Key terms in Language Change

Definitions of useful words to include in essays

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Definitions (a)

Amelioration: Where a word takes on a more pleasant meaning, such as "brave" used to mean uncivilised.

Pejoration: Where a word takes on a less pleasant meaning e.g. "juvenile" was more associated with youth, whereas nowadays it is connected to imaturity

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Definitions (b)

Semantic broadening: When a word's meanings grow in number.

Semantic narrowing: Where a word's meanings are reduced in number.

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