Language history and change 2


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Language history and change 2

  1. 1. Language history and change By Camilo Saavedra
  2. 2. Proto-Indo- European family of languages different geographical areas common features A common ancestor A kind of “Grandmother” of languages
  3. 3. Comparative reconstruction It was found out through similarities in different languages their relation to an ancestor In order to find Cognates a similar word in one language and another form or pronounciation process in wich cognates are compared in order to find similarities
  4. 4. Cognates Examples
  5. 5. In comparative reconstruction there are two important principles: The majority principle Principles The natural developmen t principle the ones more similar demonstrate the less that those languages have changed from the proto-language are a series of rules in language change (or evolution) that show the antiquity of that language in relation to the proto-language.
  6. 6. This shows that the more the word respects these rules, the more similar it is towards the proto-language. The natural development principle
  7. 7. English language change  Old English (VII-XI)  Middle English (XI- XV)  Modern English (XV- present days)
  8. 8. Old English Germanic tribes (Angles, Saxons and Jutes) invaded the British Isles in the V century Words belonging to this period: mann (man), drincan (drink), etan (eat) Then, another northern- european tribe arrived, The Vikings . They brought the Old Norse, words like: give, leg, skin
  9. 9. Anglo-saxon invasion
  10. 10. Viking invasion
  11. 11. Middle English Normans arrival to the British Isles in 1066. William “The Conqueror” (a norman) was crowned King of England French relevance during this period, although English never ceased being spoken (by the lower class) Words like: defense, court, faith, army
  12. 12. Norman invasion
  13. 13. From 1400 to 1600 English started changing becoming Modern English (more specifically, early modern English) Middle to Modern English transition Pronounciation Syntax Lexicon
  14. 14. Pronounciation change Not only some sounds changed, but also some others disappeared. i.e. the voiceless velar fricative /x/ wich in old english pronounciation of nicht as [nixt], but is absent in the present-day form of night [nayt] Metathesis is a reversal in two adjoining sounds, had changed the pronounciation of some words Prothesis That is the addition of a sound to the beginning of a word
  15. 15. Metathesis example Prothesis example
  16. 16. Syntactic changes In the transition from old english to modern english, we can find several differences in the order of the sentence, i.e.
  17. 17. Lexical changes  A lot of borrowed words have been added to the english language along its evolution, from latin, greek and other languages.  New words were created  Some other words have ceased to be used In terms of meaning, there are two processes: Broadening and Narrowing
  18. 18. Meaning (semantic) features Broadening Narrowing A word that previously had only one meaning, now it has some others, for example: In old english the word “dogca” was used to refer to any breed of dogs, but now, its evolution “dog” is used to refer to any breed. Is the reverse process, a word that before had several different meanings or uses, now it has only one, for example: The old english word “mete” refered to any kind of food, now it refers only to a specific breed, “meat”
  19. 19.  It’s worth mentioning that this process of change in the language was not from one day to another, on the contrary a language changes gradually, it takes time and requires some factors to make it possible.  Another important point to conclude is that language is in a continuous process of evolution, it’s always changing.