific, and you can't bring your mate the dictionary along with you, so if you don't understand something it's damn hard to fudge it.

The other main reason why people choose this subject, apart from the people that have a genuine love of English and are doing more than one English, is because they are good at maths/science/are an analytical type of person, and therefore, this subject will be better. Being in that position, in hindsight it is not as simple as that. Yes EL has a slightly higher percentage of people who are that way inclined compared to a general sample of the population. Looking back, English has the distinct advantage that your books only have so many quotes and themes in them, and you have a much better idea about what will get thrown at you in a test/SAC/the big one. It depends more on you as an individual person as to which one you will prefer.

Positive points now! EL is different to what you're used to. You learn so many new things you've probably been overlooking your whole life. You learn not to be as much of a grammar nazi, because a) you don't speak perfect Standard Australian English in every single context either, b) you become more sympathetic to some of these 'mistakes', and c) some of the rules are stupid to start with. You also learn that msn etc doesn't mean our language will be dead in 10 years either.
You learn about how people use and manipulate language, both obviously to persuade you, put down each other (think of random offensive insults) and the underlying things behind these which reflect our society, and subtle things you might not pick up.
You also learn that our language is much more than something you use to chat with each other, and is much more than something you are studying because VCAA said you have to. The English language is a beautiful medium for us to express ourselves =D

Ultimately, base your decision about whether this subject sounds interesting or not.
If you're not sure, and you're going into year 11, do Unit 1 English Language, Unit 2 English, that way you can pick up either easily in year 12.
Also, read through a past VCAA exam, probably the best way of seeing what kinds of things this subject involves.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 02:28:59 pm by bangali_lok »
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Re: English Language Resources and Essays
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2015, 12:46:14 pm »
English Language Course Synopsis

by stonecold

I am going to clear up 3/4 English Language.  I'll start by saying that it is not overly scientific, however, it is very structured and therefore more suited to maths and science students.  I think of it as amateur linguistics.

Everything you study in English Language is based on the 5 subsystems of language.

  • Phonology, the study of sound
  • Morphology and Lexicology, the study of words and word structure
  • Syntax, the study of sentence structure
  • Semantics, the study of meaning
  • Discourse, the overall study of language in context

This is mostly grammar based, so if you don't like grammar and metalanguage, then don't study EL.  I wouldn't say you need an immaculate understanding of English grammar to do this subject, but you still need to be good at it.  The exam generally has a grammar based question or two in it, which really could be on anything from sentence structure to phrase or clause analysis.

Anyway this is the actual course.

Unit 3 AoS1: Language according to user

  • Australian English, and comparing it to international English varieties on all of the subsystem levels
  • The concept of Standard English
  • The varieties of Australian English: Broad, General and Cultivated
  • Social attitudes towards these varieties
  • Ethnocultural varieties of Australian English, which arise when non-English language speakers transfer features of their first language into English
  • The ability of language the reaffirm and create identity: individually, socially, culturally and nationally

A few examples so you get the basic idea.

  • Semantically, in Australian English, the word 'bum' refers to a part of the human anatomy, whereas in the US, 'bum' means a homeless person
  • Syntactically, Australian English speakers have a tendency to use the pronoun 'me' as opposed to the possessive pronoun 'my' to allude to their belongings (e.g. 'Come to me house')

AoS 2: Language variation according to use

  • The holy grail of English, 'The Principle of Appropriateness'   (basically just means be appropriate for the situation)
  • Social distance, positive and negative politeness and power relations     (are you communicating with someone you know well or not?  are they your superior?)
  • Jargon and slang (jargon is the use of language specialized to a specific topic/profession and allows for fast, expedient communication, wheareas slang is generally more informal, used by everyone, and can play an important role in forming group identity)
  • Social taboos, euphemism and dysphemism  (e.g euphemism = person with a mental diability   dysphemism = spastic)
  • Doublespeak and public language (government and corporations using language to mislead e.g. voluntary resignation program = people getting fired)
  • Political Correctness (gender, race, sexuality etc.) (don't offend anyone based on any aspect of their identity)

Unit 3: Other general areas which you should know:

  • Origins of English, especially Australian English
  • Language and power
  • Language use in technology
  • Teen speak
  • Varying language to suit the context

On the end of year exam, you have to be able to write a detailed essay on any of the Unit 3 content.  Unit 4 is analytical and question and answer based.  It is possible that you could however incorporate some of the Unit 4 content into an essay.

Unit 4 AoS 1: Spoken Language

  • Conventions of the mode (e.g. dynamic, more slang, transient, shorter sentences, quicker to change, errors)
  • Reading conversation transcripts and understanding the key
  • Usually it will be either a conversation, interview or sports commentary
  • Discourse particles (words such as 'well' and 'yeah no' which have no meaning but are used unconsciously as conversation strategies)
  • Topic management/Turn taking
  • Prosodic features (e.g. stress=emphasis, rising intonation= signals a question, increasing tempo/volume=builds tension and excitement)
  • Paralinguistic features (e.g. laughter, intake of breath etc.)
  • Backchaining and minimal utterances and overlapping speech
  • Grice's Cooperative Principle of Conversation (don't lie, don't be obscure, be relevant and give adequate information)

Unit 4 AoS 2: Written Language

  • Conventions of the mode (e.g. static, less slang, permanent, longer sentences, longer to change, no errors)
  • Analysis of a wide variety of written texts including articles, advertisements and literature
  • The concepts of Cohesion (what links elements of the text together?) and Coherence (what gives the text meaning and makes it understandable?)
  • All pretty much grammar and metalanguage based, which you just have to know.  Bit hard to explain here but a basic example is a conjunction such as 'but' creates cohesion by linking two coordinating sentences together.
  • After you learn all of the grammar and metalanguage, it is actually quite easy.  It doesn't matter what text you get, questions will rarely be different
  • Stylistic features: are pretty much the style the writer uses (i.e. a opinion piece may include lots of puns or similes)

And overall for Unit 4, you just have to be able to identify the function of the Spoken/Written text.  i.e. conversation is often for social 'phatic' purposes.  Articles and opinion pieces have the goal of 'persuading' and/or 'entertaining'.

Anyhow, if you are like me and English is not your cup of tea (particularly the essay component), then you will probably dislike this English the least as it has only 1 essay on the exam, and with practice, it is not hard to improve.

Also, if you put in the time, it is very interesting and rewarding to know how the everyday language which you use works.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 02:16:38 pm by bangali_lok »
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Re: English Language Resources and Essays
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2015, 01:08:15 pm »
How I Studied for VCE English Language U3/4

by AzureBlue

From 50 and Premier’s Award Recipient in English Language (2012)

Hi all, I hope you enjoy your English Language study this year as much as I did! It is a very interesting subject and I’ve written down some very detailed tips on how I studied for the subject (and some things I would improve on if I did it again). I hope this helps you, and I wish you all the best in the year ahead!

Before school starts + How to Start on Your Example Compilation
•   Pre-reading is an excellent technique to be able to absorb and retain more of the information during class. In the summer holidays before term started, I read through most of the Living Lingo textbook (Burridge, Laps, Clyne). Some students might find it helps to make notes while reading Living Lingo in dot points – this is what I did to retain information better and make it easier to revise (due to the ‘chatty’ nature of the textbook).
•   Another thing that is very useful to do over the holidays and throughout the year (it’s a really gradual task…) is to find a sizeable amount of media articles and quotations relating to English Language. Although this is directed towards your essays in Unit 4, this is possibly the most time-consuming task in English Language so better to do it before all your SACs roll in! Personally, at this stage, I just went and found articles about the main topics that appear in essays; public language (especially used by politics and businesses), teenspeak, discriminatory language and political correctness will be the topics mainly appearing in the news. In particular, http://www.weaselwords.com.au is a very helpful and regularly updated source of weasel words in English Language. Also 'Google news' helps - for example, if you type in 'racist language' in google and click the 'news' tab it will specifically look for those keywords in recent news.
•   Other topics that you might find in other places include jargon (you can find these from your own hobbies as then you can explain them well – personally, I am an avid chessplayer and I was also involved in Olympiad mathematics so that’s where I got mine from), Australian English (you can find the language features in the textbook, expand on them and find extra language features such as sporadic yod-dropping), Ethnolects (most of you would’ve investigated an ethnolect in units 1 / 2 so keep that stuff! It will come handy). Otherwise, pick a few ethnolects and note down some features out of different subsystems that arise out of cross-linguistic transfer and overgeneralisation etc.
•   Other than those media examples, it is also helpful to find quotations from linguists. This means David Crystal, Kate Burridge etc., you can find these from books that linguists wrote (so I used the textbook, Mastering Advanced English Language (Thorne), and David Crystal’s English Language Encyclopaedia).  Another helpful tip here is that you can find these from stimulus material from previous years on the exams! :P I separated the quotations from linguists and the quotations from the media etc. into two separate piles. After organising these, my quotations from linguists later in the year, I ended up with a bit over 120 linguist quotes and about 40 pages of examples. However, at this point in the year…. I just had a huge messy box of articles! Hahahaha.

In Unit 3
•   You should make notes on the important points that your teacher mentions in class, and make sure your knowledge of the subject is solid. You should be given notice on what SACs you have during the year – so note them down, this can really help in your organisation of your study and what to focus on at particular times!
•   Your SACs in Unit 3 (for most schools this is the case) will be on short-answer first, and then commentary. Very rarely do you get an essay SAC in Unit 3 (due to the vast majority of the essay content being in U4) but make a note of this if you do – if this is the case for you, begin writing essays early and this also means you need to memorise your quotes and examples early.
•   To prepare for short-answer and commentary SACs: Practice practice practice! :) If you can obtain some past SACs from your school, that might help you in what to expect and ease the nerves! Personally, I found the Kirsten Fox English Language Exam Guide the most useful towards this (despite being called ‘exam guide’ I found it most useful towards my SACs as well) – because her solutions are very detailed, well structured and excellently written and it is a good idea to aim to structure your own responses like that. It is VERY important that not only do you pick out relevant examples for the question, but that you also explain every single example you give in relation to the question – or in the case of a commentary, why did the author of the text use passive sentences? Why did the kids use backchanneling? If you’ve finished everything in the English Language Exam Guide before your SAC, use the Insight/VATE exams for SAC practice.
•   I organised my commentaries using Kirsten Fox’s structure; so for most written texts I’d go Introduction (Context/Register/Purpose/Audience/Mode/Field), Lexis, Syntax (+ information flow), Cohesion & Coherence. For most spoken texts I’d go Introduction (Context/Register/Purpose/Audience/Mode/Field), Lexis, Syntax, Prosodics, Turn-Taking/Topic Management. HOWEVER, this may differ – some texts, eg. Some advertisements will have interesting features in semantics so this should feature in one of your paragraphs – it really depends on what text you get as well.
•   Something that I didn’t do but wish I could do now is to organise some sort of grid to revise for features of each text type (eg. Blog, Phatic Communication, Transaction, Advertisement etc.). I think it would help if you list the important features of each feature in a grid using subsystems – gradually, as you attempt more texts, it would not only speed you up, but also act as a checklist in your head so you don’t miss any features! (This is actually highly annoying… realising you missed a feature from one subsystem in a commentary… and then coming back to fill it in only to realise you’ve stuffed up your structure or you have no lines to do so. Use a technique such as leaving lines after each paragraph and not concluding your paragraphs until the end?).
•   Try to follow what your school teacher likes for the SACs. Some school teachers really like you to organise your essays by subsystem… whilst this actually does not work well at times, realise that your teacher marks your SACs, not the examiner. If you believe your school teacher has said something that is completely false (and everyone makes mistakes, at least occasionally!), it is important to clarify this with them. Once, in another subject's SAC, the teacher made a mistake in explaining a concept, so a lot of the students replicated this in the SAC and then they got the mark anyway because it was the teacher's fault there.

In Unit 4 + Exam Preparation
•   In the Term 2 holidays, you might still have a big disorganised box of printed articles (I did!) so you can try organising them now that you have essays coming up. I did dot points under topics for my linguist quotes, and used a grid format on Word for my examples collection (for some topics I used Subsystem/Metalanguage Term/Example and for others Description/Example/Explanation as my columns) and organised this grid under topic headings.
•   How did I memorise my 120 linguist quotes and 40 pages of examples? I didn’t :P Having a huge depository of examples is very helpful in picking out the best ones as you have a lot to choose from! What I did for this is I wrote essays with these examples and from this, I worked out which ones worked best for me, bolded the examples, and remembered those. If you do Biology, however, you will have probably worked out some effective techniques in memorisation – what helped for me for that subject is explaining, say, the steps of mitosis etc. to an inanimate object to consolidate it. So for English Language, I was reciting my quotes to inanimate objects, as well as explaining my examples! This might work for some and seem extremely weird for others, so do whatever works for you, as different people have different learning styles.
•   Ask your teacher what sort of area your Unit 4 SAC is going to be on – Ethnolects? Identity? PC? and focus on that area during the SAC. Obviously, your SAC should be on an area that you have covered in class. So if you haven’t covered PC yet, your SAC is probably not going to be on PC.
•   Personally, I wrote my first essay at around the start of Term 3 (but I had compilations of examples done before then). And yes – it was very hard and took me a good couple of hours! It helps reading the ‘good’-quality essays on the VCAA examiners’ reports and there is also a helpful database on ATARNotes here and a few samples in the Kirsten Fox book. This will help you get an idea of how to write one. Then start on your own essay, using the examples you have collected as the examples on these sample essays will be a bit too old (recent examples are ideal because if you use some 2010 example the examiners might think you’re being lazy in using someone else’s examples and not shown initiative in keeping up-to-date with the state of language ‘now’. I’ve found using old quotes of linguists is fine though – just no old media quotes).
•   For the essay, make sure you write a wide variety of topics. This is so you don’t get surprised at the end of the year when your exam is say, the only year that doesn’t have an identity topic and that’s solely what you’ve been practicing.
•   Look at the past essay topics. I find that some of the most common topics are on things like: Identity, Public Language, Language Change. I wrote about 15 essays throughout the whole year – the majority were on Identity (as I liked this topic, I had great examples in it and it was pretty reliable in appearing in the choice of topics almost every year). My ‘secondary’ topic was public language, which I also wrote a few essays on. I wrote some other essays on topics such as Standard English, quite a few on Language Change etc. to make sure I wasn’t surprised at the end of the year. As a result, at the end of the year, I was very comfortable with the exam essay – being prepared makes it not a source of anxiety! And another thing – memorising essays is no good as the topics vary a bit (you probably won’t get exactly the same worded topic in the exam) which means you often use the same examples but different topic sentences and explanations. Unfortunately, I do not have such a good memory that I can memorise an essay exactly word-for-word and reproduce it anyway - and that's okay! But make sure you remember your examples and roughly how you explained them in previous essays.
•   Keeping plugging away at the exams (the order I did was Insight/VCAA/VATE). Exams from the old (pre-2012) study design are fine as the study design hasn’t really changed much apart from change of format (topic order switched around in textbook and commentary instead of short-answer in exam). Besides, if you have a question like “Discuss the syntax in this text” that’s basically your syntax paragraph in your commentary anyway and certainly, the old exams may have longer short-answer questions like this! I found this helped too as I could then self-correct my paragraphs using the solutions provided. As I did the subject in 2012, I think I only had a few analytical commentaries available to me – of course, you can write a commentary on any text you find, but then you need corrections – and hence I found that writing old exams with solutions was more effective.
•   As for end-of-year lectures, I highly recommend the Connect Education lecture (which has really good notes!) at the end of the year, and the VATE lecture (which is run by English Language school teachers). Although I was already well-versed in the subject’s material, they acted as a good overview and revision for the course.
•   RELAX before the exam (at least on exam day)! On the long drive to school, I was reading over my quotes and examples list and almost got carsick… as a result, I felt really nauseous through my exam… which was not good. So the best thing to do is probably just try and relax and have faith that if you have worked hard in your preparation, you will be fine, and you've done all you can do! :)

My exam scores were 15/15 (Short-Answer), 28/30 (Analytical Commentary), 30/30 (Essay) which scored me a 50 and Premier's Award, and I know some who got a lower exam score and still scored a 50, so you can lose a few marks for a perfect study score, unlike some maths subjects :P Certainly, I think the suggestion that I noted above (with writing a grid with text types in revising for commentaries) would've helped me in scoring higher in the commentary.

I hope this helps, and best wishes with your studies!  :D
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 02:17:55 pm by bangali_lok »
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Re: English Language Resources and Essays
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2015, 01:16:36 pm »
Features of Australian English

by AppleThief

  • HRT, especially among younger people
    In "Down Under", Bill Bryson states HRT drives older Australians crazy, however, that he finds the use of the rising intonation "endearing and sometimes charmingly sexy"
  • non-rhotic
  • diphthongs become monophthongs (beer = )
  • monophthongs become diphthongs (law = lawah )
  • (broad) drawn-out vowel sounds (me = moiye, a la Kath & Kim)
  • (broad) elongated vowel sounds (Monda=y)

  • slang/more informal
    - "Most Aussies don’t think twice about getting a stubby from of the esky and watching the footy on the telly"
    - In "Down Under", Bill Bryson cites Australian colloquialisms. He includes the dialogue in his text to create humour, to highlight the colourful way Aussies speak and to convey the relaxed attitudes and easy-going manner of Australians – they speak informally. For example, "no worries, mate", "Surfers" (Surfers Paradise), "boogie boarding", "heaps of fun", "bluey" (blue bottle)
  • references to Australian flora/fauna/geography
  • swearing/vulgar language

  • diminutives/hypocoristics
    - Linguist Roland Sussex has listed over 4000 words that have been shortened or modified, which include proper nouns, common nouns, verbs and adjectives, such as ambo (ambulance officer), firie (fire officer), pollie (politician), and pav (pavlova)
    - Some of these words have been accepted into our national dictionaries
    - Foreigners are often puzzled by the use of diminutives, which to some, sound like “children’s language”
    - Wierzbecka identified hypocoristics as a “solidarity code”, used to mark in-group belonging of Australians. Hypocoristics require Australian phonology to be consistent. Furthermore, not using diminutives will often sound stilted, unnatural or formal. For example, most Australians use the term “uni” rather than “university” in their speech.

  • indirect
    - As commented on by Bill Bryson in Down Under, Australians often ask favours in a “curiously circular way”, such as “you wouldn’t get a snap of me in front of the statue would you?”
    - It is considered rude to be too direct in making requests of others, so phrases such as “you wouldn’t mind…” and “is it possible to…” are adopted.
    - Therefore, Australians often perceive speakers from other countries who are more direct in their requests as being demanding and rude
  • understatement
    - Australians speak informally, often using understatements, such, for example, a string from a blue bottle “might be a bit uncomfortable”
  • litotes (you're not wrong = you're right)

  • (broad) final -but
    - Final “but”, used to indicate concession, “it was alright, but”. Also good for hedging, “she was a bit of a bitch, but”. Can express something that would rather go unsaid. “Sonny isn’t a killer, but…” Can be used as a question “You were happy, but…”
    - Final but phenomenon is a distinctive marker of Australian English across all age groups – though not found in grammar books

Discourse analysis
  • discourse particle yeah-no
    - The paradoxical phrase “yeah, no” is being used by the young and old in many different contexts to fulfil several meanings. It has appeared in television programs such as "All Saints" and "Packed to the Rafters". A study found that the phrase is used by people of all ages and both genders. Although some linguists expected the phrase to be more commonly used by females (who often work harder to keep dialogue afloat) the “yeah, no” custom is unisex. It has moved from Australian to American English, rather than the other way round.
    - The earliest noted outbreaks occurred in post-match interviews – footballers deflecting personal credit
    - Linguists Kate Burridge and Margaret Florey wrote a pioneer study on the phrase called Yeah-No He’s a Good Kid. They wrote that “Anglo culture operates with the idea of harmony in mind with a strong preference for agreement and compromise.” We like to agree with each other, which summons “yeah, no” – a weak agreement, a softened dissent.

    Functions of "yeah-no" include (according to KBudge)
    - propositional: agreeing and disagreeing (yeah, no the movie was OK)
    - textual: link/fluency device used to signal previous topic (yeah, no mum's well. thanks for asking)
    - personal: hedge that muffles bad news or reduces a comment's force (yeah, no, we should be finished a month late)
    - the squelch: certain topics may end in "yeah, no" as a coded warning against further discussion
    - emphatic (yes, no, "The Producers" was fantastic!)

  • Macmillan EL
  • Heinemann EL
  • Down Under by Bill Bryson
  • Australian hypocoristics: putting the –ie into Aussie by Roland Sussex (Australian Style, December 04)
  • Agreeing to disagree by David Astle (Sunday Life, August 29, 04)
  • Wikipedia
  • other things I can't remember
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 02:18:40 pm by bangali_lok »
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Re: English Language Resources and Essays
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2015, 01:19:26 pm »
Introductory Metalanguage

by appianway

Hello everyone,

Seeing as I'm in a benevolent mood, I've decided to post the metalanguage definitions I had to compile in the holidays before I started the 3/4. I'd recommend that you all do your own lists and find your own examples - you'll absorb a lot more - but feel free to use this as one of your resources. The examples aren't very original, so I'd definitely stress the importance of making your own list. You'll learn a LOT more, and it'll pay off.

Phoneme: A unit of sound.
The IPA: The International Phonetic Alphabet; a tool used by linguists to notate speech sounds.
Diphthongs: A vowel where there is a single, noticeable change in the quality during a syllable. It’s probably easier to consider a diphthong a vowel containing two vowels.
Pitch: The pitch of speech refers to the frequency of the sound emitted by the speaker (in other words, how high or low the speech is).
Intonation: Variations in pitch that occur in speech. Intonation is a main prosodic feature and can be used to determine the background and intention of a speaker.
The HRT or High Rising Tone: A rise in pitch that occurs at the end of a declarative sentence; particularly prevalent in Australian English among female youths.
Morpheme: The smallest possible unit of meaning.
Affix: A bound morpheme attached to a stem to create a new word. Affixes are usually suffixes and prefixes.
Suffix: An affix (bound morpheme) added to the end of a stem to create a new word.
Eg. “-ed”, “-ing”, “-ness”
Prefix: An affix (bound morpheme) added to the start of a stem to create a new word.
Eg. “un-“, “de-“, “re-“
Free Morpheme: A morpheme that can stand on its own as a word.
Eg. Stalk, bury, love
Bound Morpheme:  A morpheme that cannot stand on its own as a word. Bound morphemes must be attached to a stem.
Word Stem/Root: A free morpheme; represents the core of the word.
Derivational Morpheme: Derived from and add new meaning to words. When a derivational affix is added to a stem it creates a new word and usually changes the class of the word.
Eg. Happy -> Happiness (the suffix ‘ness’ changes the class of the word from an adjective to a noun)
       Garden -> Gardening (the suffix ‘ing’ changes the class of the word from a noun to a verb)
Inflectional Morpheme: A morpheme that adds extra grammatical information
Eg: -‘ed’
-   ‘s’
-   ‘ing’
Open Class Words: Classes of words that readily accept new members.
Examples of open classes of words include adjectives, adverbs, verbs and nouns.
Closed Class Words: Classes of words that do not readily accept new members.  Closed class words are often the grammatical elements of sentences.
Examples of closed classes of words include prepositions, modals, auxiliaries, conjunctions, determiners and pronouns.
Conjunctions: Conjunctions are function words that join words, phrases or clauses. Conjunctions like ‘when’, ‘although’ and ‘if’ typically join clauses that are subordinate (not equal) in importance, whereas conjunctions like ‘and’ and ‘but’ join coordinate clauses.
Adverb: A word providing information on a noun.
Subordinate, or subordinating conjunction: A conjunction connecting two parts of a sentence that are not equal.
Determiners: Determiners indicate quantity, possession, definiteness or indefiniteness.
Eg. My book, some candles, the supermarket,  a chocolate block…
Prepositions: Typically shows the relationship between two nouns. A preposition introduces a prepositional phrase.
Eg. Under the table; up the hill; after the movie
Phrase: A group of words (without a verb) that have a grammatical relationship.
Modals: Verbs that allow us to vary the meaning of another verb to include possibility, obligation or probability.
Some examples of modals include can, could, might, may, should, would, must and shall.
Clause: A clause usually contains a subject and a predicate, and always contains a verb. Clauses can be joined together to form a sentence.
Intransitive verb: A verb that cannot take a direct object
Eg. “to die”.
Transitive verb: A verb that takes a direct object.
Eg. “To wear”
I wear school uniform.
“To drink”
I drink coffee.
Passive voice:  The subject of the sentence experiences the action. The auxiliary of “to be” is often used with the past participle.
Eg. Bill was mistaken by Jenny as her long lost brother.
Active voice: The subject of the sentence does the action in the active voice.
Eg. Jenny mistook Bill as her long lost brother.
Subject: The person or thing that the sentence is about.
Eg. The purple glass was shattered by the careless housekeeper.
Predicate: What is written or said about the subject (the part of the sentence that is not the subject)
Eg. The blue cat crept along the alleyway.
Simple Sentence: A sentence that contains a single independent clause.
Eg. The sun was shining.
Compound Sentence: A sentence containing two or more independent clauses. Compound sentences are most often used in speech.
Eg. The cat climbed the tree and the dog followed suit.
Complex Sentence: A sentence consisting of an independent clause with one or more subordinate clauses. Complex sentences are most often used in formal writing.
Eg. Jennifer completed her maths homework although her English Language teacher had scheduled a SAC on the following day. 
Content Word: A word to which an independent meaning can be assigned.
Function Word: A word serving a grammatical purpose within a sentence. Articles, pronouns, conjunctions, auxiliaries, interjections and particles are all considered to be function words.
Idiom: Fixed phrases with a non literal meaning. These are highly dependent on a cultural context.
Eg. -> “Spill the beans”
   “Cat got your tongue?”
   “It’s raining cats and dogs”
Collocation: A sequence of words that that co-occur more often than would be expected with chance.
“cosmetic surgery”, “nuclear physics”, “crystal clear”, “middle management”…
Denotative Meaning: The denotative meaning of a word is the meaning supplied by a dictionary or similar source.
Connotative Meaning: The connotative meaning of a word is the meaning generated by examining the connotations (or associations) with other properties.
Synonym: A word with a similar meaning to the word originally specified.
Eg. Happy, elated, stoked
HOWEVER, synonyms will never have identical meanings because of the different connotations embodied in each lexeme.
Antonym: A word with an opposite meaning to the word originally specified.
Eg. Happy/sad, proud/ashamed, cold/hot
Metaphor: A figurative device that states that something IS something else.
Eg. “The river is a slithering serpent”
Simile: A figurative device that likens one thing to another.
Eg. Your smile is like a moonbeam.
Personification: The practice of giving human qualities to inanimate objects
Eg. “The weather was kind”
        “The door groaned in misery”
Irony:  A literary device used to suggest an intention or attribute contrary to what actually occurs.
Homonym: A word that is spelt identically to another word.
Eg. Wind (the verb) and wind (the noun)
Homophone: A word that sounds the same as another word.
Eg. There, their and they’re
Flapping: The substitution of the phoneme /t/ with /d/
Yod-dropping: The dropping of the /j/ phoneme in speech (common in American accents).
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 02:19:18 pm by bangali_lok »
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Re: English Language Resources and Essays
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2015, 01:39:21 pm »
Glossary of Grammar and Metalangauge

stonecold downloaded it from somewhere :)

Click here for words starting with A
a word formed from the initial letters of a series of words that refer to an entity or concept. Unlike an acronym, an abbreviation is pronounced just as a string of letters. For example, PDQ (pretty damn quick) and VCR (video cassette recorder) are abbreviations. Sometimes called alphabetisation.

Aboriginal English:
an umbrella term used to cover the many different varieties of English that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples speak.

pronunciation patterns that are associated with a particular set of speakers.

a word formed from the initial letters of a series of words that refer to an entity or concept. For example, AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) and Qantas (Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services) are acronyms.

a grammatical contrast, generally called voice, in which the agent or ‘appears as the subject. For example, The dog ate my homework. is an active sentence. The corresponding passive sentence is My homework was eaten by the dog.

adjacency pairs:
adjacent turns in a spoken interaction that have a close relationship with each other, such as Hello–Hello, how are you?.

a part of speech that refers to qualities or states. For example, green and lovely are adjectives. They are typically used to convey information about nouns. They may occur as a modifier in a noun phrase: the lovely weather, or as a predicative complement in a verb phrase: The grass was green. Some English adjectives may be inflected for degree: green, greener, greenest.

adjective phrase:
a phrase that is constructed around an adjective. Examples are, very happy and really bright.

a part of speech that refers to the manner, place, time, frequency, or degree in which an event occurs. For example, slowly, often and now are adverbs. Adverbs may also be used to modify adjectives: My hair is very long and to connect sentences: However, my friend showed up on time.

adverb phrase:
a phrase that is constructed around an adverb. For example, so quickly and very often.

the name of the function of an element in a clause that carries information about manner, place, time, frequency, or degree. Adverb phrases, prepositional phrases and some noun phrases can function as adverbials. Consider the prepositional phrase on the table in:
I dropped my plate on the table. Adverbials are optional. For example, we can say either:
That was my favourite meal or That was truly my favourite meal.

a bound morpheme that is added to the root to form a new word as, for example, -in and -able in in +dispute +able or to express a grammatical relationship such as plural with -s in dog +s. See also prefix and suffix.

affixation or affixing:
the process of combining a root and an affix. For example the word true becomes truth, truthful, untruthful and untruthfulness through the process of affixation.

agentless passive:
a passive sentence in which not only the patient or ‘undergoer’ appears as the subject instead of the agent or ‘doer’, but the agent has also been omitted. For example, Uranium was discovered in 1789. is an agentless passive sentence.

a type of sound pattern that involves the use of identical consonants or consonant clusters at the beginning of words.

a feature of grammatical structure in which a lexical item such as a pronoun refers back to something already expressed.

anaphoric reference:
refers to a relationship between a pronoun and its referent in which the pronoun is referring back to an already expressed referent.

a type of metaphor that involves the transfer of animate qualities rather than strictly human qualities to things, concepts, animals and natural phenomena. See also personification.

a type of syntactic patterning that involves the setting of one lexical expression or clause against another to which it is opposed. Antithesis is a particular form of parallelism as it expresses a semantic relationship of antonymy between elements in a sentence.

refers to the sense relation between words that are opposites or near opposites of each other.

the English articles are a(n) and the and they belong to the part of speech known as determiners. Articles are used to indicate whether a noun is definite or indefinite.

a phonological process in which a sound is changed to become more similar to a neighbouring sound (typically either in its place or manner of articulation or with respect to whether it is voiced or voiceless). This process makes sequences of sounds easier to produce.

a type of sound pattern that involves the use of identical vowel sounds within words.

the person or people that the speaker/writer/signer is addressing. The audience may also include unintended addressees as is the case when people eavesdrop on a conversation.

Australian English:
an umbrella term for the English language as used in Australia, covering the many different varieties of English that Australians speak, including those under the umbrella of Aboriginal English.

a part of speech that refers to a group of words that precede verbs in certain forms and express distinctions of time, aspect, modality and voice.

backchannel signal:
a short response, such as hmm, yeah, ooh, right, by the audience in a spoken interaction to indicate that they are listening. Also known as a minimal response.

back vowel:
a vowel sound formed by the position of the tongue towards the back of the mouth that is used in naming these vowels. The vowel /u/ is a back vowel.

basic clause:
a structurally complete clause, consisting of a noun phrase followed by a verb phrase. A basic clause makes a grammatical utterance. See also simple sentence, main clause and subordinate clause.

a process of word formation in which parts of two independent words are combined and used as a new word. For example, smog, is a blend of smoke and fog.

the process of acquiring new words or grammatical features from another language. Examples of borrowings into English include giraffe and lute from Arabic, and cargo, cigar, and vanilla from Spanish.

bound morpheme:
a morpheme that cannot stand alone, typically an affix (for example the verb suffixes -ing and -ed are bound). Some roots are also bound morphemes and must be combined with an affix in order to produce a word. For example, -ceive cannot occur alone but does occur in the forms receive, conceive and deceive.

broad accent:
the Australian English accent most frequently stereotyped as working class or 'ocker' Australian. See also general accent, cultivated accent and ethnic accent.

cataphoric reference:
refers to a relationship between a pronoun and its referent in which the pronoun is referring forward to a referent that is coming up later in the text.

a larger unit than a phrase and usually contains a verb. A complete clause may stand alone as a simple sentence or be part of a compound, complex or compound-complex sentence.

an expression that has become so overused it has lost its power to inform and to enliven. A cliché, such as to not beat around the bush, has become trite and stereotyped, and no longer conveys much meaning.

the implicit logical connectedness within a text. To have coherence the concepts and relationships expressed within a text should be relevant to each other, enabling the audience to make plausible inferences about the underlying meaning.

the explicit language features that connect or bind a text together. For example, lexical choice, reference, ellipsis, substitution, and connecting adverbials and conjunctions can all serve a cohesive function.

a pairing of words that are conventional or closely associated in the minds of speakers. For example, we say on the bookshelf not in the bookshelf, handsome man but beautiful woman.

a lexical item from the informal, localised, slang, or taboo elements of the lexicon that has the effect of making a spoken or written occurrence of language use more personal, more direct, more sincere, more sociable, more blunt, more playful, and/or more amusing.

the part of a clause that makes some sort of statement about the topic.

complex sentence:
a sentence containing two or more clauses, where the relationship between the clauses is one of subordination. A subordinating conjunction may occur as a marker of a subordinate clause.

compound-complex sentence:
a sentence containing both two (or more) coordinated clauses and one (or more) subordinate clauses.

the creation of a new word by combining two already existing words. For example, the compound carport contains the independent words car and port.

compound sentence:
a sentence containing two or more clauses of equal status, where the relationship between the clauses is one of coordination. Compound sentences make use of coordinating conjunctions.

a part of speech that refers to a group of words that are used to link words, phrases and clauses together. The conjunction in the following example is and: I woke up early this morning and promptly went back to sleep.

connecting adverbial:
an adverbial which functions to connect two sentences within a text. For example, however in The colour of life is always changing. However, the spirit of youth remains ever vibrant.

refers to the social meanings or emotional associations triggered by a word. For example, the word mother may have positive (caring, nurturing) or negative (showing excessive concern, limiting) connotations, depending on the context. Compare: I really need some mothering at the moment with She’s always mothering me. See also denotation.

a type of sound pattern that involves the use of identical consonants or consonant clusters at the end of words.

the message of the communication, the information being conveyed.

content word:
a word that carries lexical meaning, that refers to something in the real world. The following classes contain content words: nouns, verbs, adverbs and adjectives. See also function word.

the social situation in which communication takes place.

a reduced form of one or more words, especially when spoken language is represented in writing. For example, can’t is a contraction of cannot.

the process of creating a new word that belongs to a different part of speech than the original word without any affixation. For example, the noun laugh as in That got a few laughs is a conversion from the verb laugh as in She laughed out loud.

cooperative principle:
a unstated agreement people adopt when they communicate: they try to get along with each other by following certain conversational conventions or ‘maxims’ that underlie the efficient use of language.

coordinating conjunction:
conjunctions used to link together language units, such as phrases and clauses, that are of equal status. Coordinating conjunctions include the words and, or, and but. See also compound sentences.

the relationship between two language units of the same sort, such as phrases or clauses, that are joined together by means of a coordinating conjunction such as and, or, and but. For example: I wanted to watch TV but I had to finish my homework. See also subordination.

cultivated accent:
the Australian English accent closest to standard British pronunciation of English. See also general accent, broad accent and ethnic accent.

the sentence type typically used to make a statement. Declaratives have the structure of basic clauses, where the subject precedes the verb. For example:
I like milk on my cereal.

definite determiner or article:
the article the is a definite determiner. This means we use it when referring to something we expect the audience will recognise because it has already been mentioned, or because it will be easy for them to work out. See also indefinite determiner or article.

when the interpretation or reference of a lexical item such as a pronoun is directly tied to the personal, temporal or locational characteristics of the context of use. For example, the location identified by here depends on the actual situation of the particular occasion of use.

a feature of grammatical structure in which the interpretation or reference of a lexical item such as a pronoun or adverb is directly tied to the personal, temporal or locational characteristics of the context of use.

demonstrative pronoun:
in English the forms this, that, these and those, which refer to things by pointing to their location in time and/or space. For example, This is the one I want. (near the speaker) versus That is the one I want. (away from the speaker). Demonstratives are also used as determiners, as in I want that one.

refers to the ‘core’ meaning of a word. For example, the denotation of the word mother is ‘a female parent’. See also connotation.

dependent clause: a clause that is part of a larger clause or sentence. It can have a function such as subject or object in the larger language unit. For example, going to the footy in I really enjoy going to the footy is a dependent clause, and is the object of the verb enjoy. Dependent clauses are also known as subordinate clauses.

an approach to language that aims to characterise objectively how people use language. See also prescriptivism.

a part of speech that expresses the grammatical categories of definiteness, number, and possession. Determiners reflect the grammatical categories of the nouns they precede.

the set of grammatical, lexical and pronunciation features that mark the variety of language used by a speech community or an individual. Widespread differences in accent are also associated with dialects.

a form denoting smallness, familiarity, affection or triviality, as the suffix -let in piglet and the suffix -o in smoko.

a vowel sound that is articulated differently as it is being pronounced. The start and end points of the diphthong are indicated in the phonological representation. For example the diphthong / / is initially articulated as / / but ends as a / /.

direct object:
the function of an element in a clause. In English, the direct object follows the indirect object. The direct object is most affected by the verb; typically it is transferred from the subject to the indirect object. In the following example, a letter is the direct object: We sent George a letter.

discourse particle:
words and small expressions, such as well, yep, you know, sort of, and I mean, that are used in a text to communicate to the audience information such as changes of topic or scene, personal attitudes, and other nuances of meaning.

discriminatory language:
language that reflects or imposes hierarchical distinctions between people. For example, the titles Miss and Mrs reflect a distinction between married and unmarried women whereas no such distinction is made for men.

a contextualised sphere of communication such as home, school, work, medicine or religion where a specific set of language conventions is used marking a register. For example, contracts and wills mark the register of legal English and cardiac arrest and spinal function mark the register of medical English.

euphemisms used for the purpose of confusing the audience and obscuring the meaning to create social distance.

the use of a word or expression that emphasises harshness, abusiveness or offensiveness.

a phonological process in which sounds are omitted in connected speech.

the omission of words or phrases that are not required in order to communicate in a particular context, because the speaker and hearer can make use of information from previous utterances in the discourse or they can infer the information from the context.

an image used to represent facial expressions that is constructed using the standard keyboard. Emoticons are used in emails and SMS messages, for example, to communicate some of the paralinguistic information that is lost in the transition from speaking to writing.

the situation in which new information is presented at the end of a sentence.

ethnic accent:
the umbrella term for the Australian English accent that encompasses the varieties that have emerged through contact with indigenous and migrant languages. See also general accent, broad accent and cultivated accent.

variation within a language that is associated with a group of speakers who identify with the same ethnic group.

the strategy of referring to taboo subjects using general or indirect language. For example, instead of saying urinate or defecate, people say go to the toilet or use the loo in Australia, and use the bathroom in North America. In Canada and Hong Kong, people go to the washroom for the same purposes.

the sentence type typically used to express an exclamation. An exclamative begins with either what or how. For example: What a beautiful picture you drew!

the words, phrases and sentences used to communicate a message.

false start:
when a speaker, having already started on an utterance, hesitates or changes their mind about what they want to say. A false start is most common in unplanned discourse.

figurative language:
words or sequences of words that take on unusual or striking meanings which involve an extension, linking or transfer of literal meanings. For example, the figurative sense of see or hear as ‘understand’ and stand as ‘tolerate, sustain, maintain’ is based on a bodily experience.

finite verb:
a verb that carries tense, person and number marking in agreement with the subject of the clause.

first person:
the speaker, signer or writer. See also person.

fixed expression:
a sequence of words or an expression that is used frequently for fixed purposes. Examples include: g’day, ciao, how are you, no worries and s’truth.

the right to speak that is held at each point in a spoken interaction by a particular participant in preference to the other participants.

the appearance, part of speech category or structure of a word or morpheme. The form of a pronoun, for example, depends on its position in a clause. Compare the use of the first person and third person pronouns in the following sentences: I gave it to her and She gave it to me.

the formality of an utterance can be discussed in terms of a scale of language use relating situations that are socially careful or correct where highly formalised language is appropriate at one end and situations that are very informal and relaxed where non-standard slang is appropriate
at the other.

formulaic opening:
a set beginning to a particular type of discourse that signals to the audience what is to come and allowing the audience to know how to respond.

formulaic utterance:
utterances that are used frequently in a particular context for a fixed purpose. Examples include g’day, s’truth, I’m bid…, I sentence you to…, and Let us pray.

free morpheme:
a morpheme that can be used as a word without any modification. For example, tuna, Warrnambool, drive and purple are all free morphemes. See also bound morpheme.

the situation in which information is presented at the beginning of a sentence rather than later on in the sentence in order to give it greater prominence.

the grammatical role an element is filling. For example, in the following sentence Harry has the function of being the subject: Harry ate a lot of chips.

function word:
a word that carries grammatical meaning only. For example, pronouns, prepositions and conjunctions.

function of language:
the intended purpose of the communication. This may include:
giving directions, asking questions, telling stories and so on.

variation within a language that is associated with a group of speakers of either masculine or feminine gender.

general accent:
the Australian English accent that is the middle of the continuum between a cultivated and a broad accent. It is the accent that is becoming most widespread in Australia. See also cultivated accent, broad accent and ethnic accent.

any variety of language that has a specific purpose, such as persuasion or narrative, uses a distinguishable set of language features and has a typical pattern for the structuring of information. Also known as text type.

given information:
information that is already familiar to the audience, either because the information has already been presented earlier in the text or because the information is already a part of the audience’s background knowledge.

the study of the structure of language in general, or of the structure of sentences in particular. In this second sense grammar is mainly concerned with syntax and morphology.

hedging expression:
a phrase such as you know, sort of and a bit that is used in order to reduce the force of an utterance. Hedging expressions are a strategy for removing social distance between the speaker and the audience by reducing the authoritativeness of the speaker’s tone.

high-rising terminal (HRT):
the use of a high-rising intonation at the end of a statement (especially in Australian and New Zealand English). HRT sounds similar to the intonation used in English questions but is actually used for a range of other discourse functions such as seeking empathy and regulating conversational interaction.

high vowel:
a position of the tongue high in the mouth that is used in naming these vowels. The vowel /i/ is a high vowel.

a type of stylistic device that involves a form of exaggeration and is used to intensify the expression of feelings or impressions. For example, the description work my fingers to the bone in a sentence such as I have worked my fingers to the bone trying to get through this subject is disproportionate to the situation and not meant to be taken literally. Also known as overstatement.

variation within a language that is associated with individual speakers. Also known as personal variation.

a sequence of words that forms a single unit of meaning. For example, burn your bridges, means ‘to act in a way that commits you to a single course of action’. See fixed expression.

the sentence type typically used to express a command or directive. Imperatives do not typically contain a subject. As the speaker is addressing the hearer(s), ‘you’, the subject can readily be recovered from the context. In imperatives the verb is always in the infinitive form. For example:
Look at me.

inclusive language:
language usage which ensures that different opinions, lifestyles, choices and experiences are recognised and validated.

indefinite determiner or article:
the articles a and an are indefinite determiners. They are used when introducing something new to the audience. See also definite determiner or article.

indirect object:
the function of an element in a clause. In a transitive clause in English, the indirect object follows the verb and precedes the direct object. The indirect object codes the recipient or goal of the verb. Sarah is the indirect object in the following clause: I gave Sarah a new pencil case.

something that has been deduced or concluded, often by using implicit situational or cultural knowledge in addition to explicit information.

the base form of the verb. Infinitive verbs are not inflected for tense, number or person. This is the form used as the headword in a dictionary entry. In sentences, infinitives may be preceded by to, as in I like to gaze out the window. See also non-finite verb.

a bound morpheme that occurs within the root to which it is attached. Infixes are only found in English as intensifiers in forms such as bloody in fanbloodytastic. (note that this is called tmesis)

information flow:
the ways in which language users vary the structural features of sequences of sentences within larger texts in order to create cohesion, show shifts in topic and focus, changes in participants, beginnings and ends of scenes, and so on.

informational text:
a text type whose purpose is to help the audience gain knowledge.

instructional text:
a text type whose purpose is to tell the audience how to do something.

a part of speech containing words such as ouch, yuck, ugh, and he-he that are used to express feelings and emotion. With the exception of quoted speech, interjections do not combine with other words to form larger phrases or clauses. This property sets interjections apart from the other parts of speech.

the sentence type typically used to ask questions. Interrogatives usually have subject-auxiliary inversion. This means that the order of the subject and the auxiliary verb is reversed compared with basic clauses. For example:
Can you come? as compared to the basic clause:
You can come.

interrogative tag:
a type of question formed by attaching an element to the end of a statement, as in It sure is bright, isn’t it?

the way in which pitch changes during speech. English speakers tend to use rising intonation when asking questions.

intonation pattern:
the pattern of pitch changes characteristic of an utterance.

intonation unit:
a unit of speech identified by its intonation contour. Intonation units can be distinguished by the pauses between them and the changes in pitch that they contain.

a verb that does not occur with an object. For example, I sneezed. See also transitive.

irregular verb:
verbs that create past tense and/or past participle forms by internal modification rather than by taking an inflectional affix. For example, the verb sing has the past tense sang and the past participle sung.

a type of figurative language in which the real meaning of the message is different from the literal meaning of the words used. Irony is produced when the reality of the context in which language is written or spoken makes the statement untrue in some way.

a set of lexical items associated with a discrete occupational or social group such as airline pilots, jazz fans and linguistics. It can provide the lexical dimension of a particular register. It can also refer to the use of specialised language to obscure meaning and exclude non-members.

language change:
change within a language over time. The change may occur in any subsystem of the language system.

lexical ambiguity:
when a lexical item can be interpreted with more than one meaning.

lexical choice:
the lexical items that are selected to be used in the expression of a particular message.

lexical item:
a basic unit of meaning in a language that may be a single word, as with dog; less than a word, as with the bound root morpheme cran- ; or more than one word as with the multi-word idiom to see eye to eye.

the study of the word stock, or lexicon, of a language.

the entire word stock or vocabulary of a language.

lingua franca:
is used for communication by speakers with no common language. English is a lingua franca in international business communication, and Tok Pisin is a lingua franca in Papua New Guinea, as is Swahili in much of East Africa.

a type of syntactic patterning that involves the repetition of lexical items or grammatical structures as a list. Listing is a particular form of parallelism.

main clause:
a clause that can stand on its own and can also be called an independent clause. For example, I went to the beach on Friday is a main clause. See also dependent clause.

a convention for how communication is conducted.

maxim of manner:
the convention that when people communicate their contribution should be orderly and brief, avoiding obscurity and ambiguity.

maxim of quality:
the convention that when people communicate their contribution should be true. They should not say what they believe to be false, nor should they say anything for which they lack adequate evidence.

maxim of quantity:
the convention that when people communicate their contribution should be as informative as is required. They should say neither too much nor too little.

maxim of relevance:
the convention that when people communicate their contribution should clearly relate to the purpose of the interaction.

the terminology used to describe, analyse and discuss language. The glossary on this CD is a glossary of metalanguage used to discuss the English language.

a type of figurative language in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable, in order to suggest a resemblance, as a whale of a problem.

minimal response:
a short response, such as hmm, yeah, ooh, right, by the audience in a spoken interaction to indicate that they are listening. Also known as a backchannel signal.

modal auxiliary:
an auxiliary, such as can, will, should, and may, that expresses modality. Modal auxiliaries do not show information about person, number or tense and occur with an infinitive verb form. For example in the following sentence laugh is the main verb and can is a modal auxiliary: I can laugh louder than you.

the way communication is accomplished. The three basic modes of communication are speaking, writing, and signing.

the smallest meaningful unit in a language. A word consists of one or more morphemes.

the study of the structure of words. See also morpheme.

narrative text:
a text type whose purpose is to entertain by telling about events, experiences or the like, whether true or fictitious.

the creation of a new word or expression to fill a gap, such as bogan ‘a complete loser’.

New Englishes:
varieties of English that are currently emerging in places in which English is widely used as a second language. Over time, characteristics of local languages are incorporated into the English of the area. Singaporean English is one example.

new information:
information presented in a text that is not familiar to the audience until the point of its introduction.

the process of forming a noun from some other part of speech–for example, creation from the verb create. It also includes the process of turning whole clauses into noun phrases. For example, the students produced the multimedia extravaganza becomes the students’ production of the multimedia extravaganza.

non-finite verb:
a verb which has not been inflected for tense, person or number. This includes infinitives, and present and past participles.

an accent or dialect having the characteristic that /r/ is not pronounced after vowels. Australian English is an example of a non-rhotic variety of English. See also rhotic.

the part of speech containing words referring to objects and abstractions. Words in this class fulfil a naming function. In English nouns inflect for number and commonly have the functions of subject, object and predicative complement in sentences.

noun phrase:
a phrase that is constructed around a noun or pronoun. Examples are: the Port Philip bowling team, my dog and me.

the function of an element in a clause. In a basic clause the object is a noun phrase and follows the verb. In the following sentence Ida is the
object: Sue phoned Ida. In a passive construction the object of a basic clause corresponds to the subject of the passive (consider:
Ida was phoned by Sue).

refers to words that imitate the sounds they refer to. For example, woof represents the sound of a dog barking, while purring and miaowing are done by cats.

a type of stylistic device that involves a form of exaggeration and is used to intensify the expression of feelings or impressions. For example, the description of frillions of emails in a sentence such as There were frillions of emails when I go home. is disproportionate to the situation and not meant to be taken literally. Also known as hyperbole.

the expression of a paradox, or seeming contradiction, through the use of antonyms or direct opposites, such as make haste slowly.

a type of figurative language that involves the statement of two seemingly contradictory facts or qualities which are both true at the same time.

a type of syntactic patterning that involves the repetition of a series of similar syntactic structures, most often for stylistic reasons which underline the semantic interpretation of the text.

part of speech:
a set of words sharing many language features, such as the kind of inflectional and derivational morphemes with which they can occur and their syntactic behaviour in a sentence. The terms noun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, and pronoun all refer to parts of speech.

the speaker/writer/signer and the audience

a grammatical contrast, generally called voice, in which the patient or ‘undergoer’ appears as the subject instead of the agent or ‘doer’. If the agent is there at all it is in a prepositional phrase beginning with by. For example, My homework was eaten by the dog is a passive sentence. The corresponding active sentence is The dog ate my homework.

past participle:
a verb form used to express either a completed action or a passive action. Typical endings are -en (compare take and taken) or -ed (compare bake and baked). When a past participle is used to express a completed action, the auxiliary have carries the tense, person and number marking, as in She has missed the bus to school every day this week. When a past participle is used to express the passive, the auxiliary be carries the tense, person and number marking. For example, The pizza was baked in a mud-brick oven.

past tense:
used to indicate that the event described by the verb happened before some other relevant event (often the time of speech). See also tense.

may occur when a speaker breathes in during a turn at talking or when they need time to think. In this latter case, the speaker is likely to use a pause filler to indicate they wish to continue speaking. Pauses may also be used for dramatic effect.

pause filler:
expressions such as um and err that are used by a speaker to indicate they are still taking a turn at talking. They allow the speaker thinking time in order to plan what they will say next.

a grammatical category marked on pronouns. The first person is the speaker/writer/signer, I and we, the second person is the audience, you, and the third person is the person(s) and/or thing(s) spoken about: he, she, it, and they.

personal variation:
variation within a language that is associated with individual speakers. Also known as an idiolect.

a type of metaphor that involves the transfer of human qualities to things, concepts, animals and natural phenomena.

persuasive text:
a text type whose purpose is to help the audience change their opinions or attitudes.

the study of speech sounds: their production, transmission and reception.

phonological patterning:
the sound patterns created by individual and combined consonant and vowel sounds and the rhythmic patterns created by the overlay of syllable stress.

the study of the way speech sounds are organised within a particular language.

a language unit that contains one or more words. Phrases are smaller than clauses and are named after the part of speech category of the word that is most important within the phrase. For example, the red skirt and a cup of coffee are noun phrases, while really very beautiful and quite extraordinary are adjective phrases.

refers to the high, medium or low sound of someone’s voice. Pitch is relative and depends on the vocal qualities of each individual speaker. The lowest speaking pitch of a soprano may be higher than the highest pitch of a baritone.

planned discourse:
prepared speeches, and most written documents are examples of planned discourse. The speaker prepares the text in isolation from the audience with plenty of time to think. The audience is not typically a participant in planned discourse. See also unplanned discourse.

the grammatical number used when there is more than one referent. The plural is frequently marked by the suffix -s. See also singular.

the use of language expressions to show courtesy and respect towards others and to mark social status and social distance.

politeness marker:
a lexical item or phrase that is used to express politeness such as courtesy and social status. For example, in order to avoid being rude please can be used to reduce the assertive force of a command.

political correctness:
conformity to current beliefs about correctness in language with regard to sexism, racism, ageism, and so forth.

a grammatical expression of ownership.

an affix that occurs before a root. For example, dis- in dislocate or re- in relocate.

a grammatical part of speech that typically expresses spatial information. For example, in, at, through, and by are prepositions.

prepositional phrase:
a phrase that is constructed around a preposition. Examples are: in the water and by my side.

an approach to language with authoritarian intent, that aims to tell people how to use language ‘properly’. See also descriptivism.

present participle:
a verb form used to express continuing action. Shown by the ending -ing (compare go and going). When a present participle is part of the verbal element, the auxiliary be carries the tense, person and number marking. For example: I am going to the working bee on Saturday.

present tense:
associated with events that are occurring at the time of speaking (present time). For example, You are funny. Sometimes the present tense is used for things that will actually happen in the future. The grand final is next Saturday.

prestige status:
the variety of a language which is held to be most suitable for serious purposes and is used for official or public purposes. See also Standard Australian English.

principle of appropriateness:
states that the register or language variety used should match the situation in terms of style and levels of formality. Relevant factors include the audience, function and context.

a grammatical part of speech containing words used as substitutes for noun phrases. For example I, you, her and mine are pronouns.

prosodic features:
the collective name for the characteristics of pitch, stress and intonation. They are used to convey important information when speaking.

the humorous use of a word to bring out differences in meaning or of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning.

a phonological process in which a sound becomes more central when a word is unstressed in speech. Reduction is also used to refer to the situation where part of a word has been deleted, as in the use of coz for because. Speech that does not contain any reduction sounds halting. Reductions are more frequent in casual conversations than in formal contexts.

the various ways in the which the denotation of people, places, actions and things mentioned in a text are established and linked or tracked within the text.

regional variation:
a language variety associated with speakers living in a particular geographic location or region. For example, Melburnian English is a regional dialect of Australian English.

a language variety associated with a particular situation of use, that can be described in terms of users, domain and style. For example:
the language of the law, the language of sports junkies, the language of the media, the language of science, the language of academics, the language of foodies, the language of politics, the language of advertising, the language of literature, the language of family and friendship and the language of criminals.

a stylistic device that can be used for a number of purposes such as emphasising an important point, drawing parallels between different points, ensuring that the audience has heard or understood, or to hold the floor while the speaker thinks about the next thing to say.

an accent or dialect having the characteristic of pronouncing /r/ after a vowel. Most varieties of American English are rhotic. See also non-rhotic.

a type of phonological patterning in which a word agrees with another in the part of that final syllable that consists of the central peak, which is usually a vowel, and any consonants which follow the peak. Rhyme is a stylistic device used, for example, in poetry and rhyming slang.

rhyming pattern:
the pattern of agreement in the rhyme of the final syllable of lines of poetry or of words.

the flow of words while speaking. The rhythm is marked by patterns of stress placement and the overall tempo of speaking.

a morpheme that forms the basis of a word. In the word idol the root forms an entire word whereas idolised consists of the root idol plus two affixes: the derivational suffix -ise forms a verb from a noun and the inflectional suffix -ed indicates that it is in the past tense.

a type of figurative language in which the real meaning of the message is different from the literal meaning of the words used. Sarcasm, like irony, is produced when the reality of the context in which language is written or spoken makes the statement untrue in some way. However, sarcasm is more explicit and more insulting than irony.

second person:
refers to the audience – that is, the hearer(s) or reader(s). See also person.

occurs when a speaker makes an error such as mispronouncing a word and goes back to correct the error.

semantic field:
an area of meaning covered by a set of words with interrelated meanings. Some examples include:
words relating to food and cooking, words for auto parts, and words associated with football.

the study of meaning and how a meaningful message is constructed.

refers to the meaning of a word.

a sentence may consist of a word, as in Fine, a clause, as in Winter finally ended, or more than one clause, as in She laughed when she saw the surprise. See also complex sentence, compound sentence, compound-complex sentence and simple sentence.

sentence type:
refers to the four main sentence types in English, which can be distinguished by the communicative function or message each type typically conveys. See declarative, exclamative, imperative and interrogative.

the process of creating a new word by truncating a longer word. For example the word bus comes from omnibus.

a type of figurative language that performs the function of comparing or connecting two things because they share similar qualities; or sometimes, of transferring the qualities of one thing to another.

simple sentence:
a sentence that contains a single clause. Examples include I am not feeling particularly well this morning, Jill rang me, and The man in the red hat is looking for his dog.

simultaneous speech:
occurs when two or more participants in a spoken interaction speak at the same time.

the grammatical number used when there is only one referent. The singular is not marked on nouns in English but the plural is.

distinctive words and phrases associated with informal speech. It tends to be used within clearly defined social or age groups. It is often short lived.

social distance:
social distance can be discussed in terms of a scale of language use relating contexts where the participants are relatively close, of equal status or belong to a common group at one end, and contexts where such relationships do not hold between the participants at the other. Where there is little social distance between the participants, language expressing familiarity or solidarity is appropriate, whereas when the social distance between the participants is large, highly formalised language is appropriate.

social variation:
a language variety associated with groups of people sharing similar social characteristics such as socio-economic class, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, among others.

variation within a language that is associated with a group of speakers who share similar socially defined characteristics such as socioeconomic class, education level, ethnicity and gender among others. See also ethnolect and genderlect.

a mode of communication in which ideas are conveyed by using spoken language. This involves the use of the organs of speech and hearing.

speech community:
a group of people, identified regionally or socially, who share at least one language or variety of a language.

Standard Australian English:
a prestige dialect of Australian English generally used for official or public purposes. This dialect is used by institutions such as schools, the courts, government offices and by the media. It utilises a uniform lexicon and grammar but may include a variety of pronunciations.

the name given to sounds made by completely closing off the oral cavity with the velum raised to prevent air from entering the nasal cavity. In English these sounds include /b, p, t, d, k, g/.

refers to syllables that have greater prominence in a word or phrase.

strong form:
a stressed word form in connected speech. See also weak form.

the manner of expression characteristic of a particular register, that can be described in terms of relative formality and the specific language features used.

the function of an element in a clause. In a basic clause a noun phrase subject is obligatory; the subject comes before the verb; the verb agrees in person and number with the subject; and the subject typically refers to the agent, or actor in a clause.

subordinate clause:
a clause that has a function in another (higher) clause.

subordinating conjunction:
a conjunction that is used to link two clauses where one clause has a function in the other (higher) clause. Subordinating conjunctions include the words because, although and which. See also complex sentence and compound-complex sentence.

refers to the relationship between two clauses, where one clause has a function in the other (higher) clause and the two clauses may be linked by a subordinating conjunction such as while, although or that. For example, the subordinate clause that ate my goldfish is describing the noun phrase the cat in the following clause: I saw the cat that ate my goldfish. See also coordination.

the replacement of a full lexical expression by another shorter expression.

an affix that occurs after the root. For example, -ly in happily and -est in highest are suffixes.

an inflectional suffix that indicates one of the three degrees of comparison for many adjectives and some adverbs as in shortest and hardest.

a rhythmical unit of speech. Syllables contain one or more sounds and languages have different restrictions on what combinations of sounds are possible in a syllable.

refers to the use of a lexical item or expression as a symbol to represent something beyond itself. A symbol is like an abbreviation or sign which is used to mean far more than its specific denotation. For example, a letter can be a symbol for a specific sound.

a word having the same or nearly the same meaning, or denotation, as another word.

refers to the sense relation between words that have similar meanings, or denotations.

syntactic ambiguity:
when a syntactic construction can be interpreted as if it were another.

the study of the structure of sentences in a language. In particular, the way that grammatical relationships between words are treated.

topics and behaviour which are viewed as negative in a given culture. Taboo subjects frequently include death, and bodily parts, functions, and processes. See also euphemism.

a grammatical category associated with verbs. Tense encodes the relative time an event took place and frequently this is in relation to the time of speech.

text type:
any variety of language that has a specific purpose, such as persuasion or narrative, uses a distinguishable set of language features and has a typical pattern for the structuring of information. Also known as genre.

the part of a sentence that indicates what is being talked or written about.

having control of the floor – that is, the right to speak – at a particular time.

refers to the accepted norms in a particular culture for managing the alternation of turns in a spoken interaction, such as whether it is considered rude or normal to talk over someone else.

a type of stylistic device that involves minimising or giving less importance to what is being described. Like overstatement, it has the effect of intensifying the expression of feelings or impressions. For example, a statement such as This will only hurt a little. downplays the level of pain that is likely to occur.

unplanned discourse:
spontaneous use of language, typically in conversation but also in email and so on. The roles of speaker and audience switch regularly and there is little time for planning what to say. See also planned discourse.

refers to syllables in words that do not receive prominence. See also stress.

use-related variation:
differences in the variety of language used that are associated with the occasion of use.

user-related variation:
differences in the variety of language used that are associated with the person speaking, writing or signing.

differences in the form of language, arising between individuals, and between communities of speakers, either historically, regionally and/or socially. Variation may occur in all the subsystems of a language. See also regional variation and social variation.

a distinctive system of language patterns used under specific circumstances by an individual or a communities of speakers.

a part of speech that refers to actions, events, states, and processes. For example, cry, collide, know, and construct. In English, verbs are marked for tense, aspect, voice, mood, person, and number.

verb agreement:
in English, a verb in the present tense agrees with the subject in person and number. For example, in The baby smiles a lot. the verb occurs with the third person singular present tense suffix, -s, which marks agreement with the third person singular subject.

verb phrase:
a phrase that is constructed around a verb. Examples are have only ever eaten fish and choked on a bone.

refers to the grammatical contrast between active and passive.

voice quality:
the tone of voice a speaker uses. Examples include creaky voice, associated with tiredness, and breathy voice, associated with shyness, or sensuality, or simply being out of breath.

describes sounds which are made using vibration of the vocal folds. All vowels and nasals are voiced, as are many consonants. These sounds include /i, a, m, w, b, d, g/ in English.

describes sounds produced without vibration of the vocal folds. These sounds include /p, f, t, s, k/ in English.

a class of sounds produced by allowing the air through the mouth without obstruction. Different vowels are made by changing the shape of the oral cavity. Vowels are always voiced in English. See also consonant.

a meaningful unit that can stand alone in speaking or writing. Words may contain one or more morphemes and are combined into phrases, clauses and sentences.

a mode of communication that relies on visual representations of language. Writing involves the use of an orthography.

yes—no interrogative:
a type of interrogative, that has only two possible answers: yes or no. A yes—no interrogative, which is sometimes called a closed interrogative, is usually formed with an auxiliary in front of the subject: Did you see the movie last night? Are you happy with your plans? Have you got anything in red? See also open interrogative.
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Re: English Language Resources and Essays
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2015, 01:41:44 pm »
Compilation of Quotes for Essays

by stonecold

The following are some very good quotes from known linguists.  You should, where appropriate, attempt to integrate them into your essay writing, to give your opinions credence, and show the examiner that you have thoroughly researched the topic.

Prescriptivism vs. Descriptivism
"All languages meet the social and psychological needs of their speakers, are equally deserving of scientific study, and can provide us with valuable information about human nature and society." (Crystal)
“Prescriptivism is often based on “religious and philosophical preconceptions.” (Jen Aitchison)
“…language is constantly evolving and this is part of the evolutionary process.” (Bruce Moore)

Standard English and Text Speak
“The vast majority of spelling rules in English are irrelevant.  They don’t stop you understanding the word in question.” (Crystal)
“…spelling was only standardised in the 18th century.  In Shakespeare’s time you could spell more or less as you liked.” (Crystal)
“…standard English spelling is an absolute criterion of an educated background.” (Crystal)
“…sounds are too volatile and subtle for legal restraint…” (Samuel Johnson. Author of the first English dictionary)
…tendency to believe “the notion that face can be saved by following the practices recommended by the grammarian.’  (Crystal)

Language and Identity
“More than anything else, language shows we belong, providing the most natural badge or symbol or public and private identity.” (Crystal)
“All subsystems of language can have an influence on how we mark identity through language.” (Macmillan text book)
“Linguistic variation is a tool for us to construct ourselves as social beings, to signal who we are and who are not and cannot be.” (Sterling)
“Language is perhaps the most widely encountered symbol of ethnic identity.” (Macmillan text book)
“Ethnicity is an important part of social identity and something that people want to demonstrate through their use of language (Burridge and Mulder)
“A broad Australian accent and the use of conventionally tabooed language become desirable macho markers of gender identity.” (Burrige and Mulder)

Australian English
“Mark out a community as different from others in history, its way of life, its attitudes and its traditions.” (Macquarie Dictionary Website)
“Australian English can be seen as the natural development of a post-imperialist colony, through divergent linguistic development.” (Mitchell and Delbridge)
In periods of patriotism, it was felt that “swearing and a strong, broad Australian accent, for example, are associated with toughness and strength and these can be highly values qualities.” (Burridge)
Cultivated Australian English can be seen as snobbish and “one often encounters hostile or amused reactions to the cultivated accent.” (Burridge)
“Australian English functions as a significant and extremely powerful symbol of national identity.” (Australian Voices website, Macquarie University)

“Slang is language of a highly colloquial and contemporary type.” (Burridge and Allan)
“The use of slang is a means of marking social or linguistic identity.” (Crystal)
“Swearing can become a dominant linguistic trait.” (Crystal)

“A variety of language used among people who have a common work- related or recreational interest” (Burridge and Allan)
“Chief linguistic element that shows social togetherness.” (Crystal)
“Unless you are a member of a clique… it’s gibberish.” (Steve Pinker)
“It facilitates communication on one hand, but erects quite successful communication barriers on the other.” (Burridge)
“One person’s jargon is another person’s vocabulary.” (Ilana Mushin)

“Serve direct human interests by avoiding those things which threaten to cause offence and distress” (Burridge)
“You could think of euphemism as a kind of linguistic dressing.  It can be decorative, flavour enhacing, concealing…” (Burridge)
“Latin words sound scientific and therefore appear to be technical and clean whereas their Anglo-Saxon counterparts are taboo.” (Fromkin, Blair and Collins)
“Euphemism treadmill… the new word becomes tainted, prompting the search for yet another fresh word.” (Steve Pinker)
“Euphemisms are certainly motivated by the desire not to be offensive but they are more than just linguistic fig leaves.” (Burridge)

“They remain in the language to vent strong emotion.” (Fromkin, Blair and Collins)
“Swearing has important social function.” (Crystal)
“The focus of offensive language has definitely shifted from the religious to the secular, especially to matters relating to sexual and bodily functions. (Burridge)
“Laws against profanity, blasphemy and (sexual) obscenity have been replaced in heinousness  by sanctions against –IST language” (Allan and Burridge)
“Words and language are not intrinsically good or bad but reflect individual or societal values.” (Fromkin, Blair and Collins)
“Words are often sacrificed when they take on secondary, emotionally charged meanings” (Pinker)
“It is generally accepted that ‘cunt’ is the most tabooed word in the English language.” (Burridge and Allan)

Discriminatory Language
“Women are rendered invisible in the language when the masculine pronoun ‘he’ is used. (Fromkin, Blair and Collins)
“There are even legally recognised sanctions against what broadly might be called IST-language”(Burridge)
“The whole framework… so deep rooted that it goes unnoticed.” (Crystal)

Political Correctness
“Political Correctness brought a fresh awareness of the nature of regional and ethnic identity, which led to greater valuing of linguistic diversity.” (Crystal)
“PC language deliberately throws down the gauntlet and challenges us to go beyond the content of the message and acknowledge the assumptions on which our language is operating.” (Allan and Burridge)
“The suggestion that by eradicating offensive language we would eradicate social attitudes and inequalities betrays a lack of understanding of how language works.” (Crystal)
“A healthy expansion of moral concern.” (Noam Chomsky)

Political Language
“The whole tendency of modern prose is away from concreteness.” (Orwell)
“Language that makes the bad seem good, the negative seem positive and the unacceptable appear attractive.” (Crystal)
“The truth is less significant than the political conquest.” (Watson)
“In our time, Political speech and writing have largely been the defence of the indefensible.” (Orwell)
“If thought can corrupt language, then so too can language corrupt thought.” (Orwell)
“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful, murder respectable and to give the appearance of solidarity to pure wind.” (Orwell)
“Language has been made the machine of business and politics.” (Watson)
“Designed to intimidate the populous through mystification.” (Thorne)
“Truth is the first casualty of war.” (US Senator Johnson, 1918)
“It is language which pretends to communicate but really doesn’t” (Lutz)

Polite Language
“What counts as polite behaviour varies between human groups.” (Allan and Burrudge)
“Negative politeness avoids intruding and so emphasis social distance.” (Holmes)
“Different cultures and linguistic groups express politeness differently.” (Holmes)
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 02:20:04 pm by bangali_lok »
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Re: English Language Resources and Essays
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2015, 01:45:24 pm »
Preparing for the exam

by dmitridr

Short Answer: I’d recommend completing the 2009 – 2013 short answer and then checking your answers against the ones on the VCAA site. Ensure you READ the question and highlight the key metalinguistic terms in the question. Also ALWAYS check the marking… this will give you an indication as to how much you should write (i.e. you don't write too little or too much).

Analytical Commentary: I’d recommend completing the 2012/2013 analytical commentaries. Also use your 'green book' to practice some other analytical commentary texts. I’d also recommend revising coherence vs. cohesion as well as spoken discourse features and spoken conversational strategies. Remember to not speak in general terms for each point; you need to ensure that when you give an example, of say a passive sentence, then you MUST state why and give further elaboration in its given context.

Essays: I’d recommend going through the 2009 – 2013 exams and planning every essay topic in these exams. This means planning each body paragraph and including topic sentences as well as quotations and examples. Then, after that complete the hardest essays for each of these years... don't just choose the easiest ones you can do.

Quotations: You should now include your own quotations from the year. If you are struggling to compile a quotations list now, then I would start by creating headings for the main topics of the units and then inserting quotes and examples underneath (e.g. 'Swearing', 'Slang', 'Australian Identity' etc.).

Metalanguage: I’d highly recommend going over the metalinguistic terms so that you have an understanding of the key terms because every year they include this metalanguage in the short answer section and it often stumps people! Likewise, you will also need to know metalanguage for section B and C.

Exam Timings: You will be permitted 15 minutes reading time and 2 hours of writing time. During the 15 minutes:
1.   Read the essay topics and select one
2.   Go over the analytical commentary text and make mental notes]
3.   Finish off by reading the short answer text so that you’re familiar with it as soon as you start writing

Then I would recommend the following during 2 hours writing time:
1.   Spend 30 minutes on the short answer section
2.   Spend 45 minutes on the analytical commentary section
3.   Spend 45 minutes on the essay section

I hope this sincerely helps out! :)

Exam Preparation Plan

by dmitridr

Hi all!

It's that time of year. Everyone is pretty much burnt out from their SACs, but don't give up! It's very easy to slip into lazy habits. VCE is a marathon and not a sprint (sorry for the cliche, but it's so true), so keep pushing, keep working hard and stay persistent!

So, with that brief motivational rant out of the way, let's get into the nitty-gritty of English Language revision. This is what I've been advising my current students to do in preparation for their exams.

1. FIRST AND FOREMOST (just used an alliteration to bring your attention to this topic), revise your metalanguage list (3/4). This is so essential for all sections of the exam, particularly section A and B. I would recommend downloading it from the VCAA site and meticulously highlighting all terms you don't know or understand. Even if you understand only part of a metalinguistic term, still highlight it. Don't kid yourself. Then once this is done, learn the definition and give an example for it (identifying it is much harder than giving a definition).

2. Revise ALL content from Units 3 and 4 (both AOSs). This could mean going through the textbook (yes, I mean it) and highlighting all key knowledge and THEN creating a summary notes document for all content highlighted. This is what I did in year 12 and yes it took ages, but it was worth it!

3. Complete 2006 - 2014 VCAA English Language exams under timed conditions. There is not use taking 10 hours to complete an exam when you're only given 2 hours writing time in the actual exam. Also practice writing and not typing!

4. Complete independent company exams. You can choose to do these under timed conditions or not. I always look at independent company exams as a practice piece for the actual exam (like training wheels on a bike). You can find many of these online for free. See an example here: http://wiki.engageeducation.org.au/practice-exams/english-language/

5. Complete practice questions in the Green Book (Kirsten Fox's Exam Guide). Also read through the sample responses at the end of each section to get an idea of what an A+ response looks like! Remember that exposure = success!

6. Create your final quotations list for the essay section (section C). This shouldn't be any longer than 5 pages long as your brain will not be able to process it. In year 12 my quotes page was around 5 - 6 pages long (as far as I can remember). Remember to categorise all quotes according to the main themes and AOSs.

There you have it! I am sure I could add more, but this is what I believe will give you the strength, knowledge and willpower to success!
« Last Edit: September 28, 2015, 09:52:12 am by bangali_lok »
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Re: English Language Resources and Essays
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2015, 01:55:30 pm »
Stonecold's essay

This is an essay which was completed as part of a practice exam at school.  It received a mark of 14/15.

Topic: was an attachment which has since been lost :(

The role of Standard English is constantly changing in society, however it is important to recognise the various contexts in which the Standard operates.  In certain contexts, other varieties and registers devalue the Standard as they are able to indicate group ties and create solidarity between group members.  The e-revolution and ‘teen speak’ reflect settings where the use of the Standard may be limited.  Similarly, Standard English may not be considered a conversational requirement for speakers of ethnocultural varieties of Australian English.  It is however important to recognise that despite its limitations, the Standard plays a fundamental role in many contexts and is still a required variety of language in Australia.  The Principle of Appropriateness is a critical factor often used to determine whether Standard Language is applicable to a given situation.

The evolution of new technologies coupled with fresh varieties of language such as ‘teen speak’ are challenging the use of the Standard in many contexts.  Often social distance is a determiner for the type of language chosen, and where close relationships are shared, non-standard registers may be held in higher regard than the Standard.  Syntactically, utterances may feature ellipsis, for example ‘coming?’ instead of ‘Are you coming’ or non-standard orthography such as ‘wot’ rather than ‘what.’  Whilst such varieties deviate from the Standard, these language features are commonly found in SMS text messages between friends and are considered appropriate for the context.  Similarly, in conversations, interlocutors subconsciously modify the phonotactic structure of some utterances.  This is evident when one assimilates the words ‘going to’ into the more free flowing ‘gonna’, which creates a casual and inviting atmosphere.  Moreover, the use of slang such as ‘rentals’ for ‘parents’ in ‘teen speak’ creates group solidarity by adopting terms with which teenagers are familiar.  ‘Teen speak’ is a register that should only be used in contexts where it is appropriate and should be avoided in situations where its use may exclude and confuse others.  Furthermore, certain situations demand formality and thus call upon the use of Standard English.  It is important that language users recognise the varying acceptance of different registers, and modify their language choices to meet the needs of the audience, purpose and context when communicating.

As Australia has become a multicultural society, several non-standard ethnocultural varieties of Australian English have evolved.  Many of the constraints imposed by a speaker’s first language are often transferred into their English, creating non-standard varieties.  Phonologically, Chinese Australian English often features the voiceless stop, such as /ɔlˈraɪ/ instead of ‘alright.’  Similarly, Greek Australian English differs from the Standard syntactically, as it often lacks determiners and prepositions such as ‘the’ and ‘to.’  For example, the clause ‘come to the shops’ sometimes has the function words omitted and is pronounced as ‘come shops’ by speakers of this variety.  Non-standard features such as these are derived from a speaker’s first language and then ingrain themselves in their use of English.  Whilst non-standard language does not follow the grammatical conventions of English, it still has the ability to convey meaning effectively.  This fulfils the purpose of language, which linguist David Crystal notes is to ‘meet the needs of its spekers.’  In Italian variations of English, the morphological change of the lexical item ‘farm’ to /fɑrmə/ is usually evident.  Although the orthography and pronunciation are non-standard, the meaning is largely unaffected and successful communication is not inhibited.  The growth of ethnocultural English varieties in Australia has enriched the language, and provided an alternative means for foreign language speakers to communicate with other English speakers in Australia.

Despite many contexts no longer requiring the use of standard language, in certain situations, it is fundamental that Standard English is the basis used.  Standard English is perceived as the ‘prestige variety’ of language in Australia, and has gained an elevated status through its codification into dictionaries and association with high status individuals and institutions, particularly governments, law courts and universities.  The Standard variety of English adheres to prescriptivist linguistic rules and is therefore considered the most appropriate for use on formal occasions.  Although it may be stereotyped as the ‘the slang of prigs who write history essays,’ (George Elliot) there are inevitably contexts where formal language is paramount to successful communication.  For example, referring to the city of ‘Brisbane’ by using the slang term ‘Brisvegas’ in a travel guide is unlikely to be tolerated, as it could  arise in confusion and uncertainty for many tourists.  David Crystal also notes that by ‘following the rules of the grammarian’ many people believe the notion that face can be saved.  This is often evidenced in highly formal situations, such as interviews where unequal relative power relations exist.  Titles of address such as ‘Sir’ and ‘Mister’ tend to be used rather than vocatives in order to maintain a level of formality and respect.  Furthermore, the use of Standard English is especially important in public interactions.  Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s speech to the stolen generations is an example of the formality and prestige associated with the Standard.  Grammatically correct sentence constructions such as ‘A future we can all look forward to.’ create a sense of authority.  Similarly, the use of euphemistic titles including ‘indigenous Australians’ and ‘Torres Strait Islander people’ were required over non-standard slang such as ‘Abos,’  as they serve to maintain the inclusive nature of the speech and attempt to avoid offending listeners .  Additionally, by using Standard language, Rudd’s speech was comprehensible to a wide ranging audience.  Situations where the audience is unknown tend to be of a formal nature, and therefore are expected to adhere to the conventions of Standard English.

Although it appears Standard English is having a lessening influence on modern language use, it is clear that this variety’s prestige prevails in contexts which require the use of formal language.  Conversely, it is also this feature which has resulted in decreased use of the Standard in casual situations.  Other varieties and registers exist which are favoured for informal communication, as they act as a tool which speakers can use to identify themselves within a group.  Inevitably, as Australia grows to become a more multicultural nation, non-standard varieties will continue to evolve and become a dominant feature in Australian language.  This reflects the dynamic and flexible nature of language.  Whilst the linguistic conventions of the Standard are set in stone, other equally important and distinctive varieties need to be recognised as an integral part of the unique landscape of Australian English.

Whilst I feel the structure of this essay was relatively solid, some of the examples are rather common and boring.  For example, there are much better examples of 'textspeak' than 'wot' and 'are your coming?'  If you wish to talk about technology, I recommend trying to incorporate something about Twitter or Facebook, as these somewhat  revolutionized how language and technology operate.  Notably, these mediums have made e-language much more dynamic, and allow users to reach a very wide audience.  This is something which may be worth discussing.

I found the ethnolect paragraph was rather standard and I used it multiple times in my essays including in the exam itself.  Try to use metalanguage to make your writing more sophisticated.  As for the ethnolect examples, again they are not very impressive, and I am sure with some research you could come up with much more interesting and unique examples.

As for speeches, the KRudd sorry speech is far too old now.  I recommend listening to some of Anna Bligh's media conferences regarding the floods for more up to date examples.  The 'We are Queenslanders' phrase she used is pretty moving and would make for a very good example.  This could also double as an example of 'good public language' in a different essay.

Incorporating quotes from notable linguists into essays is always a good idea where appropriate.  If you are given stimulus material, then you must incorporate some of it or refer to it in your essay as I have tried to do.

Also, just a warning about making claims without giving any examples or evidence.  I have done it a couple of times in this essay and the examiners do not like it, so be sure to substantiate anything your write.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 02:21:03 pm by bangali_lok »
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Re: English Language Resources and Essays
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2015, 02:00:57 pm »
vexx's Four Essays

‘As our society has changed, Australian English as a unique variety has virtually disappeared, leading to a significant loss of national identity. It seems we no longer want to be different.’ Discuss.
Wrote in March, early essay

Australian English is a unique, thriving and clear identity that presents itself through language. Our language is unique in its use and meaning of words reflected in our use of the subsystems of language including the lexicology, morphology and semantics that have Australian’s priding themselves on being friendly, fair and informality; and also phonological features such as the Australian accent which is the one of the main marker of Australian identity that is easily distinguishable among the world. Although Australians have had some foreign influences, our language and identity is still as strong as it’s always been.

The semantic features of Australian English are different in that certain language meaning and use vary from other forms of English. “An Australian’s greatest talent is for idiomatic invention. It is a manifestation of our vitality and restless imagination” (S Baker) supports the notion of our idioms reflecting the difference in language use and meaning, idioms such as ‘out of pocket’ – spent more than what was received, ‘up a gum-tree’ – being in trouble and ‘fair shake of the sauce bottle’ – having a fair go which is used by the prime minister in attempt create a sense of friendliness and informality to reach out to a different audience. Idioms can not only reflect national identity but can be narrowed down to for example a Melbourne identity, ‘More front than Myers’ which shows our dislike of people who ‘big note’ themselves, also manifested in the term Tall Poppy Syndrome. In these idioms, there is also a sense of identity created by the humour of these non-literal terms that associate our language with one of wit. Australian’s pride themselves on being friendly, fair and informed. These qualities are reflected in the language used with an aim to make it think as if we were unique and different. Words such as ‘mate’, ‘mateship’, and sayings such as ‘no worries’, ‘fair go’ and ‘she’ll be right’ are ones of informality and friendliness creating a sense of identity that is friendly and not aloof.

Furthermore, the Australian accent is something that is extremely distinguishable among the world and it is the ones of the key parts of our language that makes us unique.  Although our accent is not as cultivated in some parts of Australia and broad in others as it used to be, our accent still stands out very clearly (‘Spain’ being said as ‘spine). Australian’s have many phonological differences in their speech, which include the tendency to be non-rhotic in their speech, whereby there is no rolling ‘r’ sound compared to the emphasized rhotic of American English; the broadening of the diphthongs particularly in broad and general accents (‘day’ is said as ‘die’); the intrusive ‘r’ in Australian English (‘I saw him’ is said as ‘I saw r’im’); the slight monotone compared to other varieties of English and the ‘t’ sound is often pronounced as a ‘d’ in rapid speech (‘water’ is said as ‘wader’ known as flapping). Other phonological characteristics include prosodic features including the ‘high rise terminal’ where pitch and stress rise at the end of a clause or sentence causing normal speech to appear like a series of questions; and back-channeling which is use to indicate that you understand the communication, for example saying ‘Hope you are all well? And talk to you soon?’ There are a large variety of distinctive differences in Australian English with these only being a few; this demonstrates our identity as demonstrated through our unique language. It is a Language that has undergone change, as all languages do, but that nevertheless still manages to stand out when we are visiting other English speaking countries.

However there have been some foreign influences (International English) on our language, which is to be expected from a multicultural society like Australia, and language change due to technological advances. Australia’s first settlers were convicts of Britain, so Australian English has a close connection to British English. Overtime words began to be borrowed and used by Australians, for example during the gold rush period where the immigration created borrowings such as ‘dinkum’ from Chinese; the white Australian policy’s 1967 immigration created racially negative epithets such as ‘wog’ or ‘chunk’ and had created other borrowings such as ‘karaoke’, ‘sushi’ and ‘deli’, during this time there was also the influence of the European vowel sounds on Australian English. In more recent years, there has been a huge impact of American English on Australian English, these Americanisms include lexical items such as ‘gotten’, ‘guys’ (gender neutral), and discourse particles such as ‘like’, ‘whatever’ and ‘so’.  The Australian Labor party has had it’s name influenced by American English whereas normally the spellings for words such as ‘colour’ as spelt with an ‘ou’ and not only an ‘o’, these spellings also including ‘center’ and ‘centre’ are taken from British English. Whilst our culture has embraced these borrowings and influences, they have been relatively small considering our vast lexicon. Nevertheless, they do point to a shift in society and our identity. That being, a more multicultural and diverse society that represents our modern ‘global village’.
Australia as a unique variety is as strong as it has always been; our national identity is one that is like no other. Although it has some foreign influences including the Americanisms, this has only caused a minor change in our identity as there are still a large variety of distinctive features of the subsystems of language such as lexical items, prosodic, semantic, phonological and morphological features in Australian English that cause us to remain a very unique variety of English. Australian English I after all a “special mix of imports and local growth.” (John Hirst)

Discuss the notion that ‘language is more often an instrument of concealment than revelation’. (Bob Ellis Weasel Words). In your response, make particular reference to jargon, slang, euphemisms, dysphemisms, doublespeak, politeness, political correctness and ideas about inclusion and exclusion.
Short essay for assignment, marked fairly high.
In today’s society, we are often faced with language choices. We can either be direct or to the point, even to the point of rudeness, or we can try to hide our true feelings and use language that does not offend or alienate. Clearly, most of us want relationships where no one loses face and so it can be argued we prefer to smooth rather than raffle feathers. However, sometimes straight talk is easier to understand and certainly is the better of the two choices.

In the complex world of social interaction, language can sometimes be used to deliberately mask the truth. It does not serve our purpose to be blunt and direct, particularly if we have a message that is unpalatable to the listener or reader. Politicians thrive on success and credibility, as a result, political language that is ambiguous or deceiving is used to serve this purpose; for language that may upset their audience is unfavourable.  Political doublespeak is deliberately obscuring the language of a politician to disguise its actual meaning. Examples of political doublespeak include ‘to neutralise’ meaning to kill, and ‘wet work’ meaning to assassinate. These terms are a highly euphemistic and obscure meaning so that what remains unknown is better left unknown, for using a dysphemism like ‘brutally murdered’ may not be preferable to hear rather then ‘neutralise.’

However, not all language is used to conceal, as sometimes clarity of language is needed so people do not feel excluded. Whilst jargon can be used to exclude, it can be used in specific circumstances among a certain group to facilitate communication. For example, the gaming community of the internet have developed a fast and easy way of communicating ideas known as ‘1337’ or ‘LEET’ speak. An example of such language includes ‘pwnz’ meaning ‘owned’ or ‘I beat you.’ Equally, slang can be used not only as a tool for exclusion but useful for marking group boundaries and promoting in-group solidarity.. Through use of lexemes such as ‘bogan’ meaning one of a socioeconomic status or ‘totes’ an abbreviation of ‘totally’ used to mean ‘absolutely’ are both understood by a specific teen group and provide an immediate revelation.

Bob Ellisis’ comments on language ring true. It is evident that users of English more readily conceal their meaning of language, as it is appropriate to do so. Whilst users of language may yearn for plain English, it is not always possible nor is it sometimes socially acceptable, and as Tom Cruise once said “you can’t handle the truth.”

“How is Australian English changing to reflect the evolving identity of Australians in the twenty-first century? Discuss at least two of the subsystems in your response.”

The Australian identity is an extremely unique variety of English that is continuously changing to reflect the evolving identity in the twenty-first century. Ever since the development of technology, these technological advances have had a large impact on the English language used in both spoken and written texts in order to reflect such a change. Australian English is no exception by adopting expressions and neologisms to become a part of the international advancement. Although we have also adopted many terms from American English as well as these international technological varieties, we are still a proud and strong variety of English reflected through the uniqueness of different subsystems of language including phonology, lexicology and syntax.

Australia and the world have been constantly changing in its language to reflect to evolving technological advances of the twenty-first century. Modern lexical items have become much more apparent in this era, which includes new words such as intranet, modem, computer, laptop, hardware and blogging, which will continue to change not only in Australia but as the world continues to advance in technology. The is also acronyms like VCR being used which was once used much more frequently before the development of the CD-ROM and DVD which is now far more common, ‘let’s get a DVD’ rather then ‘let’s get a VCR’ tends to be said. The semantic lexical shift in words such as computer ‘mouse’, ‘hacking’, or ‘mobile’, are all completely different in their new meaning today then they are from their original intended meaning which are still used. With the introduction of ‘L337 speak’ (elite speak) associated with the gaming and ‘hacking’ world, and ‘msn’ or ‘text speak’ there has been further additions to language which in turn as affected spoken language and not just written language. Words such as ‘w00t’ used as a celebratory expression which involve the replacement of numbers for letters, acronyms including ‘LOL’ (laugh out loud) also said as ‘LUL’ or ‘LAWLZ’ and ‘OMG’ (oh my god/gosh) also said as ‘ZOMG’ for emphasis, have all become more acceptable to say within the general population, and with Australians accepting this lexical shift like rest of the world they are a part of this technological circle rather then denying it. Australians also have adopted other terms from technological advances that are becoming more frequent in everyday speech particularly in ‘teen speak’ these include suffixations such as ‘fun-ish’ and ‘laters’, and shortenings including ‘tots’ and ‘probs’. These new additions to language have been impacted largely from Northern American culture, which is where a large portion of technological language stems from.

As Australians are becoming increasingly closer to the international world, we are adopting parts of language from foreign influences, in particular those from America. These ‘Americanisms’ including parts of speech from those of the increasing television world that our society is beginning to accept as our main source of entertainment.  In everyday speech, people, especially those of a younger generation, are starting to use more of the American discourse particles such as ‘whatever’, ‘like’, ‘so’, ‘my bad’, and the term ‘dissing’ in replace of ditching (are you dissing me?). Lexical items also including ‘gotten’, ‘guys’ as gender neutral and ‘ketchup’ becoming more used in replace of ‘tomato sauce’ or even the previous Australian slang ‘dead horse’. The film industry is also causing younger kids to pick up the phonological difference in their speech with those even putting on an American sounding accent when pronouncing the said discourse particles, or even with other words such as saying ‘ax’ as ask, or ‘write me’ as a grammatically incorrect way of saying ‘write to me’, with the omission of the preposition being seen throughout America as acceptable such as in protests using ‘protest the war’, with this being used here more frequently with the lack of the correct preposition ‘protest against the war’. There appears to be a need for Australian media to connect better to the American audience to create a better international relationship, with shows like Australian’s version of ‘The Biggest Loser’ using calories as a measure even though the correct measure here is kilojoules, and Australian cricket using ‘step up to the plate’ adopted from the American baseball, rather then saying ‘step up to the wicket’. Even the Australian Labor Party is spelt with the American spelling of ‘labor’ when in Australia the correct spelling for this is ‘labour’. Although it can be argued that we are starting to move towards their culture as we progress through the twenty-first century, there is no evidence to suggest we are other then anecdotal experiences, and as James Lambert said, “It’s not like we’re adopting American values because we adopt a few of their words. Australians always make a choice of what part of American culture they adopt”, which is true as our simple borrowings are quite minor in comparison to the strong identity portrayed Australia has remained to have.

Despite the evolving identity of Australian English having the additions of borrowings from Americanisms and international technological advances, we continue to maintain our solid identity to this day regardless we have the loss of a few ‘Aussie’ terms; Virginia Knight, the editor of Dolly magazine hypothesizes that “Really ocker Australian terms like ‘strewth’ and ‘fair dinkum’ tend to not be used much anymore. Connotations of the slightly more American-sounding words do sound cooler and a bit more hip.” Although this is may be partly true that our old colloquial lexical items may not be used much, it does not mean our language is becoming less of a unique identity. There is a range of examples from all the subsystems of language, including phonology, lexicology and syntax, that verifies Australian English’s uniqueness rather then the focus on being the loss of terms that are no longer applicable to the evolving identity that is trying to be portrayed. The phonological features that are currently valid to the modern Australian English include the broadening of diphthongs (such as /eI/ in beat, rather then /I/), pronounced use of the high-rising tone (upwards inflection at the end of a sentence), confusion of constants (such as ‘due’ and ‘Jew’ sounding the same), the non-rhotic ‘r’ unlike Americans, and the flapping of /t/ to /d/ (ex. Footy is said foody). These are particularly focused on the ‘general’ accent, as there has been a move away from the ‘broad’ and ‘cultivated’ accents to a more middle sounding accent, Sushi Das from the Sunday Age agrees, “Australians abandoned the posh English Accent many years ago. Now they are leaving behind ockerism in a move to the middle ground and away from the nobs and the yobs.” There are also lexical differences between Australian English and other varities that have not been as affected by the evolving world, which include general Australian colloquialisms such as ‘jumper’, ‘bloody’ or ‘mate’, and syntactical differences that include the susceptibility to assimilation (goin’ tonight) and ellipses (I saw ‘rim), and the use of ‘would of’ instead of ‘would have’ being used.  This demonstrates that despite all the changes in the world, our unique identity is still valued and defined by so many other factors with evidence from the differences in our subsystems of language.

The world will continue to change as it continues to further develop new technologies and in turn, new parts of language. Australians, as the proud and strong identity that we are, will ensure they belong to these new advances in language in the future. There is no need for Australians to be called upon their inadequate uniqueness just due to a few borrowings here and there from the technological advances and from the use Americanisms. We are still a distinct variety of English that will continue to shine throughout the history of our language representing qualities of ourselves that are reflected through the language; and as Hugh Mckay said, “our language is changing in peculiar ways. But it still tells us something about ourselves.”

Discuss the role of linguistic politeness conventions:

1.   Appropriateness – what is correct to say, not being too direct/swearing/offense, euphemisms for size/ability..
2.   Positive politenss – making social interaction smoother
3.   Negative politness to create social distance by establishing social hierarchy

This final essay is almost perfect.

Politeness is a language tool that can be used in order to make interactions smoother. This is done through the use of a variety of features that allow one to show respect for another and communicate harmoniously. It can be used in this way through appropriate language use with language use correctly suited to the situation, and so not causing offense . This is very important when trying to avoid causing offense with those of difference such as size and ‘ability’. According to Janet Holmes, there are two forms of politeness. One of which is positive politeness that creates or maintains intimacy with features including greetings and forms of address. The other is negative politeness that is used create or maintain social distance through features like hedges and sentence type. Linguistic politeness conventions are very important within specific contexts within contemporary Australian society.

Appropriate language use is defined by its role played in situations where language must be controlled . This being, one cannot use offensive language or simply that which is going to make others feel uncomfortable. Over time, there has been a great change to swearing no longer considered as much as a taboo, and so younger generations use swear words as intensifiers (f***cking awesome), or simply in casual conversation as a noun, adjective, verb among other uses. However, those of older generations may see this language use a sign of disrespect due to their upbringing of being away from this taboo language. Similarly, it is inappropriate to bring up the size or ‘ability’ of someone as this can cause offense. Using direct lexemes such as “fat” or “obese” may cause unrest in some people, and seen as impolite and so more politically correct terms “differently-sized” can be more appropriate. This is also the case for ability where it may be offensive to say “manic depressive” and so ‘bipolar’ is preferred. These altered lexemes demonstrate the need for appropriate language to consist of euphemistic lexicon that does not state the ‘issue’ explicitly, rather conceals it somewhat within language.  Furthermore, physical disability can be referred to more politically correct as “person with physical disability” rather then “physically disabled person.” This causes the disability to be put with greater emphasis and so should be reworded to give greater importance to the person as a more polite convention. Appropriate language is an important language device for politeness to be maintained in conversation by showing “respect and consideration” for others.

Positive politeness is a technique use to avoid losing face and making social interactions more comfortable. Through the use of language features positive politeness can be used for its ability to control intimacy in conversation. Using casual forms of address such as friendship slogans ‘mate’, or nicknames such as diminutives “Jono” (Jonathan) or using last names all enable one to increase the intimacy of the social interaction, and so can appear more friendly. This is further exemplified with compliments and greetings with “please” and “thank you” that can add to the intimacy of the conversation not in the same way as friendship, but allow politeness to be increased and so avoid losing face. However, as explored by Lynn Truss, the use of polite lexemes “sorry” and “thank you” are repeatedly used on telephone switchboards attempting to allow politeness to occur, but just end up as empty words that can actually appear rude. This constant use of the polite conventions when it is obviously not meant “thank you for holding” can have the opposite effect and appear as if one does not truly understand the situation, but are used in order to ‘save face’, enabling more comfortable interaction when the other speaker is talking . This effect of positive politeness is able to allow intimacy to be formed within conversation for the benefit of politeness conventions.

Negative politeness is used to create social distance by establishing or reinforcing social hierarchy. If one is able to lessen the social distance, they can be polite using more informal features, however if there is social distance created, it can be rude by not adhering to polite conventions and showing one is not equal in language. Through the use of ‘hedging’, depending on the context, it can be used to both show close social distance such as friends using ‘like’ in “I would come but like I can’t” as it is able to soften their speech and so avoid being too direct. It can also be used to increase social distance such as in political language “possibly” or “basically” can move away from the subject when asked, to act more in power to demonstrate authority enabling the reinforcement of social hierarchy. One is able to be more polite if they avoid imperatives which are demanding something “get me a drink” rather use interrogatives “can you please get me a drink?” or even declaratives to imply they want the other to do a task “I’m so thirsty, if only someone could get me a drink” to show there is greater equality in language demonstrating respect towards the other person trough language. This equality in language is also decided by the use of lexicon, and so can be more polite as a result. If one is using standard language in a less formal context, with minimal slang, then they may act snobbish and out of place therefore can come across as impolite even if they are not intending to be. Similarly, the opposite can occur where a less formal speaker can be in a formal situation and use slang that may cause the others to cringe, such as “bloody good meal” may be seen as rude due to the politeness conventions set in that point of time indicating a greater social distance. Language can be seen as impolite or polite depending on the social distance of the participants.

What counts as polite behaviour varies between human groups. It can be hugely dependant on context, whereby appropriate language plays a huge part in determining how you are perceived. Also the use of positive politeness for intimacy and negative politeness for social distance can be used in specific ways to allow the participants to feel at ease in conversation. These are “the rules, and if you don’t know them, nobody will want to play chess  with you .”
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 02:23:30 pm by bangali_lok »
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Re: English Language Resources and Essays
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2015, 02:04:14 pm »
thefeminist's Essay

This was my SAC essay for Unit 3 SAC 2 which received full marks with the sole criticism of using brackets informally, so there you go. An example dates a bit, haha. Also, a warning for a bit of uni metalanguage which pops up in the morphology paragraph.

Topic: Political correctness is essentially censorship. Do you agree?


" [Political correctness is] the most powerful mental tyranny in what we call the free world." - Doris Lessing 'Censorship' 2004

I not only respect anyone's right to offend anyone else, but I absolutely demand it! A regime of government coercion to enforce the protection of tender feelings must be antithetical to political liberty. - Ted Lapkin, 'Bolt on trial for heresy against the high church of political correctness', The Age, 2011

The so-called PC movement was responsible for the production of an alternative set of linguistic denoters to replace the ones that were considered politically incorrect. The idea was to avoid terms with built-in judgements or terms that had accrued a social stigma.
There's little doubt that the PC movement ... did raise public consciousness about the offensiveness of negatively loaded words, which hitherto had only been registered as such by women and minorities, who knew from their own authentic personal experiences that the language that described them was contributing in significant ways to the raw deal they were being served. - Ruth Wajnryb, Language most foul, 2004


Political correctness is frequently satirised as a construct of a heavily censored society. However, it is not essentially censorship, where it is the public or institutions censoring the language. Instead, politically correct language is essentially self-censoring, as it is concerned more with the mechanisms of the thought process and trying to change them. This is done by the encouragement of use of certain lexemes, the creation of neologisms and finally, the semantic shift in various lexical items. Through the use of these methods, politically correct language achieves its goal of being contextually inoffensive.

Pushes toward certain lexemes being adopted or dropped from one's idiolect by lobby groups only succeed if accepted by each individual in the general society. Depending on the taboos in society at that time, the context that the words are used in and the audience present, certain lexical items are classed as politically correct and incorrect. For example, GLBTTIQ lobby groups have been encouraging the disuse of the frequent teenage expression "That's so gay" as it may be felt or is felt to be insulting to those who identify as such. As the reality of adolescents is affected by those who class themselves as "gay", the avoidance of this expression by teenagers is an example of political correctness. Similarly, others may be offended by like utterances such as "that's so lame" or "that's so retarded". Even though these phrases are not intended to seek offence, this may happen even when a self-identified "gay" person is not present - those who also support these actions despite not identifying with the disadvantages group in question could be offended upon hearing the expression. Examples such as the acceptance of dropping this phrase are decided upon by oneself - lexical choice is a self-made decision. Political correctness can also depend on the context in which the lexemes are being used - for example, 'queer' is the politically correct term for a homosexual in Australia whereas it is derogatory in the United Kingdom. In addition, the lexical choice of 'deaf' over 'hearing impaired' may be more politically correct when writing these on topics concerning the various stages of hearing loss. In this case, politically correct lexemes denote different things - one who has no capacity to hear versus one who is still able to hear sound to an extent. Doris Lessing may think of political correctness as the most powerful mental tyranny in what we call the free world, but ultimately, the censoring of one's lexical choice is one of the ways political correctness works.

Morphological neologisms are often made by self and then expounded to society to create politically correct alternatives. These may be accepted in part or full dependant on the acceptance of those to whom it refers. An example cited in Allan & Burridge's Forbidden Words is that of "African-American". This terms was coined in line with other ethnic terms like "Japanese-American" or "Arab-American". It creates an alternative choice to the word "black" which some people may find offensive. In this case, the neologism denotes a smaller subset of those who are "black", therefore further classifying and avoiding offence. Another example is the changing in recommendations in a recent non-discriminatory usage guide from using "disabled ramp" to "accessible by wheelchairs etc. ramp". Although both contain the morpheme "able", it is felt there is a different focus between the two. As the morpheme [dis-] reverses the polarity of the stem it attaches to while [-ible] makes something possible (in this case, accessing via wheelchair etc.), the second is preferred due to the lack of structural negativity, thus being 'more politically correct'. Sometimes, however, governments can go too far in attempting to please the disadvantaged groups by an increase in frequency of morphemes of Latinate origin, which is frequently satirised (those who are "differently pleasured" - sadomasochistic - 'different', 'plaisir' French). The creation of these words is frequently lampooned and said to "enforce the protection of tender feelings" (Ted Lapkin). However, these newly-constructed lexemes enter into idiolects and then are subjected to use dependent on self-censoring, not censorship.

Political correctness is perhaps most successful in creating semantic shifts amongst users. Various groups have been known to 'reclaim' words from their dysphemistic connotations to become their preferred word of reference (cf queer). A currently ongoing example of this is the 'SlutWalk', provoked by a comment by a Toronto policeman who called a schoolgirl a slut for dressing skimpily, despite knowing it was politically incorrect. The organisers around the world of 'SlutWalk' are trying to reclaim the word 'slut' be removing the connotations of an 'easy' woman. According to Ruth Wajnryb in her book Language most foul, this movement can "raise public consciousness about the offensivess of negatively loaded words, which hitherto had only been registered as such by women." Conversely, phrases created to gloss over politically incorrect terms or taboos are also subject to semantic shift. A majority of politically correct language is of euphemistic origin, however have the possibility of becoming tainted as stated by the Allan-Burridge Law of Semantic Change: bad connotations drive out good ones. When this occurs, it is up to users of these phrases to find synonymic expressions because, as previously stated, it is through self-censoring that political correctness occurs. Semantic shifts in politically correct language are due to changing taboos but the lexemes themselves are ultimately chosen by each user of the language.

Political language is often seen as a mechanism of politicians and people who are easily offended. As such, it is often satirised and frequently misunderstood. Politically correct language is ultimately decided by individuals through self-censoring of speech and writing through lexical choice, morphological neologisms and semantic shifts taking place in the wider society. After all, as Allan and Burridge assert, politically correct language cannot succeed if it does not coincide with what individuals are censoring themselves.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 02:25:23 pm by bangali_lok »
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Re: English Language Resources and Essays
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2016, 07:13:22 pm »
Is there any place I can get free practice exams for English Language other than Engage and obviously VCAA?


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Re: English Language Resources and Essays
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2016, 07:16:16 pm »
Is there any place I can get free practice exams for English Language other than Engage and obviously VCAA?

Thinking about it, VCAA and Engage are the only ones that I can think of. There might be others around - I'm not sure - but I assume you've been looking.

Are you struggling with any particular section(s) of the exam? I honestly think the most valuable thing to do is to make your own practice exams.

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