Language Change

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  • Language Change
    • Causes of language change
      • external - outside influences - English influenced by invasions, immigration, media
      • internal - simplification - 'eth' may have died as does not affect way word said so unnecessary
      • omission - sounds gradually lost as not said
      • Assimilation - one sound affected by adjacent sound produce new pronunciation
      • Spelling - 'a dictionary of the English langauge
      • Grammar - standardised grammar
      • phonology - standardised pronunciation in private school
      • industrialisation - 18th and 19th centaury - new words relating to labour
      • 8th-11th centaury - invasions from other counties
        • 16th - 17th centaury - words into English from Latin and Greek
          • 18th - 19th centaury - words borrowed
            • 20th centuary - immigration to UK
              • American English developed
    • Attitudes towards language change
      • Prescriptivism
        • stating set of rules people should follow in order to use language 'properly'
        • prescriptivists believe language should be written and spoken in certain way - standard English, RP (other ways are seen as wrong)
        • Argue that essential to stick to rules of standard form - everyone understand eachother
        • language decays as changes - to stop this - try stop linguistic change
      • Descriptivism
        • involves how language actually used
        • valued equally - not 'correct' or 'incorrect'
        • language change is inevitable - waste of time - try to stop it
        • how? why? language changed rather than saying all bad
        • change as progress - language becoming more accurate and efficient


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