Menu Close
Nuts-and-bolts-image

Nuts & Bolts

BasicsAcorn

Growing

English, like every other language, has different levels of structure – as with the germination of seeds, roots, and shoots.

syllables-image

Syllables

Representing the smallest pulses in the sound structure of speech, typically with a vowel or nucleus representing the peak of the pulse, dying away after a less sonorous consonant, known as the ‘onset’.

Word3R

Words

The word, word, is problematic.

PhonemesR

Sounds or letters?

Most certainly not the same thing. Speech sounds or 'phonemes' may seem to be the smallest units keeping words apart... But ... there are actually smaller units of difference, known as 'features'.

MorphemeYinYang

Morphemes

Smallest elements of meaning

MarkednessR

Markedness

Marked, unmarked, and derived structure – economising on storage.

underspecification

Underspecification

Minimising the storage

features-image

Features

‘Inside’ the sounds of speech, or ‘phonemes’, there are the properties known as ‘features’ which distinguish 'toe' from 'doe' by just a variation ... known as ‘voicing’.

DrumR

Rhythm

English (and perhaps half of the world’s languages) use a combination of pitch, length and loudness to create rhythms inside what we think of as words, as well as between them. These rhythms are largely defined on 'feet'.

intonation-image

Intonation

Intonation is what people are mostly talking about when they say that someone else has a ‘sing song’ voice.

Derivation2

Derivation

Describing the process of forming linguistic structures from elements as something that happens in time

Do you have an enquiry?