English Language Change

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Semantics - Meaning extension/widening
A word widens to include new meanings. Often, new connotations are added to the original meaning, e.g 'gay'
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Semantics - Meaning narrowing
A word loses some connotations and becomes more specific/specialized, e.g. 'dear' for any animal with 4 legs
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Semantics - Amelioration
A word acquires positive meanings and connotations, when the original meaning was negative, e.g. 'sick'
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Semantics - Pejoration
Word develops negative connotations when the original was positive, e.g. 'mistress'
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Semantics - Weakening
Where a word loses its impact/strength over time, e.g. 'soon' used to be immediately
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Semantics - Retonym
Existing word is altered/changed to differentiate it from a more recent version/form e.g. 'acoustic guitar' differentiates a traditional instrument from the modern electric equivalent
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Semantics - Metonym
Word which is used to symbolise a larger idea/concept to which it is related/connected e.g. 'Hollywood' is used ti define the American film industry
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Lexis - Borrowings/Loans
Words taken from another language, e.g. Karaoke (Japanese)
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Lexis - Compounding
Putting two or more words together, e.g. 'takeover'
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Lexis - Blending
Taking small elements of two or more words and meshing them together, e.g. 'brunch'
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Lexis - Acronym
A word formed from the initial letters of a name/phrase, usually written in capital letters, e.g. 'UCAS'
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Lexis - Initialism
Term used when each letter is pronounced individually and not as a word, e.g. 'BBC'
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Lexis - Abbreviation
A shortened form of a longer word, e.g. 'gym' for 'gymnasium'
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Lexis - Coinage
A brand new word, not derived from any other, e.g. 'spam'
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Lexis - Conversion
Where a word is modified from one word class to another, e.g. 'to drive' a car (verb) becomes the area on which a car is parked (noun)
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Lexis - Affixation
Prefixes or suffixes are used to modify existing words, e.g. MALfunction
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Lexis - Back Formation
A type of shortening where a word of one type (usually a noun) is changed into another (often a verb) e.g. 'edit' from 'editor'
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Lexis - Eponym
A proper noun which becomes a word in its own right, e.g. 'biro' after its inventor
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

A word loses some connotations and becomes more specific/specialized, e.g. 'dear' for any animal with 4 legs

Back

Semantics - Meaning narrowing

Card 3

Front

A word acquires positive meanings and connotations, when the original meaning was negative, e.g. 'sick'

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Word develops negative connotations when the original was positive, e.g. 'mistress'

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Where a word loses its impact/strength over time, e.g. 'soon' used to be immediately

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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