narrative stance
the viewpoint adopted by the character telling the story.
“Charlene sat with her back facing the fat man.”

semantic field
A group of words within a text relating to the same topic.
“Tyre, wheel, oil, hub-cap”

prosodic features
the vocal aspects of speech (volume, stress, intonation) that help to convey meaning
“you REALLY are getting on my nerves now, GET IT?”

the social situation including audience and purpose in which language is used.
“ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to bla bla bla”

paralinguistic features
non-verbal aspects of communication such as intonation or pausing, which help to work alongside language to convey meaning.

“i’m telling you, tee hee, snigger, snigger – it went like this.”

expletives, swearing, slang
“tits, bugger, piss off, Jesus Christ”

high frequency words
simple words that are commonly used within our language
“and, but, when, it they, the, can”

the layout of a text with use of such features as typeface, color, size of font.

“BIG BOLD STATEMENTS come in different forms!”

end-stopped line
a line of verse with a piece of punctuation at the end to indicate a pause.
“O my life is so drenched in pain. If only I were a cat.”

phonological pattern
the sounds of the words as they are said aloud creating a recognizable sound shape within the text
“shooting shivers boomed within my rattling skull”

continuity from one line of verse to the next without punctuation to end stop.
“Dreary mess that is my life Doth fuel my rage with thoughts of death”

Elliptical sentence
where words have been omitted within a sentence
“said like yeh, but no, but yeah like”

language that my be used in informal conversation
“you’re sure gonna get on her wick if you do that again.

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brief reference to a person, place, thing, event or idea in history or literature. allusions conjure up biblical authority, scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, historic figures, wars, great love stories, etc. Allusions imply cultural and reading ties between the writer and reader.

short account of an incident or event of an interesting or amusing nature. brief story to entertain or make a point.

universal symbols that evoke deep and sometimes unconscious response in a reader. characters, images, and themes that symbolically embody universal meanings and basic human experiences.

a story of a person’s life written by that person. it is nonfiction.

a list of source materials used or consulted in the preparation of a work or that are referred to in the text.

a picture or description greatly exaggerating the peculiarities or defects of a person or thing.

chronological record of events; a history

an idea or expression that has become tired and trite from overuse, its freshness and clarity having worn off. usually a sign of weak writing.

logical interconnection.

the associated or secondary meaning of a word or expression; it does NOT include the ideas or meanings suggested by it.

explicit (dictionary) or direct meanings of a word or expression; it does NOT include the ideas or meanings suggested by it.

a type of informal diction (word choice). dialects are spoken by definable groups of people from a particular geographic region, economic group or social class.

intended to teach a lesson

an article in a newspaper or other periodical or broadcast statement presenting the opinion of the publishers or editors, or of station owners or station managers.

the act of developing or expanding in great detail

short nonfiction work that deals with one subject.

formal essays
examine a topic in thorough, serious and highly organized manner.

informal essays
reflect the writer’s feelings and personality.

formal speech of praise, usually for someone who is dead

word or phrase used in place of a more direct but distasteful or offensive word or phrase.

teller of a story or other narrative. author speaking in own voice, character or persona created by the author to tell a sotry.

first person point of view
narrator standing in the story

third person point of view
narrator telling events from outside the story.

intrusive narrator
storyteller who keeps interrupting the narrative to address the reader directly to make extended personal comments about the characters about other matters

unreliable narrator
characters telling their stories in first person are often unreliable because they have attitudes or emotions that distort the story they tell

formal speech

statement that, while apparently self-contradictory, is essentially true.
“success is counted sweetest by those who never succeed”

technique of showing that words, phrases, clauses or larger structures are comparable in content and importance by placing them side by side and making them similar in form.

restatement of an expression or a passage that retains the meaning of the original but presents it in different words and often in a different form – rewording

published with a fixed time between a series or articles (i.e.: magazines)

using another writer’s ideas or words as one’s own.

all forms ordinary writing and speech lacking the sustained and regular rhythmic patterns of poetry. language of essays, short stories, and novels.

chant, dirge, or poem for the dead.

rhetorical question
question asked that is not intended to be answered

harsh, cutting personal remarks to or about someone, not necessarily ironic

term used to describe any form of literature that blends ironic humor and wit with criticism for the purpose of ridiculing folly, vice, stupidity – the whole range of human mistakes – in individuals and institutions.

something that can be proven true by concrete information

belief of a person. can’t be proven.

sensory details
information you can observe through any of your senses.

fact based on numbers.

identify a group something belongs to and explain how it is unique.

when you determine the value of something.

comparing and contrasting
‘compare’ shows how things are similar. ‘contrast’ shows how things are different.

cause and effect
one event causes a second event to occur.

explaining a process
you tell how something works

editorial (political) cartoon
a cartoon that expresses the issues of the day.

words spoken by the artist or characters in the cartoon

something that stands for or representes something else


eliminates anything unique about an individual by exaggerating features associated with a group.

uses words or something else in the editorial cartoon to express an opposite meaning to the overall point of the editorial cartoon.

prejudiced outlook; personal or distorted view

spreading of ideas, information or rumor to either help or injure a person.

pathetic fallacy
combination of using atmosphere of scene and inanimate objects in the sense of changing the environment

contradictory description
two descriptions that oppose each other

ability to share and understand the feelings to others

feel pity or sadness for someone

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Literary & Linguistic Devices. (2019, Feb 01). Retrieved from

Literary & Linguistic Devices
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