Language change theory

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  • Created by: Craig
  • Created on: 27-05-13 18:50

Linguistic determinism vs reflectionism

Edward sapir and Benjamin whorf created the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis that is language determins our thoughts (linguistic determinism)

This has been critised as it allows for no language change at all as how would we coin new words. A weak version has been put forward that language influences our thoughts, not control them.

Some people feel language is shaped by our thoughts (reflectionism). This has been crticised for dismissing the value of shaping our language, ie prevent racist words, it would suggest it would come out in a newly formed word.

Lexical Gaps

Words that aren't currently is usage but would fit the existing linguistic patterns. OR existing words that are changed slight, for example the bound morpheme suffix '-ion' to…


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