Language Change Ma. Fernanda Herrera Liza Guerra Negrete
The Linguist Study related to language and it’s development over time.
Historical Linguistics which study language change.
The Linguistic Study related to language which analyze language in a particular period of time.
The analysis of the lexis during de 1930
Types of Changing
Is the creation of new vocabulary used to designate some physical invention, new social motivation or new items of knowledge.
Before the discovery of
the new world, the word America
did not exist in Europe.
Types of Changing
words that are not used anymore since the object is not longer used.
Words related to falconry and archery are not commonly use nowadays.
Types of Changing
Is the replacement of words or structures, but both ways actually co exist in the language used.
‘ rooves’ as the plural of ‘ roof’ in place of standard English ‘ roofs’ .
What is Dialect?
Dialect as a barrier of communication
“ related language”
The differences between two dialects of a same language could be:
External or sociolinguistic
political and socioeconomic boundaries that creates those differences
Internal or linguistic
physiological aspect of the speakers created dialect differences
Examples of external and internal changes from Old English to Modern English
1 st The change from [k] to [ č] after the front vowel [ I ]in the southern dialect of old English.
2 nd The loss of k before consonants that produced the variants [i:] and [ I k] in the northern dialect.
3 rd The replacement of [ I k] by [I:] in the nothern dialect
4 th The change in the pronunciation from [i:] to [aj] in the transitional period
“ All Languages show considerable linguistic variation at any given point in time”
Constant and unavoidable
Language is unique and innate in humans. How this capacity have originated and evolved? A subfield of linguistics that studies language change Historical Linguistics The study of a language at a single point in time without references to early stages Synchronic Linguistics The study of a language at different historical stages Diachronic Linguistics A technique for studying the development of languages by performing a feature-by-feature comparison Comparative method
Spe cu la tions
Bow How Theory : Humans begin to mimic sounds of nature
Vocal Language Theory: Language evolved from spontaneous cries of emotions
Gestural Language Theory: Language evolved from a system of hand gestures and signals.
Human Brain Theory: The evolution of human language is closely related with the development of human brain.
“ Early parent”
The Reconstruction of an “Earlier Parent”
Similarities among languages
Sir William Jones
Proto Indo European Language (India and Europe)
How do Linguists establish historical relationships
among Languages in order to learn
about their early forms?
Compare these three Languages
What do they have in common?
All are numerals
A & C have some phonetics similarities
Six out of ten words begin with the same consonant
Only 1 & 8 begin with vowel
Most of the words in A & C have the same number of syllables
English Navajo Sanskrit Lang A One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight Nine Ten Lang B Łáa’ii Naaki Táá’ Dį́į́´’ Ashdla’ Hastą́ą́h Tsosts’id Tseebíí Náhást’éí Neeznáá Lang C Eka Dva Tri Catur Pañca Sas Sapta Asta Nava Dasa
Pay attention to the following: If there are similarities among Languages it could be due to three reasons.
Chance overlap in sound & meaning: similarities in sound structure and in word for common objects such as water, numbers, etc.
Borrowing: Incorporation of words from another language. Mainly about religion, government, culture, technology and cuisine.
True historical relationship: using the comparative method, you can establish a true genetic relationship. A group of words in each language that share phonemes, phonological rules, common words and related meanings.
The Indo European Language Family
All Languages are related
A group of Languages that have a true historical relationship.
Series of changes over time
Do you know how many languages
are spoken around the world?
Between 4 & 5 thousand
Between 7 & 8 thousand
More than 9 thousand
The correct answer is A.
Half of the world’s population speaks Indo European languages
Changes: Causes and Mechanism
There are two ways to see Language change
Individual change: an spontaneous change in a language on the part of a single speaker. E. g Grammar simplification
Community change: the transmission and sharing of changes among speakers in a linguistic community. E.g lexis, morphology, syntax or phonetics.
Are these type of changes making languages decay or improve?
English Language: Changes
Old English period 5th to 11th century
Middle English period 11th to 15th century
Modern English 15th century up today
Ex am pl es of these changes
Addition: new words have been incorporated from other languages. E.g. French, Latin, Greek.
Applicability: in old English fricatives became voiced when they occurred between voiced sounds. Not longer present.
Addition: the “able” rule for suffixes have created new words. E.g. doable, washable.
Loss: adjective agreement is not longer a rule in modern English.