of, pertaining to, or arising from the different meanings of words or other symbols: semantic change; semantic confusion. The study of meaning. Semantics contrasts with syntax.
Syntax studies the form of the sentence while semantics looks at the meaning of the sentence. When analyzing languages, an analysis can be said to cover both the “syntax and semantics” concerning both the format and meanings of phrases in a language.Ex: Some see the glass half empty and others see the glass half full.
the grammatical arrangement of words in a sentenceEx: Simple, Compound and Complex
the comparison of two unlike things using like or as.Ex: “as busy as a bee”
A technique in which one understanding of a situation stands in sharp contrast to another, usually more prevalent, understanding of the same situation.Ex: A fire station burns down.
The “voice” of a poem; not to be confused with the poet him/herself. Analogous to the narrator in prose fiction.Ex: Pudge in “Looking for Alaska”
are to poetry what paragraphs are to prose.
They are groups of lines that have been separated from other groups of lines in the poemEx: Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,And sorry I could not travel bothAnd be one traveler, long I stoodAnd looked down one as far as I couldTo where it bent in the undergrowth;
Stream of consciousness
is a literary technique that seeks to portray an individual’s point of view by giving the written equivalent of the character’s thought processes, either in a loose interior monologue, or in connection to his or her sensory reactions to external occurrences. Stream-of-consciousness writing is strongly associated with the modernist movement.Ex: Ulysses by James Joyce
Many things enter into the style of a work: the author’s use of figurative language, diction, sound effects and other literary devices. Ernest Hemingway’s style derives, in part, from his short, powerful sentences.
The style of the Declaration of Independence can be described as elegant. A way of expressing something (in language or art or music etc.) that is characteristic of a particular person or group of people or period; “all the reporters were expected to adopt the style of the newspaperEx: Expository, Descriptive, & Persuasive
A subordinate clause—also called a dependent clause—will begin with a subordinate conjunction or a relative pronoun and will contain both a subject and a verb. This combination of words will not form a complete sentence. It will instead make a reader want additional information to finish the thought. This clause cannot stand alone as a sentence. Subordinate clauses will begin with words such as after, although, when, until, unless. Ex: “‘Even though the broccoli was covered in cheddar cheese’, Emily refused to eat it.
form of deductive reasoning consisting of a major premise, a minor premise, and a conclusion; for example, All humans are mortal, the major premise, I am a human, the minor premise, therefore, I am mortal, the conclusion. Reasoning from the general to the specific; deductionEx: Major premise: All mammals are warm-blooded. Minor premise: All black dogs are mammals.
Conclusion: Therefore, all black dogs are warm-blooded.
device in literature where an object represents an idea. Ex: A dove representing peace.
A figure of speech in which a part is used to represent the whole. Example: All hands on deck; “The sputtering economy could make the difference if you’re trying to get a deal on a new set of wheels.” White-collar criminals.
Ex: The word “suits” refers to businessmen.
when one kind of sensory stimulus evokes the subjective experience of another. Ex: The sight of red ants makes you itchy. In literature, synesthesia refers to the practice of associating two or more different senses in the same image.
Ex: Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song title,”Taste the Pain,” is an example
grammatical sentence structureEx: “What light from yonder window breaks?” instead of using a common expression “What light breaks from yonder window?”from Romeo and Juliet
the general idea or insight about life that a writer wishes to express. All of the elements of literary terms contribute to theme. A simple theme can often be stated in a single sentence. Example: “After reading (this book, poem, essay), I think the author wants me to understand.
A proposition stated or put forward for consideration, esp.
one to be discussed and proved or to be maintained against objections: He vigorously defended his thesis on the causes of war. A subject for a composition or essay.Ex: “The ability to purchase television advertising is essential for any candidate’s bid for election to the Senate because television reaches millions of people and thus has the ability to dramatically increase name recognition.”
Expression of attitude. expresses the author’s attitude toward his or her subject.
Since there are as many tones in literature as there are tones of voice in real relationships, the tone of a literary work may be one of anger or approval, pride or piety-the entire gamut of attitudes toward life’s phenomena. Here is one literary example: The tone of John Steinbeck’s short novel “Cannery Row” is nonjudgmental. Mr. Steinbeck never expresses disapproval of the antics of Mack and his band of bums. Rather, he treats them with unflagging kindness
A word, phrase, sentence, or series of sentences connecting one part of a discourse to another.
Examples: Initially, Furthermore, For example
This device is used to understate the obvious. On a day of extreme weather, like it is really really hot, one might say, “Is it warm enough for you?” or on a very very cold day one might say, ” Balmy out isn’t it?” Opposite of hyperbole. A statement which lessens or minimizes the importance of what is meant. For example, if one were in a desert where the temperature was 125 degrees, and if one wee to describe thermal conditions saying “It’s a little warm today,” that would be an understatement. Ex: Saying “We did not do well” when defeating a team 50 to 0.