English Language - Language Change Theories

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Prescriptivism and Descriptivism
Prescriptivism = don't like language change, standardization. Descriptivism = don't interfere with change, don't mind change.
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Reflectionism and Determinism
Reflectionism = language reflects thought. Determinism = language determines thought.
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Functional Theory
Change due to needs of users. Words fall out of use, new words coined.
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Jean Aitchison - Attitudes of a prescriptivist.
Damp Spoon = Laziness. Crumbling Castle = language was beautiful, now falling apart due to changes. Infectious disease = spreading, 'catching', inferior form.
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Random Fluctuation and cultural transmission.
Change due to error or random events e.g. 'BOOK' and 'COOL' texting.
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Substratum Theory
New languages bring variation through contact of different groups e.g. Jews in New York.
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Lexical Gaps
'Gaps' = words that don't yet exists but would follow current linguistic patterns.
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Wave and S-Curve Models
Wave = in an area, change becomes weaker as you go further out. S-Curve = change taken up slowly at first, then fast, then slows and plateaus.
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Card 2

Front

Reflectionism = language reflects thought. Determinism = language determines thought.

Back

Reflectionism and Determinism

Card 3

Front

Change due to needs of users. Words fall out of use, new words coined.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Damp Spoon = Laziness. Crumbling Castle = language was beautiful, now falling apart due to changes. Infectious disease = spreading, 'catching', inferior form.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Change due to error or random events e.g. 'BOOK' and 'COOL' texting.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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