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Hstorical linguistics


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A brief research about linguistics and its development across the time. Also, it explains the different periods of English

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Hstorical linguistics

  1. 1. Historical Linguistics By Daniel Caceres Gabriela López
  2. 2. What are Historical Linguistics?  According to Richard Nordquist, Hystorical Linguistics (also called Diachronic linguistics) is one of the two main temporal dimensions of language study introduced by Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure in his Course in General Linguistics.(1916)  The central focus of historical linguistics is the study of language at different periods in history and as it changes between different periods of history.  It grew out of the earlier discipline of philology, the study of ancient texts and documents dating back to antiquity
  3. 3.  Historical linguistics is directly compared and distinguished from Synchronic Linguistics which studies language at a single historical period of time.  Synchronic linguistics is one that views linguistics phenomena only at a given time, usually the present.
  4. 4. Five Concernings about Historical Linguistics a) To describe and account for observed changes in particular languages b) To reconstruct the pre-history of languages and determine their relatedness, grouping them into language families (comparative linguistics) c) To develop general theories about how and why language changes d) To describe the history of speech communities, e) To study the history of words, i.e. etymology
  5. 5. History and development  At first, historical linguistics was concerned establishing language families and recostructing prehistoric proto- languages using comparative method and internal reconstruction  Their focus was initially on the Indo-European and Uralic languages.  Since then, there has been significant comparative linguistic work expanding outside of European languages as well, such as on the Austronesian languages and various families of Native American languages, among many others.
  6. 6. Sub–fields of study  Comparative linguistics: a branch of historical linguistics that is concerned with comparing languages in order to establish their historical relatedness. Languages may be related by convergence through borrowing or by genetic descent (a common origin or proto-language)  Etymology: the study of the history of words—when they entered a language, from what source, and how their form and meaning have changed over time. A word may enter a language as a loanword (i.e., as a word from one language adopted by speakers of another language), through derivational morphology by combining pre-existing elements in the language, by a hybrid of these two processes called phono-semantic matching, or in several other minor ways.
  7. 7.  Dialectology: the scientific study of linguistic dialect, the varieties of a language that are characteristic of particular groups, based primarily on geographic distribution and their associated features. This is in contrast to variations based on social factors, which are studied in sociolinguistics, or variations based on time, which are studied in historical linguistics.  Phonology: is a sub-field of linguistics which studies the sound system of a specific language or set of languages. Whereas phonetics is about the physical production and perception of the sounds of speech, phonology describes the way sounds function within a given language or across languages.
  8. 8.  Morphology: is the study of the formal means of expression in a language; in the context of historical linguistics, how the formal means of expression change over time; This field studies the internal structure of words as a formal means of expression  Syntax: is the study of the principles and rules for constructing sentences in natural languages. The term syntax is used to refer directly to the rules and principles that govern the sentence structure of any individual language, as in "the syntax of Modern Irish". Modern researchers in syntax attempt to describe languages in terms of such rules. Many professionals in this discipline attempt to find general rules that apply to all natural languages in the context of historical linguistics, how characteristics of sentence structure in related languages changed over time
  9. 9. Historical linguistics according to English  Language of the Germanic tribes gave rise to English language  Angles, Saxons, Frisii, Jutes and possibly some Franks were most of the best known Germanic tribes that lived alongside Latin- speaking people, which included some words of their vocabulary to the Proto-English language before the arrival to Angle Land
  10. 10. Old English (500 A.D – 1100 A.D)  Germanic settlement displaced the indigenous Brythonic languages and Latin in most of the areas of Britain  What is now called Old English emerged over time out of the many dialects and languages of the colonising tribes  In the 10th and 11th centuries, Old English was influenced by Old Norse, spoken by Norsemen who settled in the North East of England. As result of this mixture, Old English earned loss of the gramatical gender  English borrowed about two thousand words from Old Norse, including anger, bag, both, hit, law, leg, same, skill, sky, take, and many others, possibly even including the pronoun they  The Old English period formally ended some time after the Norman conquest of 1066, when the language was influenced to an even greater extent by the Normans, who spoke a French dialect called Old Norman.
  11. 11. Middle English (Late 1100 A.D to Late 1500 A.D)  Middle English was influenced by both Anglo-Norman and, later, Anglo-French. Anglo-French is a branch between Old English and Norman.  The Norman kings and high-ranking nobles in England spoke Anglo-Norman.  Merchants and lower-ranked nobles were often bilingual in Anglo-Norman and English, whilst English continued to be the language of the common people.
  12. 12.  The more idiomatic, concrete and descriptive a style of English is, the more it tends to be from Anglo- Saxon origins.  The more intellectual and abstract English is, the more it tends to contain Latin and French influences.  Two of the most important changes of the period were changes related both to grammar and vocabulary.
  13. 13.  An overall diminishing of grammatical endings occurred in Middle English. Grammar distinctions were lost as many noun and adjective endings were leveled to -e. The older plural noun marker -en largely gave way to -s, and grammatical gender was discarded.  Approximately 10,000 French (and Norman) loan words entered Middle English, particularly terms associated with government, church, law, the military, fashion, and food.  English spelling was also influenced by Norman in this period, with the /θ/ and /ð/ sounds being spelled th rather than with the Old English letters þ (thorn) and ð (eth), which did not exist in Norman.  These letters remain in the modern Icelandic alphabet, having been borrowed from Old English via Western Norwegian.
  14. 14. Early Modern English (From late 15th century to the late 17th century)  The English language underwent extensive sound changes during the 1400s, while its spelling conventions remained rather constant.Modern English is often dated from the Great Vowel Shift, which took place mainly during the 15th century.  English was further transformed by the spread of a standardised London-based dialect in government and administration and by the standardising effect of printing.
  15. 15.  Consequent to the push toward standardization, the language acquired self-conscious terms such as "accent" and "dialect”  In 1604, the first English dictionary was published, the Table Alphabeticall.  Increased literacy and travel have facilitated the adoption of many foreign words, especially borrowings from Latin and Greek since the Renaissance.  During the period, loan words were borrowed from Italian, German, and Yiddish.
  16. 16. Modern English ( from the late 17th century to the present)  The Dictionary of the English Language was the first full featured English dictionary. Samuel Johnson published the authoritative work in 1755. To a high degree, the dictionary standardized both English spelling and word usage  Early Modern English and Late Modern English vary essentially in vocabulary. Late Modern English has many more words, arising from the Industrial Revolution and the technology that created a need for new words as well as international development of the language.
  17. 17.  British English and American English, the two major varieties of the language, are spoken by 400 million persons. Received Pronunciation of British English is considered the traditional standard. The total number of English speakers worldwide may exceed one billion.
  18. 18. Hwæt! Wē Gār- Dena in geārdagum, þēodcyninga þrym gefrūnon, hū ðā æþelingas ellen fremedon. Oft Scyld Scēfing sceaþena þrēatum, monegum mǣgþum, meodosetla oftēah, egsode eorlas. Syððan ǣrest wearð fēasceaft funden, hē þæs frōfre gebād, wēox under wolcnu m, weorðmyndum þāh, oðþæt him ǣghwylc þāra ymbsittendra ofer hronrāde hȳran scolde, gomban gyldan. Þæt wæs gōd cyning! Beowulf lines 1 to 11, aprox. 900 A.D Old English
  19. 19. From Ayenbyte of Inwit, 1340 Nou ich wille þet ye ywite hou hit is ywent þet þis boc is ywrite mid Engliss of Kent. Þis boc is ymad vor lewede men Vor vader and vor moder and vor oþer ken ham vor to berȝe vram alle manyere zen þet ine hare inwytte ne bleve no voul wen. 'Huo ase god' in his name yzed, Þet þis boc made god him yeve þet bread, Of angles of hevene, and þerto his red, And ondervonge his zaule huann e þet he is dyad. Amen. Middle English Early Modern English From Paradise Lost by John Milton, 1667: Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast Brought Death into the World, and all our woe, With loss of Eden, till one greater Man Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat, Sing Heav'nly Muse, that on the secret top Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed, In the Beginning how the Heav'ns and Earth Rose out of Chaos: Or if Sion Hill Delight thee more, and Siloa's Brook that flow'd Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song, That with no middle flight intends to soar Above th' Aonian Mount, while it pursues Things unattempted yet in Prose or Rhime.
  20. 20. Modern English Taken from Oliver Twist, 1838, by Charles Dickens: “…The evening arrived: the boys took their places; the master in his cook's uniform stationed himself at the copper; his pauper assistants ranged themselves behind him; the gruel was served out, and a long grace was said over the short commons. The gruel disappeared, the boys whispered each other and winked at Oliver, while his next neighbours nudged him. Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger and reckless with misery. He rose from the table, and advancing, basin and spoon in hand, to the master, said, somewhat alarmed at his own temerity—”
  21. 21. Thanks for your attention!