Lang Change A01 Frameworks

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Orthographical Change (1)

Spelling = 

Before standardisation, spelling was based on phonetics and thus varied as there were many different dialects with different phonetics. Over the standardisation period, the Great Vowel Shift (1300 - 1500) altered phonetics and affected spelling, which is now more standardised. 

Dictionaries were published and the dialect popularised by Caxton and his printing became more standard. ---> Today spelling is more flexible with the influence of the media bringing a more playful approach to it. --- > Standard English is now more personalised with clippings and ellision

Punctuation = 

Sentences and clauses were usually divided by commas and punctuation's quite loose as English was mainly an oral language. ---> Over the period of standardisation, extended sentences were made using a wider range of punctuation (with virgules /, colons and full stops the earliest punctuation.                                            ---> Whereas in Modern English, wider range of punctuation is used to show emotion. Sentences are simpler with short clauses. Punctuation in electronic communication is loose as it owes much to spoken language. 

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Accent levelling 

People's accent converge

Upward convergence = A person's accent becomes more 'upper class' i.e. in a received, perhaps as a method of decreasing social class differentitaitions and inferiority. 

Accent strengthening 

People's accents diverge 

Considered to be a reflection upon the desire to emphasise differences in dialect and status 

Vowel Shift = 1300 - 1600: Through the Great Vowel Shift, all Middle English long vowels changed their pronounciation, while spellings became more standardised. 

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Fonts - Different fonts can be used to portray different tones and meanings, e.g. sophistication, power, childishness and informality 

Layouts - Layouts can make a page busy, easy to follow, formal or informal and often reflect the context in which they would be found

Colours - Different colours connote different moods and feelings, for example red suggests violence and blue suggests calm and serenity

Images - Photos, graphs and diagrams provide additional information to the written text and also grab the reader's attention 

The visual appearance of texts has always been important for the reader. Early manuscripts were handwritten, with colour and pictorial images used to bring the text to life. 

Printed fonts developed and mass production replaced the handwritten process. Graphic design has evovled through Late Modern English, expanding with computer technology and ability to produce photographic images. 

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Lexis (2)

Coinage/neologism = Creation of new words

Back-formation = The removal of part of a word e.g. editor/edit

Clipping = A more drastic form of back formation, creating new words by extracting an arbitrary portion of a longer word

Jargon = Lexis specific to a particular job or interest, requires previous knowledge 

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Implication = What's the intended message of a text?

Shared knowledge = Which allows for the use of jargon, as the reader/audience shares an understanding of the topics being discussed. 

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A01 - Linguistics

Marks out of 24 

Include :

  • Lexis
  • Semantics
  • Grammar
  • Pragmatics
  • Orthography
  • Phonetics
  • Graphology
  • Discourse 
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Orthographical Change (2)

Capitalisation - In Old English it was reflective of the Norse/Germanic style to capitalise all nouns considered important, yet this was incosistent, some scribes did not capitalise all nouns. 

Moving into Middle and Early Modern English, proper nouns were capitalised along with some abstract nouns for effect.  ---> Now, all proper nouns are capitalised but proper nouns tend to be omitted in electronic communication. --------> By Late Modern English, capital letters had begun to be capitalised according to rules we follow today ---> as 18th century grammarians felt we needed structure. 

Phonological - Our modern silent 'e' rule evolved from old inflectional endings to show the words function. In Middle English, the terminal -e was a key feature, oten used at the end of words such as 'soote'.


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Narrowing = When the meaning of a particular words becomes more specific e.g 'girl' used to mean child of either gender

Broadening = When a word takes on additional new meanings 

Amelioration = When the meaning of a word becomes more positive 

Pejoration = When the word becomes less favourable/more negative 

Metaphorical extension = When words acquire new meanings as they have been used metaphorically e.g. over the moon

Euphemism = Dressing a word/an inoffensive way of describing something distasteful

Clich`e = An onverused expression or idea

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Grammar (1)

Negation = Todays multiple negatives (double negatives) are considered incorrect grammar, yet were considered quite acceptable in the past and were used for emphasis

Clauses = Independent clauses can stand alone e.g my dog loves pizza crusts = complete thought ----> Dependent clauses cannot stand along e.g because my dog loves pizza crusts = incomplete thought

Pronouns = Pronouns 'thou', 'thee' (repaced with 'you') and 'thine' (replaced with 'yours') have generally disappeared from English - archaic 

The be-ing construction - progressive = massively increased in usage e.g. Hamlet's 'what do you read my Lord?' is now 'what are you reading?' - The progressive suggests instant action, involves the reader and focuses on the speaker's immediate feelings

Contractions = The increase in the use of contractions suggests a more informal/conversational style today - Non-contracted forms suggest a degree of formality 

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Grammar (2)

Inflections = With adjectives, inflections are used for comparatives (er) and superlatives (est) 'fast', 'faster', 'fastest' ---> Although there are still inflections in modern English, there were many more.

Old English was very reliant on them -- most Old English inflections disappeared during the Middle Ages. 

The subjunctive = Expresses 'unreal' conditions such as wishes, doubts etc. - has recently declined in usage 'If I were you' is becoming 'If I was you' 

The active voice = Subject verb object ---> More favoured in US Microsoft Word 

The passive voice = Object verb subject ---> The passive was used to disguise the blame, decreased in popularity, particularly in American English, where it is discouraged e.g. US Microsoft Word auto correct complains about passive voice ---> However, is sometimes encouraged to make writing sound more formal and academic 

Does the text producer pluralise any lexemes that are singular nowadays? 

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Lexis (1)

Borrowing = Taking words from other languages 

Affixation = Attatching parts of words to others to form a new one e.g. microbiology/eco-warrior

Compounds = Words formed from joining together 2 other words (with or without a hyphen) e.g. laptop/see-through

Blends = When parts of words are chopped off and put together to form a new word e.g. smog, frappe 

Proprietary names = When a word is coined from a company name/name of inventor e.g. Hoover, Walkman

Acronym = A word made up of the first letters of a phrase, which is pronounced as a usual word e.g. RADAR

Initialism = A word made up of the first letters of a phrase, where the letters are indvidually pronounced e.g FBI

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Orthographical Change (3)

Punctuation = Sentences and clauses were usually divided by commas and punctuation's quite loose as English was mainly an oral language. ------> Over the period of standardisation, extended sentences were made using a wider range of punctuation with virgules / (known today as the 'slash'), colons and full stops as the earliest punctuation.  Caxton used the virgule to punctuate, replaced by the comma during the 16th century. 

 ----> Whereas in Modern English, wider range of punctuation is used to show emotion. Sentences are simpler with short clauses. Punctuation in electronic communication is loose as it owes much to spoken language. 

In the late modern period - 

  • Commas are more liberally used to link long, extended clauses
  • : and ; are common features to seperate clauses, thus creating more sentence complexity 
  • Apostrophes extended to signify the possessive and to represent missing letters. Apostrophes were also used to signify a sound as in 'work'd' yet didn't continue into English. 
  • Speech marks used to differentiate between speech and writing. 
  • Typographical feature & - ampersand
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Introduction of Context

Expectations: what do you expect from the genre?


Genre characteristic features: (an example of a genre is newspapers).

Audience: who are the implied/actual reader? Class and gender. 

Purpose: why are they reading it? E.g. to inform, to entertain, to persuade.

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Punctuation Change

As writing becomes more important, the number of punctuation is required in order to fulfil the functions. As a more informal style becomes more popular; it becomes simpler.

  • In the 15th century, Caxton used the period (.), colon (:) and the virgule (/) - its function was replaced by the comma in the 16th century. 
  1. Commas are used more often to link extended clauses and full stops were replaced by commas.
  2. Colons and semi colons were used to separate classes and create complex sentences.
  3. Apostrophes signified possession and missing letters.
  4. Speech marks differentiate between speech and writing.
  5. Contraction of words. 
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Orthographical Change (4)

Technological - Printing practices in the 1800s shaped the presentation of letters, especially the long 's'. The long 'S' derived from old Roman cursive medials, used in ligatures in various languages. The long 'S' used both intially and medially, but never at the end of words ---> This orthographical feature was removed in 1900s after deemed unncessary and fell out of use in Roman typefaces in professional printing. --> The long 'S' rarely appears in good quality London printing after 1800.

Didot who in 1781, initiated the cutting of the letters known as the ‘modern face’. The ſ could have been confused with the grapheme ‘f’. --->  One of the influences was John Bell who was given credit for the removal of the long S. 

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Language change influences

  • Availability of dictionaries led to the standardisation of spelling.
  • Standardisation.
  • Schooling as it was offered to all children for free - The Elementary Education Act 1880 makes education compulsary for all children between ages of 5 - 10 years
  • Educational practices and governmental intervention.
  • Information and technological advances such as text messages and instant messaging 
  • Phonetically playful as an example, this is often related to advertising campaigns, e.g. Beanz Meanz Heinz.
  • Removal of the terminal –e on words as there was a confusion in pronunciation, e.g. soote/soot.
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Types of change comparison


DIACHRONIC-taking a diachronic approach involves examining the changes that have occurred in language over a period of time. E.g. comparing the car adverts from 1950 and 2010.

In the introduction of the exam if you choose the comparison question, mention ‘diachronically’ when referring to the change of language over a period of time.

SYNCHRONIC-taking a synchronic approach which involves examining language at a period of time. E.g. compare a conversation between a pupil and teacher with a conversation between two pupils.

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