English language theorists (AO2)

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  • Language Change Theorists
    • David Crystal
      • Technology (social media) has added a new dimension to language.
      • Descriptivist
      • Technology is NOT the dumming down of language.
      • You have to understand words before you are able to abbreviate
        • Only most literate are able to manipulate language in this way.
      • Spelling are made by people.
        • Dictionaries reflect popular choices
      • Global spread of English Language
        • Chinese could overthrow English
    • James Milroy
      • Golden Age
        • He argues there never has been or will be a Golden Age of English Language
          • Because language changes
        • Where spoken & written language was perfect
        • Possibly between 1940-1965
          • Education act 1944
            • Children learn to read & write at school NOT to speak.
            • Milroy says that rote learning is NOT the best way to grasp language.
        • 1755 Standardisation (Johnson Dictionary)
      • Descriptivist
    • Jean Aitchinson
      • Talks about people's views NOT descriptivist or prescriptivist
      • 3 Possibilities of language change
        • Slow decay
          • Damp spoon syndrome = language is lazy
          • Crumbling castle view = language is falling apart
          • Infectious disease assumption = language spreads
        • Slowly evolving to a more efficient state
        • Language can neither progress or decay
      • External Sociological factors
        • Fashion
          • How fashionable it is to use language
        • Foreign influence
        • Social need
      • Internal Psycholingusitic  factors
        • All language is geared towards younger users
        • Gap between language & technology
    • Peter Trudgill
      • Descriptivist
      • Positive language change
      • Changes in meaning do not cause confusion
        • Because newer version of the word has become much more commonly used than older version therefore there is no confusion.
    • Prescriptive Attitude
      • Language has devolved
        • Because of the rise of technology
      • Language has become less standard therefore less powerful
      • We don't know how to punctuaute anymore - rote learning.
      • Learning for exams rather than enjoyment
        • Intelligence divide


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