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Why should we study the history of english
Why should we study the history of english
Why should we study the history of english
Why should we study the history of english
Why should we study the history of english
Why should we study the history of english
Why should we study the history of english
Why should we study the history of english
Why should we study the history of english
Why should we study the history of english
Why should we study the history of english
Why should we study the history of english
Why should we study the history of english
Why should we study the history of english
Why should we study the history of english
Why should we study the history of english
Why should we study the history of english
Why should we study the history of english
Why should we study the history of english
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Why should we study the history of english

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  1. Why should we study the history of English?
  2. Historical Linguistics <ul><li>“ branch of Linguistics which studies the development of language and languages over time; also known as diachronic linguistics ” (Crystal 1985: 148) </li></ul><ul><li>= diachronic linguistics </li></ul><ul><li>Can historical linguistics be synchronic? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Synchrony (> Gk. συν - χρ ó νος ) vs diachrony (> Gk. δια - χρ ó νος ) </li></ul></ul>
  3. Why should we study the history of a language? (Pyles & Algeo 1993: 2-3) <ul><li>“ To understand how things are, it is often helpful and sometimes essential to know how they got to be that way. If we are psychologists who want to understand a person’s behavior, we must know something about that person’s origins and development. The same is true of a language.” </li></ul><ul><li>( Pyles, T. & J. Algeo. 1993. The Origins and Development of the English Language . 4th ed. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace & World: 2) </li></ul>
  4. <ul><li>“ Historically evolved systems are not continually made afresh; they contain remnants of earlier stages, sometimes fully functional (...) sometimes just marginal. Understanding a system involves knowing where these things come from and what they used to do, how their current functions (if any) relate to their old ones.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Lass, R. 1994. Old English. A historical linguistic companion . Cambridge: C.U.P.: 9) </li></ul>
  5. <ul><li>‘ Why, how call you those grunting brutes running about on their four legs?’ demanded Wamba. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Swine, fool, swine,’ said the herd, ‘every fool knows that.’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ And swine is good Saxon,’ said the Jester; ‘but how call you the sow when she is flayed, and drawn and quartered, and hanged up by the heels like a traitor?’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Pork,’ answered the swineherd. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I am very glad every fool knows that too,’ said Wamba; ‘and pork, I think, is good Norman-French; and so when the brute lives, and is in charge of a Saxon slave, she goes by her Saxon name; but becomes a Norman, and is called pork, when she is carried to the Castle-hall to feast among the nobles; what dost thou think of this, friend Gurth, ha?’ </li></ul><ul><li>(Sir Walter Scott, Ivanhoe, written in 1819 and set in 12th century England , quoted by the 1995 edition published by Wordsworth Editions Ltd., p.7) </li></ul>
  6. Vocabulary and semantics <ul><li>Swine, pork, pig </li></ul><ul><li>Cast out, throw out, expel </li></ul><ul><li>The Royal family: the king, the queen, princes and pricesses </li></ul><ul><li>tide < OE tid ‘time’ </li></ul><ul><li>Silly < OE gesælig ‘happy, blessed’ </li></ul><ul><li>Is woman a politically correct word? OE wif-mann ‘woman + human being’ </li></ul>
  7. <ul><li>We’ll begin with a box , and the plural is boxes ; </li></ul><ul><li>But the plural of ox should be oxen , not oxes . </li></ul><ul><li>Then one fowl is a goose , but two are called geese ; </li></ul><ul><li>Yet the plural of moose should never be meese . </li></ul><ul><li>You may find a lone mouse or a whole lot of mice , </li></ul><ul><li>Yet the plural of house is houses , not hice . </li></ul><ul><li>If the plural of man is always called men , </li></ul><ul><li>Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen ? </li></ul><ul><li>The cow in the plural may be cows or kine , </li></ul><ul><li>But the plural of vow is vows , not vine . </li></ul><ul><li>And I speak of a foot , and you show me your feet , </li></ul><ul><li>But I give you a boot --would a pair be called beet ? </li></ul>
  8. <ul><li>If one is a tooth , and a whole set are teeth , </li></ul><ul><li>Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth ? </li></ul><ul><li>If the singular is this , and the plural is these , </li></ul><ul><li>Should the plural of kiss be nicknamed kese ? </li></ul><ul><li>Then one may be that , and three may be those , </li></ul><ul><li>But the plural of hat would never be hose . </li></ul><ul><li>We speak of brother and also of brethren , </li></ul><ul><li>But though we say mother , we never say methren . </li></ul><ul><li>The masculine pronouns are he , his and him , </li></ul><ul><li>But imagine the feminine she , shis and shim ! </li></ul><ul><li>So our English, I think you all will agree, </li></ul><ul><li>Is the trickiest language you ever did see. </li></ul>
  9. Morphology <ul><li>In the farm there were two sheep, three oxen, five cows and I don´t know how many mice and rats </li></ul><ul><li>He is older than me vs He is the elder of two brothers </li></ul><ul><li>Brothers vs brethren </li></ul><ul><li>He was vs They are </li></ul><ul><li>He was shaved this morning vs He is very well shaven </li></ul>
  10. <ul><li>There’s a five mile drive from here to Bedlington. </li></ul><ul><li>I will, but definitely he won´t </li></ul>
  11. Ye olde starre inne , Stonegate (York)
  12. Fifty pence
  13. Spelling and pronunciation <ul><li>“ The English have no respect for their language, and will not teach their children to speak it. They cannot spell it because they have nothing to spell it with but an old foreign alphabet of which only the consonants –and not all of them- have any agreed speech value. Consequently, no man can teach himself what it should sound like from reading it.” </li></ul><ul><li>(G. Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion ) </li></ul>
  14. A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling by Mark Twain <ul><li>For example, in Year 1 that useless letter &quot;c&quot; would be dropped to be replased either by &quot;k&quot; or &quot;s&quot;, and likewise &quot;x&quot; would no longer be part of the alphabet. The only kase in which &quot;c&quot; would be retained would be the &quot;ch&quot; formation, which will be dealt with later. Year 2 might reform &quot;w&quot; spelling, so that &quot;which&quot; and &quot;one&quot; would take the same konsonant, wile Year 3 might well abolish &quot;y&quot; replasing it with &quot;i&quot; and Iear 4 might fiks the &quot;g/j&quot; anomali wonse and for all. </li></ul>
  15. A Plan for the Improvement of English Spelling by Mark Twain (cont.) <ul><li>Jenerally, then, the improvement would kontinue iear bai iear with Iear 5 doing awai with useless double konsonants, and Iears 6-12 or so modifaiing vowlz and the rimeining voist and unvoist konsonants. Bai Iear 15 or sou, it wud fainali bi posibl tu meik ius ov thi ridandant letez &quot;c&quot;, &quot;y&quot; and &quot;x&quot; -- bai now jast a memori in the maindz ov ould doderez -- tu riplais &quot;ch&quot;, &quot;sh&quot;, and &quot;th&quot; rispektivli. </li></ul><ul><li>Fainali, xen, aafte sam 20 iers ov orxogrefkl riform, wi wud hev a lojikl, kohirnt speling in ius xrewawt xe Ingliy-spiking werld.&quot; </li></ul>
  16. Spelling and phonology <ul><li>Knight, brought, write </li></ul><ul><li>Draught, draft </li></ul><ul><li>Bus, love, blood </li></ul><ul><li>Busy, bury </li></ul><ul><li>Child vs children, divine/divinity </li></ul><ul><li>Wise/wisdom </li></ul><ul><li><ghoti> /f ɪ  / </li></ul>
  17. Syntax <ul><li>Here comes the sun. </li></ul><ul><li>Hardly had he uttered those words when he began laughing… </li></ul><ul><li>A: Where’s Harry? </li></ul><ul><li>B: Oh, he is gone. He has just left </li></ul>
  18. <ul><li>“ many irregularities of our language today are the remnants of earlier, quite regular patterns” ( Pyles, T. & J. Algeo. 1993. The Origins and Development of the English Language . 4th ed. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace & World: 2) </li></ul><ul><li>In conclusion, study the history of English is useful because it helps us understand the present </li></ul>
  19. (Trask 1996: 184)

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