Glossary

How texts are grouped depending on their social purpose (for example, to recount, to describe, to persuade, to narrate). In literary theory, the term is often used to distinguish texts on the basis of their subject matter (for example, detective fiction, romance fiction , science fiction, fantasy fiction), or their form and structure (for example poetry, novels, short stories).

A description of a language as a system. In describing a language, attention is paid to both structure (form) and meaning (function) at the level of a word, a sentence and a text.

A letter or group of letters that spell a phoneme in a word (for example, /f/ in the word ‘fog’; /ph/ in the word ‘photo’).

A knowledge of how letters in printed English relate to the sounds of the language.

The terms group and phrase are used by different schools of linguistics to refer to units intermediate between a clause and a word. In the English curriculum, group/phrase is used to recognise these different usages. For example, the units enclosed in brackets in the following sentence are examples of a group/phrase: ‘(the carnival) (had made) (the two little girls with the red shirts) (very tired)’.

In the example, ‘the carnival’ and ‘the two little girls with the red shirts’ are called noun groups/phrases because they have a noun (‘carnival’ and ‘girls’) as their major element; similarly, ‘had made’ is a verb group/phrase and ‘very tired’ an adjective group/phrase.