Language Change

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What are the key stages in language change?
1) The first printing press [1467] 2) Samuel Johnson's first dictionary 1755 3) Writers that tried to fix the language through grammar books; Robert Lowth [1762]
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What type of theorist was Samuel Johnson?
A prescriptivist
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Where have some english words come from?
Germanic languages, French and Spanish influence, latin, scientific words, saxon/celtic
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What is Old English?
Anglo saxon languages from 500-1100
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What is Middle English?
When the Bible came out, 11th century, Battle of Hastings, the great vowel shift
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What is early modern English?
Shakespeare, Oxford and Cambridge were set up, Renaissance,
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Modern English?
New English Dictionary became the Oxford English dictionary, first BBC broadcast
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What are the reasons for language change?
Individuals such as Chaucer and Shakespeare, technology (internet), society, foreign influences, science, travel/trade, globalisation, education, politics, words can simply die when they are no longer needed
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What are the different attitudes towards language change?
Prescriptivism: want language to be a certain way and refrain from change, descriptivism: accept language change and like it
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What are lexical changes that have occurred?
Neologisms, coinings, compounding, blending, shortening, abbreviations, etymology
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What are semantic changes that have occured?
Amelioration, pejoration, broadenings, generalisation, metaphor, euphemisms, idioms,
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What are Jean Aitchison's theories about language change?
Damp spoon, crumbling castle, infectious disease
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What is the damp spoon theory?
Language changes due to laziness
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What is the crumbling castle view?
That language is crumbling and needs to be preserved
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What is the infectious disease?
Changes are caught on from around is
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What is overt prestige?
This is used by people to gain social status
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What is covert prestige?
That people use non-standard dialect believe their dialect is bad or inferior
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What is Michael Haliday's theory on language change?
That people's language changes according to the needs of the users
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Card 2

Front

What type of theorist was Samuel Johnson?

Back

A prescriptivist

Card 3

Front

Where have some english words come from?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is Old English?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is Middle English?

Back

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