Causes of Language Change

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  • Causes of Language Change
    • Regularization
      • occurs when we change language in order to make it more consistent
      • people look for rules and patterns in language that we use and will often change words or constructions if they seem odd or different
        • known as analogy, and can affect all areas of language
    • Influence of other languages
      • contact with other languages often brings about language chnage
      • this may be due to military invasion, immigration, trading links, cultural products
      • contact is especially likely to influence vocabulary
    • Social influences
      • changes are more likey to spread if they are considered to have social presitge
      • the movement of people from one part of the country to another helps changes to spread
      • changing attitudes can cause certain words and expressions to become less popular and other to become more popular
      • change in societies circumstances may create a need to express new meanings
      • changes may be motivated by the desire for novelty, the wish to be different or fashionable
    • Ease of articulation
      • omission
        • occurs when sounds disappear from words
      • assimilation


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