Language Change Revision Notes


Language Change

Diachronic variation: Changes that occur in language over time

Synchronic variation: The ways in which language is varied at any one point in time

Ways in which language changes over time

Phonological Change

The change in accents, dialects and idiolects. Phonological change is a very fast process, e.g. new slang terms being put into general use then ‘falling out of use’ again. Dialect and accents are gradually converging due to the media (accents on television) and the increase in travel (e.g. moving to unis up north)

Lexical Change

New words are always being created. the creation of new words are called coinage. Different ways how words are created:

·         Borrowing- Creating words by borrowing words from other languages (e.g. barbeque (Spanish). A lot of borrowing relate to food or objects not traditionally found in the uk. i.e spaghetti

·         Scientific progress - Advances in medicine and technology cause new words and phrases to be invented. For example in-vitro fertilisation emerged from the 70s.

·         Affixation- words can also be created by affixaxtion where prefixes or suffixes are added to the end of an existing word. For example the greek word hyper is added to the beginning of words hyperactive, hyperductive, hypersensitive

·         Compounding - sometimes a new word is created by adding two seperate words together to form another word. Can be combined, an example being handbag

·         Blending - Blending is when two seperate words are merged together





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