Language Change || Definitions

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  • Created by: Chloe.LJ
  • Created on: 28-01-17 21:56
Diachronic Variation
Variation through time.
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Synchronic Variation
Variation across society at a single point in time.
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Citation
A reference to an example of language use or research.
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Borrowing
Incorporating words and phrases from another language.
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External Factor
A factor to do with external forces. For example, many French terms came into English after the Norman conquest of 1066.
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Internal Factor
A factor to do with the internal structure of the language system. For example, English used to have different singular and plural forms of 'you': 'thee' and 'thou' to address groups or to express respect to a powerful individual.
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Acronym
Initials that can be pronounced as words e.g. SIM.
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Blending
Using parts of existing words to form a new word.
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Compounding
Adding two existing words together to create a new world.
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Functional Theory
The idea that language changes because society does.
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Infix
A particle added to the middle of a word.
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Initialism
Initials that cannot be pronounced as words e.g. DVD.
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Prefix
A particle added to the front of a word.
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Suffix
A particle added to the end of a word.
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Amelioration
A process whereby a word or a phrase develops more positive connotations. For example, 'nice' used to mean ignorant (from the Latin 'nescire' meaning 'to not know').
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Determinism
The idea that language determines the way we think and behave.
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Pejoration
A process whereby a word or phrase develops more negative connotations. For example, 'silly' used to mean happy.
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Reflectionism
The idea that language reflects the society that produces it.
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Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
The idea, derived from the work of Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf, that our language constructs our view of the world and that it is difficult or even impossible to think beyond it.
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Linguistic Relativity
The idea that language shapes our thinking but does not completely control it.
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Semantic Reclamation
Taking language that has had negative connotations and trying to overturn them by using the language in new ways.
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Broadening
A process by which words acquire a broader reference. For example, 'hoover' can be used as a general label for vacuum cleaners, but it was formerly the name of a particular brand.
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Hegemonic
Culturally dominant.
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Narrowing
A process by which words acquire a narrower reference. For example, 'deer' used to refer to animals in general, not to a specific animal.
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Agent
An alternative word for the subject in a sentence.
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Inflection
A morpheme on the end of a word to indicate a grammatical relationship or category. For example, many nouns in English add an 's' to indicate plurality.
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Object
The thing or person on the receiving end of the action of the verb.
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Patient
An alternative word for the object in a sentence.
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Subject
The thing or person carrying out the action of the verb.
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Intonation
Tunes, created from variations in pitch, that convey meaning in the speech of a particular language.
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Random Fluctuation Theory
The idea that language change is not a logical ordered process.
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Wave Model
A model of language change that likens it to throwing a stone into a pond, with ripples representing change spreading from a central point.
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Libfix
A 'liberated' suffix, or one which has been taken from its original context and applied to new situations. Libfixes are creations of their time. E.g. 'Sputnik', Russian spacecraft.
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Language Reform
A term used, usually by liberal commentators, to support the idea of consciously changing language because it is considered unfair to different groups.
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Political Correctness
A term used, usually by conservative commentators, to object to the idea of consciously changing language because it is considered unfair to different groups.
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Clause of Condition
A clause introduced by conjunctions such as 'if' or 'unless', suggesting that something will happen only if certain conditions are met.
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Standardization
The process by which a form of language is developed and used as a common code.
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Complaint Tradition
A tradition of complaining about the state of the language.
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Declinism
The idea that language is in constant decline.
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Sticklerism
An intrusive concern with correcting others' language use.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Variation across society at a single point in time.

Back

Synchronic Variation

Card 3

Front

A reference to an example of language use or research.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Incorporating words and phrases from another language.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

A factor to do with external forces. For example, many French terms came into English after the Norman conquest of 1066.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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