Language Change


Standardisation in spelling

- William Caxton developed the printing press which helped to establish the East Midlands dialectas the 'standard'. 

- Printing press also marked the beginning of the standardisation of spelling. Many spellings of the same word would of existed in differeent dialects. 

- 18th century spelling became fully standardised 

- Johnson;s A' Dictionary of the English language; laid a firm foundation for the spelling

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Standardisation in Grammar

Robert Lowth's 'A Short Introduction to English Grammar' 

1800's these books became more widely used in education

However, not everyone had a chance to go to school, first education act not passed untill 1870 

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Donald Mackinnon

Categorises the attitudes people may have to language use: 

- Language use as correct or incorrect

-Language use as pleasant or ugly 

- Language examples as soically acceptable and unacceptable 

- Language examples as morally acceptable or unacceptable 

- Language examples as appropriate or inappropriate in their context 

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George Kingsley (1949)- Theory of least/ minimum e

the view if there is an easier way of pronouncing something then we will do it e.g. text speak. 

- vowel reduction- this is where we remove one of the vowel sounds from a word. 

- cluster reduction- this is where we reduce consonant clusters within a word such as 'think'- 'fink' 

- Lenition- this is where we weaken consonant sounds within a word such as the glottal stop in 'bottle' and 'water'. Also appears at the end of words. 

- Elision- Where we contract whole words or clip certain syllables e.g. fish 'n' chips. 

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Lynne Truss (2003) 

- a lack of standard punctuation dempnstrates how an individual is not intellectually able. 

John Humphrys (2006) 

- Lack of standard forms is 'dragging language down'

 Daniel Defoe (2007) 

There is a need for 'language purism' a pure uncorrupted version of English 

David Crystal (1999) 

Crystal (descriptivist) argues that language chnage is neither progress nor decay, but that all languages change naturally over time. 

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