Language Change Key Terms

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  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 24-02-15 13:43
Affixation
The general name for adding morphemes to existing words.
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Suffixes
The addition of a morpheme to the end of a root word. eg. -tion or -ing
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Prefixes
The addition of a morpheme to the beginning of a root word. eg. -un
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Borrowing / Loan Word
The introduction of a word from a foreign language with little modification. eg. café
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Clipping / Abbreviation
When a new word is made by shortening an existing one. eg. 'lab'
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Compounding
Combining two words together. eg. 'lifetime'
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Conversion
Changing the word class of a word. eg. 'a gossip' changes to 'gossiping'
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Initialism
An abbreviation consisting of initial letters pronounced separately. eg. BBC
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Acronym
An abbreviation formed using the first letters of other words and pronounced as a word. eg. ASBO
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Blend
When two words are merged together to form a new word. eg. 'Oxbridge'
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Neologism
A new word. eg. 'pyjama'
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Archaic lexis
An old word that is no longer used in standard language. eg. 'bedlam' used to mean an asylum
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Old-fashioned lexis
An old word that is used rarely in standard language now. eg. 'frock'
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Obsolete lexis
A word that is no longer used anywhere.
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Amelioration
When the meaning of a word changes from negative to positive. eg. 'nice' used to mean foolish
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Pejoration
When the meaning of a word changes from positive to negative. eg. 'gay'
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Weakening
When the meaning of a word loses strength over time. eg. 'soon'
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Narrowing
When a word becomes more specific in its meaning. eg. 'mete' used to mean all food
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Broadening
When the meaning of a word broaden to take on new meanings. eg. 'mouse'
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Standardisation
Making all variations of language conform to the standard language.
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Descriptivism
An attitude to language use that seeks to describe it without making judgements.
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Prescriptivism
An attitude to language use that makes judgements about what is right and what is wrong and thinks a standard should be kept.
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Synchronic study
Studies language at a point in time without considering the historical context.
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Diachronic study
Studies language change over a span of time in history.
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Orthography
The spelling of a word.
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Etymology
The historical origin of a word.
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Morphology
The process of changing a word.
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Eponyms
A word that has been formed using the name if a company or a person that nvented or popularised something. eg. 'casanova'
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Facsimile
An exact copy of a written or printed material.
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Impersonal verbs
When a verb has no one specific subject. eg. 'It rains'
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Medial s
A form of the letter 's' which was formerly used where 's' occurred in the middle or beginning of a word. It had lost use by the early 1800s.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

The addition of a morpheme to the end of a root word. eg. -tion or -ing

Back

Suffixes

Card 3

Front

The addition of a morpheme to the beginning of a root word. eg. -un

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

The introduction of a word from a foreign language with little modification. eg. café

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

When a new word is made by shortening an existing one. eg. 'lab'

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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