Linguistic Tutorial #2 Words and their Structure/ Phonetics and Phonology

Terminology Explained!

Lexicon = the vocabulary

Lexical items = (the words) make up the lexicon. To be a lexical item it has to be part of your lexicon, your dialect. It has to be something in use and understandable. (Note, not all lexemes are lexical items – people understand made up words because of the grammar rules outside of the conversation, so if I said ‘I will redify that wall with paint’ you will know I mean I will turn that wall red).

Progressive Participle = -ing, in the state of doing something

Perfect Participle = -ed, -en (past tense)

Morphology = the study of word forms

Affix = Something that is added to a word such as a prefix or a suffix

Prefix = Before – DEvalue, DEform

Suffix = After – devaluED, deformED

Inflectional Morpheme = catS, workED – it adds the word to a different syntactical category whether it makes it plural or past. It does not change the lexeme.

Derivational Morpheme = drinkABLE, NONsense, classIFY – it does change the lexeme. For example in ‘classify’ it changes the noun, class into a verb, to classify.

Infinitive = the form of the verb which does not show any syntactic category

Agreement = when the verb agrees with the subject, in terms of person and number. For example – I work, she works

The Head = WORK is the head of the verb WORKed as it is the more dominant bit of the word


– Phones = the basic sounds that make up all human languages

– Phonemes = the sub-set of phones that function within a specific language

– Phonetic Alphabet = Designed to represent PHONES. Made up of phonetic symbols

– Phonemic Alphabet = Designed to represent PHONEMES.

10 Reasons to Aqua Jog!

Aqua Jogging is basically running in a swimming pool with a resistance belt on. It is a fantastic workout for people who are injured! Last year I managed to traumatize the ligaments in my foot from over training and I was gutted I couldn’t run. However Aqua Jogging is a great alternative to running because you are doing the running motion but it doesn’t hurt. Even if you aren’t injured it is such a good workout! Here are a few reasons why you should take up aqua jogging!

1- It is a great form of exercise if you are injured, elderly or overweight because it has a low impact on your muscles and joints.

2- You can do it any season! Whether it is pouring down with rain, snowing or there’s a heat wave, it doesn’t matter you can still do it because it is inside.

3- Water is denser than air so you work harder meaning that you burn more calories!

4- The pressure of the water helps your heart so you get the same intensity of exercise at a lower heart rate.

5- Your fitness level is maintained so when you feel that you have recovered from your injury you will be at the same fitness before your injury!

6- It is an all over body workout!

7- You can have two sessions in one! You can do half an hour of swimming then half an hour of aqua jogging if you wanted to mix up your workout.

8- When I was injured I missed running so much so this is a great alternative because you are running but the difference is you are now in water instead of land!

9- Celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston are hopping on board too.

10- You can vary it as much as you’d like. At the start of your injury you can do lots of aqua jogging but then as your injury improves you can do less aqua and more land until eventually you are all land!

Time to try something new!


Linguistic Tutorial #1 Introduction and Overview

Terminology Explained

–          Mental Grammar = internal linguistic knowledge, is subconscious and is not a result of any teaching.

–          Linguistic Etiquette = ‘proper’ or ‘best’ structures to be used in a language (prescriptive grammar). A few examples of prescriptive grammar are= do not split the infinitve, say it ‘was’ good instead of ‘were’ good.

–          The Structure of Expressions = involves the study and analysis of the structures found in a language, usually with the aim of establishing a description of the grammar of English (descriptive grammar).

–          Lexeme = can be realised through many different word forms. For example ‘try’ is a lexeme but it can take several forms such as ‘tries’, ‘tried’ and ‘trying’.

–          Count noun = if the word is ‘a…’, ‘the…’, plural. E.g. cat (because you can have A cat, THE cat and catS).

–          Non count noun = if the word only appears in one group shown above for example ‘information’ – you can have THE information but you can’t say A information or informationS.

–          Inflection = a change in the form of a word to express grammatical functions for example cat+S= cats. The inflection is the –s.

–          A stem = this is the portion of the word which does not change regardless of tense or agreement so as shown above it would be the ‘cat’ in ‘cats’.

–          A free morpheme = can stand alone e.g. move, nation, low.

–          A bound morpheme = cannot stand alone e.g. –ment, -al, –ly.

–          A gradable adjective = shows that something has different degrees e.g. VERY cold, A BIT cold.

–          A non- gradable adjective = ‘married’ because you cannot be ‘very married’.

Descriptive Grammars

–          Descriptive grammars attempt to model the intuitions we have about the structure of our native language.

–          Native speakers know how to order words to make sentences.

–          Intuitions about structure are not based on a knowledge of which words follow others nut on a tacit knowledge that words belong to different syntactic or grammatical categories (e.g. noun, pronoun, adjective, verb, adverb, preposition, determiner, conjunction).

–          To account for how we intuitively know which words belong to which syntactic categories, linguists use criteria that arise from the study of word-formation (morphology) and from the study of sentences (syntax).