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Diversity and

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Old English 400 -
1150 AD
Influences German from invading tribes (Angles, Saxons, Jutes)
New settlers collective language was Anglo-Saxon

Grammar Relied on inflections, prefixes and suffixes e.g. many plurals such as
­a, -e, -as, -um, -an, and ­ena
Provided functional words such as prepositions

Spelling/Pronunciatio Regional variation…

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East Midland Dialect This is the dialect Caxton chose which was used in courts and
Using it in printing books gave it prestige and permanence
However spelling was still not completely standardised
Mulcaster published the first book and spellings in 1582

Punctuation Three basic punctuation mark
( ) Punctus…

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This stated spellings and meanings thus standardising them

Vocabulary Expansion of British empire brought new words from
countries such as India
Advances in science and medication meant the invention of
new words
New inventions also brought about new words e.g. Typewriter
Social/Cultural/Political development mean new lexis e.g.

Accent and…

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Amelioration When a word develops a more positive meaning

Pejoration When a words develops a more negative meaning

Weakening When a word make less of an impact than it used to e.g.
Terrible used to mean cause terror but now it means
something is very bad

Expansion Where…

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They disappeared because they were often unstressed when
pronounced so were less obvious so when they stopped
being pronounced they were stopped being written
The system of inflections was pretty complicated so moving
to a simpler system could just have been a natural
Different dialects used different inflections so…

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Lost its desirability through celebrities and working class
teenagers going to univeristy

Letter formation Letter `U' only appeared in 10th century before `v' was used
Letter `J' appeared in the 15th century before `I' was used
From 17 century onwards the latter `s' was often written…

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If the collective groups is named in plural form, they are
addressed in PLURAL (the Beatles ARE good)

AmE uses ELISION ­ removing sounds
Remove the `g' from `-ing'
Present in written texts ­ Of Mice and Men
Use DOUBLE NEGATIVES ­ `aint nothin''

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60% speakers use General Australian ­ similar to Cockney
THREE TYPES ­ BROAD Australian ­ stereotypical accent (e.g.
Steve Erwin) spoken by 30%
­ GENERAL Australian ­ 60% speak it. Not stereotypical,
softer (the Minogue sisters)
­ CULTIVATED Australian ­ political/class/rich ­
Divergence. Spoken by 10% only

Little distinction…

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If a pidgin language becomes common for a long perios of
time, it becomes a Creole
Example = Jamaican Creole

3 levels to it
ACROLECTS ­ people closest to standard English
MESOLECTS ­ people in middle
BASILECTS ­ people far from standard English



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zac forskitt

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spent ages writing all this stuff out this is the perfect summary! thank you


This is the perfect summary, distributed it to all the A2 students at my sixth form! Thanks so much

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