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  1. 1. Week 12 – 25/11/10
  2. 2. <ul><li>Morphological Change </li></ul><ul><li>- Rules of morphology may be lost, added or changed. </li></ul><ul><li>- Morphological changes can be observed by comparing older and newer forms of the language and by looking at different dialects. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>e.g. the –able rule that has been added to English since the OE period. Owing to the influx of a large number of –able words from French into English, English speakers were (and still are) able to extract a productive rule from these words. Words such as doable and washable have been formed by adding –able to the Germanic roots do and wash . </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Syntactic change </li></ul><ul><li>Change can also be found in the syntactic component of a language – the area of grammar that is concerned with the organization of words and morphemes into phrases and sentences. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>e.g. Before the 16 th century, it was possible for main verbs to take not : </li></ul><ul><li>I deny it not - I do not deny it </li></ul><ul><li>Forbid him not – Do not forbid him </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Semantic Change </li></ul><ul><li>- The meaning/semantic representation of words do not always remain constant from one stage of the language to the next. They may change, by becoming broader (extensions) or narrower (reductions), or by shifting. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>E.g. </li></ul><ul><li>broadening </li></ul><ul><li>Word old meaning new meaning </li></ul><ul><li>bird small fowl any winged creature </li></ul><ul><li>narrowing </li></ul><ul><li>fowl any bird a domesticated bird </li></ul><ul><li>meat any type flesh of an animal </li></ul><ul><li>of food </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>shift </li></ul><ul><li>immoral not customary unethical </li></ul><ul><li>silly happy absurd and foolish </li></ul><ul><li>nice ignorant pleasant </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Phonological Change </li></ul><ul><li>- Variation and change are particularly noticeable in the phonology of a language. </li></ul><ul><li>- All aspects of a language’s phonology e.g. tone, stress and syllable structure, are subject to change over time. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Decay or Improvement? </li></ul><ul><li>Does language change lead to a gain or loss in expressiveness? </li></ul><ul><li>Neither view seems appropriate since languages seem to maintain a balance in expressiveness and grammatical complexity over time. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>How does language change spread? </li></ul><ul><li>- Individual </li></ul><ul><li>- Community </li></ul><ul><li>Individual change – refers to a spontaneous change in a language on the part of a single speaker. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Community change – the transmission and ultimate sharing of changes among speakers in a linguistic community. </li></ul><ul><li>N.B. Language change, especially phonological ones can spread between adjacent but different languages. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Identity – may be defined as the individual characteristics, style or manner that is fundamental to a person and by which that person is recognized. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>“ The linguistic signals we unwittingly transmit about ourselves every moment of or waking days are highly distinctive and discriminating. More than anything else, language shows we “belong”, providing the most natural badge or symbol of public and private identity”. (David Crystal) </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Language has often been used as a marker and element of identity within the greater human society. </li></ul><ul><li>Sociolinguistics – the study of the relationship between language and human society. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>An area of focus of sociolinguistic research has been to determine both what elements define a person’s identity and how identity is established in linguistic interactions. </li></ul><ul><li>Identity is not expressed solely through language use – other actions, practices and characteristics also create a person’s identity. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>However, it is common to use language to establish or indicate one’s identity and the identity of others. </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. ethnic, national, and social identity are inextricably linked to our use of language. The easiest way to be affiliated with a certain group is to pattern the linguistic cues of that group and one of the easiest ways to preserve a sense of “where you are from” is to retain the language of your ethnic group or society. </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Note that this use of language is not always conscious or intentional, or even with your control as a speaker. </li></ul><ul><li>Do you have complete control over your linguistic identity? </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>How can particular aspects of identity be signaled through language? </li></ul><ul><li>By overtly stating affiliation with or dissociation from a particular group. </li></ul><ul><li>The use of forms that mark a particular identity e.g. when there are different words for male and female versions of the same profession. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>The use of one or the other, signals the speaker’s association with a particular gender. </li></ul><ul><li>More obliquely, identity may be signaled by making use of linguistic characteristics that society associates with particular groups. E.g. the use of the quotative like is associated with younger speakers. Or using be to mark habitual action as in I always be late for school is associated with Afro-American English. </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>Using such forms can be taken as a sign of belonging to the associated group. </li></ul><ul><li>On a broader level, in multilingual societies the choice of one language over another can be used to indicate a certain affiliation or identity. </li></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Signaling identity through language can have various consequences. There are many stereotypes that accompany ideas of identity, so your language use may cause listeners to form ideas about you, your personality, your abilities etc. </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>E.g. In 1999 John Baugh (et. al) did a study that showed discrimination by landlords based on the perceived ethnicity of a potential renter, as determined through a telephone conversation. Baugh who was fluent in Standard American English, African-American English, and Chicano English called various landlords who had advertised housing for rent. </li></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>In housing districts that were largely Euro-European, when he spoke using either the African-American or the Chicano English dialects, he was often told that the housing was unavailable – and then, using the standard American English dialect within 30 minutes of the other calls, he was told that it was. </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>This kind of dialect discrimination is illegal in the US. It is an unfortunate consequence of the use of language to mark identity. </li></ul>