Changes in context, lexis and semantics

  • Created by: NicoleQ
  • Created on: 20-05-15 11:33

Ways in which new words can be created

Borrowing/ loan word: Introduction of a word from one language to another. Can be anglicised or remain similar to the original spelling and pronunciation (Anglicised: chocolate - from French chocolat)

Eponym: The name of a person after whom something is named 

Proprietary names: Name given to a product by one organisation becomes the commonly used name for the same product

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Abbreviating words

Acronym: A lexicalised word made up from the intial of letters of a phrase (Sound as a word e.g RADAR)

Initialism: A word made form initial letters, each being pronounced (e.g. CD)

Clipping: A new word produced by shortening an existing one (e.g. Edit from Editor)

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Re-using Words

Affixation: The addition of bound morphemes to an existing word. Sometimes linked to contemporary tastes

Prefixes: The addition of a bound morpheme to the beginning of a root word. (e.g. mega or uber)

Suffixes: The addition of a bound morpheme to the end of a root word

Conversion: A word changes its word class without adding a suffix

Compound: The combining of seperate words to create a new word, sometimes using a hyphen to link them

Back formation: The removal of an imagined affix from an existing word

Blend: Two words fusing to make new one

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The process of semantic change

Amelioration: A word takes on a different, more positive, meaning than it had previously, thereby gaining status

Prejoration: A word takes on a different, more negative meaning than it had previosly, so losing status

Wakening: A word loses the strength of its original meaning 

Narrowing (or speacialisation): A word becomes more specific in its meaning

Broadening (or genearalisation): A word keeps its original meaning but acquires others

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Metaphorical chnage

Metaphor: A word acquires new meanings because it used metaphorically

Euphemism: A way of describing something unpleasant in a more pleasant manner

Idiom: A speech form, or a expression, that can't be understood literally from the meanings of the individual parts

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Influences on word creation

18th Century: Sceince and medicine, classical languages (Latin and Greek), attitudes to class and social roles

19th Century: Industialisation and new inventions, Lation and Greek, science and medicine, British Emprie and travel

20th/21st Century: Technology (especially IT), globalisation, World Wars, American English, consumerism and leisure time, social attitudes - gender, ethnicity, sexaulity, youth sociolects and non-standard forms and ability to record speech

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Timeline of the development of the English Languag

Old English (5th-11th centuries): The development of English from the linguistic influence of Germanic and Viking invaders

Middle English (11th-14th centuries): The mixing of French with English after the Norman Conquest

Early Modern English (15th-17th centuries): The continual process of change, as English discarded older forms of word order and word endings and added Latin words for new concepts and ideas

Late Modern English (18th century - present): The age of standardised English

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