MODULE 1 HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS Part OneHistory of the English Language2nd Semester 1432-1433 AHDr. Abdel-Fattah Adel
HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS The two types of linguistic studies: Synchronic and Diachronic Linguistics The Definition of Historical linguistics The main Concerns of Historical linguistics Studying language change Two axes of the historical study of language Four Myths of Language.
The Definition of Historicallinguistics Historical linguistics (also called diachronic linguistics) is the study of language change.
The main Concerns ofHistorical linguisticsHistorical linguistics has five main concerns: to describe and account for observed changes in particular languages to reconstruct the pre-history of languages and determine their relatedness, grouping them into language families (comparative linguistics) to develop general theories about how and why language changes to describe the history of speech communities: a group of people who share a set of norms and expectations regarding the use of language to study the history of words, i.e. etymology: their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.
Three tools for the study oflanguage 1. Articulatory phonetics: 2. Sociolinguistics: 3. Comparative philology:
Four specific areas oflanguage change 1. pronunciation 2. grammar and morphology 3. meaning (semantic change) 4. attitudes toward language change
The evidence for languagechange A. Surviving written evidence B. Knowledge of speech sounds C. writing about language
Language is a form of socialand human behavior No language is inherently better or more grammatical than any other Languages have rules and conventions of successful communication; and yet, throughout history, people have judged language, language performance, and individual linguistic competence.
Two axes of the historicalstudy of language Prescriptive Descriptive
Four Myths of Language. A. The myth of universality: B. The myth of simplicity C. The myth of teleology: D. The myth of gradualism