Language Change Points

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  • Created by: Sess
  • Created on: 05-04-14 11:16
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  • Language Changes!
    • Grammar
      • Capitalisation
        • Capitals were given to personal or abstract nouns or any noun that was important.
        • This died out in the late 18th century
      • Negation
        • Occurred after auxiliary verb, not before.
      • Syntax
        • Structure of sentences may vary from modern texts
      • Lowth
        • Stated that ending in a preposition was inappropriate for formal language
          • e.g. what did you ask for?
        • Stated that double negation was incorrect
          • e.g. I dont do nothing
        • A double superlative is poor grammar
          • e.g. the most unkindest cut of all
      • Auxiliary verbs
        • Tended to be more commonly used
      • Superlatives
        • E.g. properest were grammatically acceptable
      • Contractions
        • Contractions were used up till Jonathan Swift claimed they were improper. As a result they went out of fashion in the 18th century
          • Past participles were contracted to show that last syllable isnt pronouned
            • e.g. Disturb'd
          • Proclitic contractions are less used in PDE
            • e.g. 'twas
    • Graphology
      • Appearance of letters
        • Nouns were capitalised in old texts
          • e.g. Present Day English
        • A special symbol was used for 's' that occured anyway but the end of the word
      • Typefaces
        • Up till the 20th century, serif typefaces were used
        • After the 20th century, sans-serif fonts became popular
      • Pictures
        • Are they printed??
        • Are they handwritten?
    • Lexical Change
      • Coining
        • A new word is called a 'Neologism'
        • The scientific process (advancements in medicine, science, technology) can cause new words and phrases to be invented
      • Borrowing
        • English contains many borrowings or loan words
      • Affixiation
        • New prefixes and suffixes are added
          • Usually Latin or Greek. e.g. hyper (greek)
      • Compounding
        • A combination of two words to create one new word
          • e.g. thumb and print make thumbprint
      • Blending
        • Two words are actually merged together
          • e.g. satnav is a blend of satellite and navigation
      • Conversion
        • When an existing word changes class
          • e.g. text, to text
      • Shortening
        • Clipping
          • When you drop 1 or more syllables to create an abbreviation
            • e.g. rents instead of parents
        • Initialism
          • Where the first letter of a word stands for the word itself
            • e.g. OTT is over the top
        • Acronyms
          • Initial letters of words combine to create a completely new word
            • e.g. WAGs formed from 'wives and girlfriends'
        • Back-Formation
          • A suffix has been removed to create a new term
            • e.g. baby-sit from baby-sitter
      • Eponyms
        • Words derived from names of people
          • e,g, Braille, Sandwich
      • Proprietary names
        • The name given to a product by an organisation becomes the common name
          • e.g. hoover, tampax
    • Influence of other countries
      • Latin
        • Fancy, scientific words tend to be latinate to sound more impressive
      • French
        • Responsible for silent 'b' in words such as debt
        • French words co-exist alongside english ones
          • e.g. pork/pig, beef/cow
      • Arabic
        • Our modern numeral system stems from Arabic, as well as a number of words
      • Norse/ Celtic
        • Norse words were usually to do with everyday outdoor objects
          • e,g, window/sky
        • Celtic wordds tended to be to do with family/ relationships
      • America's creation
        • American cultural is more widely influential than British culture
        • America has a number of lexims different to England
          • e.g. Gas/petrol, Fall/Autumn
    • Semantic Change
      • Archaisms
        • Occur when their referrers are no longer used.
          • e.g. Telegram has fallen out of fashion due to tech advancement
      • Amelioration
        • Words develop a more positive meaning over time
          • e.g. nice used to mean foolish
      • Perjoration
        • Words develop a more negative meaning over time
          • e.g. Mistress used to mean teacher, now means girlfriend of a married man
      • Broadening
        • The definitions of words can expand to include more meanings than their original meaning
          • e.g. 'Gay' used to mean happy but has expanded to include homosexuality and is sometimes used as a derogatory word
      • Narrowing
        • A word can change to lose parts of its original meaning
          • e.g. meat used to mean food but now only refers to animal flesh.
      • Colloquialisms
        • Can give new meanings to established words e.g. 'safe' is slang for approval
      • Weakening
        • A word's meaning can have less of an impact over time
          • e.g. terrible used to mean something that inspires terror but now just means something bad
    • Orthography
      • Phonological change
        • E at the end of each word used to be pronounced but now isnt
      • Technological change
        • Printing press encouraged standarisation of spelling as this enables mass printing
        • Letters may be dropped by printers/ texters to fit neatly in space provided
      • Standardisation
        • Occurred through publication of many dictionaries and grammar books
    • General influences on language
      • Science and medicine
      • Classical languages (Latin, Greek)
      • Attitudes to class and social roles
      • Industrialization and new inventions
      • British Empire
      • Travel
      • Technology
      • Americanism
      • Globalisation
      • World Wars
      • Attitudes to gender, sexuality, ethnicity
      • Youth sociolects
    • Pragmatics
      • Language is sensitive to attitudes etc.
        • What appears to be taboo, is this different now?
        • Sexual/ lavatorial language is less taboo
        • Blasphemy was the highest form of taboo in old texts
      • We have become more aware of 'political correctness'
        • More unmarked verisions of words have been created.

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