Linguistic Frameworks

This section focuses on the linguistic frameworks, sometimes called linguistic methods’ or ‘linguistic approaches’ in different specifications/textbooks. They are grouped by framework heading for convenience and it is only necessary for you to remember the different frameworks in order to ensure you include more than just one or two frameworks in your analyses. You are highly unlikely to be tested on which feature belongs in which framework. For each framework, there are likely to be a number of new concepts to learn for A Level Language (or Lang-Lit)

The frameworks/concepts covered here are:


This is a formal category of language, concerned with the ways words and phrases work together to create meanings. Many of the posts here about grammar deal with defining different word classes, issues of morphology (e.g. adding verb endings) and also syntax (e.g. sentence construction)


This framework is concerned with how things look on a page or screen or wherever the text appears. The name comes from the Greek ‘graph’ = marks and ‘ology’ = study of. It is the kind of paralinguistics (everything apart from the actual words themselves) applied to written/visual text.


This is concerned with the words used, so here we are dealing with the types of words in terms of their level of formality, the context they are fit for, their origins etc.


Another Greek-origin label, this time associated with sound (phono). Here we are concerned with how sounds are made in the mouth and how sound effects are created through word choice.


In everyday English, the word ‘pragmatic’ is a synonym for ‘practical’. As a linguistic framework, it is the study of what was intended through the use of language. In order to differentiate it from semantics, we usually avoid talking about ‘meaning’ with pragmatics – some speak of ‘pragmatic force’ or ‘intention’ or simply ‘the pragmatics of the text/sentence/phrase’ etc.


The framework concerned with meaning. In analysis, we often combine lexis and semantics, examining how words have been chosen for particular effects and to convey precise meaning.


Frameworks ebook

All the frameworks material on this site will remain freely available here, but if you’d like to download most of it in one neat package*, to be read on a Kindle or in the Kindle app (which is free and works on PC, tablet or phone), it is available as an ebook for £2.50 on Amazon (or free on Kindle Unlimited) – see below. 

*all the pages are there, but a few of them have been updated a bit since I put the book together.