Language Change Key terms/phrases

hope these cards will help you to master the language change question

:)

HideShow resource information

Perscriptivst/perscriptivism

Linguists that say how language SHOULD be

important perscriptivists we need to know are Johnson & Lowth

1 of 58

Descriptivist/descriptivism

Linguists that say how language actually IS

They describe how language is used by people, not whether how they are using is right or wrong.

An example of a famous descriptivist is David Crystal, who you may remember from AS :)

2 of 58

Samuel Johnson

**VERY IMPORTANT**

Dr Samuel Johnson created his dictionary in **1755** (but not the first ever dictionary, don't make that mistake.. the first ever dictionary was created in the mid 1600s)

Johnson STANDARDISED spelling.

Samuel Johnson made it so that everyone spelt everything the same way. The same spelling rules apply today.

3 of 58

Bishop Robert Lowth

**VERY IMPORTANT**

Bishop Robert Lowth was hugely influential and helped to STANDARDISE grammar.

He published the book 'an introduction to english grammar' in **1762**

The book contained some simple rules of what should be used and what should definitely not be used!

Three famous examples:

Never end a sentence with a preposition (the table it is under - sounds like yoda xD)

never ever ever (!) use a double negative (i aint got no hope of passing this exam)

never split an infinitive (famous star trek expression does this "to boldly go")

4 of 58

Borrowing

The British Empire was massive (really massive!)

new things were found and needed a name, so the people just stuck with what they were called in the country they had just invented

(this is called BORROWING - we took a word from somewhere else)

Food is particularly important when considering this.

Think of a curry, not many of those words have english origins do they? Yet we all use them.

5 of 58

Neologisms (lexical change)

Neologisms are to put it simply, new words that have come into the lexicon - main types: Borrowing

Eponyms

Latinate Compounds

Derivation

Self - explaining compounds (sometimes just called compounding)

Blending

Coingage

Conversion & Clipping (these are seperate, but didnt have enough room)

6 of 58

Neologisms (lexical change)

Neologisms are to put it simply, new words that have come into the lexicon - main types: Borrowing

Eponyms

Latinate Compounds

Derivation

Self - explaining compounds (sometimes just called compounding)

Blending

Coingage

Conversion & Clipping (these are seperate, but didnt have enough room)

7 of 58

Borrowing

The British Empire was massive (really massive!)

new things were found and needed a name, so the people just stuck with what they were called in the country they had just invented

(this is called BORROWING - we took a word from somewhere else)

Food is particularly important when considering this.

Think of a curry, not many of those words have english origins do they? Yet we all use them.

8 of 58

Neologisms (lexical change)

Neologisms are to put it simply, new words that have come into the lexicon - main types: Borrowing

Eponyms

Latinate Compounds

Derivation

Self - explaining compounds (sometimes just called compounding)

Blending

Coingage

Conversion & Clipping (these are seperate, but didnt have enough room)

9 of 58

Eponyms

Words created based on a name

e.g. Sandwich - from the Earl of Sandwich :)

10 of 58

Borrowing

The British Empire was massive (really massive!)

new things were found and needed a name, so the people just stuck with what they were called in the country they had just invented

(this is called BORROWING - we took a word from somewhere else)

Food is particularly important when considering this.

Think of a curry, not many of those words have english origins do they? Yet we all use them.

11 of 58

Latinate compounds

Words that made by adding an affix or a suffix

for example 'degenerate', 'discombobulated'

12 of 58

Derivation

Acronyms that form words themselves.

Famous example: SCUBA; self -contained-underwater-breathing-apparatus (or something similar)

13 of 58

Coinage

A whole new word is just created, usually because of phonological reasons

for example, "dork", "nerd"

14 of 58

Self-explaining compounds

Words that join together to make new words that, as the name suggests, are pretty much self explanatory

Examples: Handbag, Girlfriend etc

15 of 58

Clipping

I put these together so that the cards were neater xD

Clipping: taking a part out of a word e.g. flu, bike (these then become commonly used words)

16 of 58

Blending

Words that join together but in a half & half kind of way

Examples: brunch (breakfast & lunch) Jeggings (jeans & leggings)

17 of 58

Eponyms

Words created based on a name

e.g. Sandwich - from the Earl of Sandwich :)

18 of 58

Coinage

A whole new word is just created, usually because of phonological reasons

for example, "dork", "nerd"

19 of 58

Coinage

A whole new word is just created, usually because of phonological reasons

for example, "dork", "nerd"

20 of 58

Clipping

I put these together so that the cards were neater xD

Clipping: taking a part out of a word e.g. flu, bike (these then become commonly used words)

21 of 58

Latinate compounds

Words that made by adding an affix or a suffix

for example 'degenerate', 'discombobulated'

22 of 58

Clipping

I put these together so that the cards were neater xD

Clipping: taking a part out of a word e.g. flu, bike (these then become commonly used words)

23 of 58

Derivation

Acronyms that form words themselves.

Famous example: SCUBA; self -contained-underwater-breathing-apparatus (or something similar)

24 of 58

Self-explaining compounds

Words that join together to make new words that, as the name suggests, are pretty much self explanatory

Examples: Handbag, Girlfriend etc

25 of 58

Conversion

Conversion: nouns changing to verbs, visa versa - e.g. a hammer, to hammer

"oh look a hoover"

"oh god i've gotta go hoover that up now"

You get the idea xD

26 of 58

Blending

Words that join together but in a half & half kind of way

Examples: brunch (breakfast & lunch) Jeggings (jeans & leggings)

27 of 58

Semantic change!

Semantic change = changes in meaning

These could be:

Pejoration

Amerlioration

Broadening

Narrowing

Register drift

28 of 58

Register drift

A word that was originally considered to be slang may gain acceptance

or, of course, the other way round

29 of 58

Pejoration

A word that had good connotations has become more negative over time

the example everyone uses is 'gay' - used to be joyful, now either means someone who is of homosexual orientation or used by many youngster to mean stupid or annoying.

30 of 58

Conversion

Conversion: nouns changing to verbs, visa versa - e.g. a hammer, to hammer

"oh look a hoover"

"oh god i've gotta go hoover that up now"

You get the idea xD

31 of 58

Amelioration

The opposite to Pejoration

Words that were once bad go to something that is good

e.g. Nice used to mean stupid, now it means pleasant :)

32 of 58

Semantic change!

Semantic change = changes in meaning

These could be:

Pejoration

Amerlioration

Broadening

Narrowing

Register drift

33 of 58

Broadening

Words that once meant something specific, then went on to mean something much broader (hence the term, broadening)

for example - 'ship' at one time specifically meant a sailing vessel, now it can mean a space ship or many other vehicles

34 of 58

Register drift

A word that was originally considered to be slang may gain acceptance

or, of course, the other way round

35 of 58

Pejoration

A word that had good connotations has become more negative over time

the example everyone uses is 'gay' - used to be joyful, now either means someone who is of homosexual orientation or used by many youngster to mean stupid or annoying.

36 of 58

Narrowing

No prizes for guessing what this one means xD

The opposite of broadening, words that meant something very broad, now means something specific

Meat, for example, meant any food stuff at all

now, it only means food taken from an animal (and quorn, some may argue)

37 of 58

Amelioration

The opposite to Pejoration

Words that were once bad go to something that is good

e.g. Nice used to mean stupid, now it means pleasant :)

38 of 58

Long 's'

The long S was used before the end of the 18th centuary

it looks like this! ſ <-- a bit like a fancy F

It was only used at the beginning and the middle of words, never at the end

It seemed to fade out due to printing issues

If you see an old text, this may be something to comment on (even if it isnt there!)

39 of 58

Other key terms

See if you can throw these in:

Technological revolution - brought loooads of new words

graphological features (not a term, per say) - printing restrictions

Estuary english - a blend of recieved pronunciation (the oxford/cambridge type accent) and cockney. Used in the media. E.g. Johnathan Ross has it

Archaisms - very easy to throw in. Words that have left the lexicon.

Anyway, good luck... all the best fot the exam!

40 of 58

Broadening

Words that once meant something specific, then went on to mean something much broader (hence the term, broadening)

for example - 'ship' at one time specifically meant a sailing vessel, now it can mean a space ship or many other vehicles

41 of 58

Narrowing

No prizes for guessing what this one means xD

The opposite of broadening, words that meant something very broad, now means something specific

Meat, for example, meant any food stuff at all

now, it only means food taken from an animal (and quorn, some may argue)

42 of 58

Long 's'

The long S was used before the end of the 18th centuary

it looks like this! ſ <-- a bit like a fancy F

It was only used at the beginning and the middle of words, never at the end

It seemed to fade out due to printing issues

If you see an old text, this may be something to comment on (even if it isnt there!)

43 of 58

Other key terms

See if you can throw these in:

Technological revolution - brought loooads of new words

graphological features (not a term, per say) - printing restrictions

Estuary english - a blend of recieved pronunciation (the oxford/cambridge type accent) and cockney. Used in the media. E.g. Johnathan Ross has it

Archaisms - very easy to throw in. Words that have left the lexicon.

Anyway, good luck... all the best fot the exam!

44 of 58

Eponyms

Words created based on a name

e.g. Sandwich - from the Earl of Sandwich :)

45 of 58

Latinate compounds

Words that made by adding an affix or a suffix

for example 'degenerate', 'discombobulated'

46 of 58

Derivation

Acronyms that form words themselves.

Famous example: SCUBA; self -contained-underwater-breathing-apparatus (or something similar)

47 of 58

Self-explaining compounds

Words that join together to make new words that, as the name suggests, are pretty much self explanatory

Examples: Handbag, Girlfriend etc

48 of 58

Blending

Words that join together but in a half & half kind of way

Examples: brunch (breakfast & lunch) Jeggings (jeans & leggings)

49 of 58

Conversion

Conversion: nouns changing to verbs, visa versa - e.g. a hammer, to hammer

"oh look a hoover"

"oh god i've gotta go hoover that up now"

You get the idea xD

50 of 58

Semantic change!

Semantic change = changes in meaning

These could be:

Pejoration

Amerlioration

Broadening

Narrowing

Register drift

51 of 58

Register drift

A word that was originally considered to be slang may gain acceptance

or, of course, the other way round

52 of 58

Pejoration

A word that had good connotations has become more negative over time

the example everyone uses is 'gay' - used to be joyful, now either means someone who is of homosexual orientation or used by many youngster to mean stupid or annoying.

53 of 58

Amelioration

The opposite to Pejoration

Words that were once bad go to something that is good

e.g. Nice used to mean stupid, now it means pleasant :)

54 of 58

Broadening

Words that once meant something specific, then went on to mean something much broader (hence the term, broadening)

for example - 'ship' at one time specifically meant a sailing vessel, now it can mean a space ship or many other vehicles

55 of 58

Narrowing

No prizes for guessing what this one means xD

The opposite of broadening, words that meant something very broad, now means something specific

Meat, for example, meant any food stuff at all

now, it only means food taken from an animal (and quorn, some may argue)

56 of 58

Long 's'

The long S was used before the end of the 18th centuary

it looks like this! ſ <-- a bit like a fancy F

It was only used at the beginning and the middle of words, never at the end

It seemed to fade out due to printing issues

If you see an old text, this may be something to comment on (even if it isnt there!)

57 of 58

Other key terms

See if you can throw these in:

Technological revolution - brought loooads of new words

graphological features (not a term, per say) - printing restrictions

Estuary english - a blend of recieved pronunciation (the oxford/cambridge type accent) and cockney. Used in the media. E.g. Johnathan Ross has it

Archaisms - very easy to throw in. Words that have left the lexicon.

Anyway, good luck... all the best fot the exam!

58 of 58

Comments

Luke Berry

Just remember to be a little hesistant in (both) English language (and although you don't do it - for the purpose of completeness - English literature): the examiners do not want you to rush in and say this is what happened and this is why.

They seem to like to see a student who is a little more conservative and considers yes - that Dr. Johnson may have started the trend for standardisation - but spelling has certainly not been standardised by him. He began that standardisation process. There were words in his dictionary (can't remember any specific examples) which have since changed in spelling and meaning. And it certainly did not happen overnight. It had been happening earlier and earlier since Caxton's printing press in 1476 because of the need for less and less printing blocks (hence the long S was dropped).

Perhaps that is just my interpretation of the examiner's reports pre-syllabus change.

Finally - apologies for the long comment. :]

P.S. It's "PREscriptivism" - because they PREscribed the language. AO1 marks there...

Alice

useful stuff, learnt something new, thanks :)

Laura Francis-Brown

Helpful, but pretty sure the British Empire invaded countried, not invented them :)

Similar English Language resources:

See all English Language resources »See all resources »