Language in a changing world

Topics: Linguistics, Historical linguistics, Language Pages: 3 (590 words) Published: September 29, 2013
LIN 2602
LANGUAGE IN A CHANGING WORLD
SEMESTER 2
ASSIGNMENT 1

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 QUESTION ONE3
2 QUESTION TWO5

SOURCES CONSULTED6

QUESTION ONE
1. Language continues to adapt to reflect the circumstances and realities of its speakers as they live through changing times. Over time, language and the written word changes; therefore languages can be written down and the written forms can be standardised.

2. A) Phonological change – Phonological, or sound changes, occur in languages. An example of this is ‘light’. The ‘gh’ sound used to be pronounced like the Scottish ‘ch’ in ‘loch’ or the Afrikaans ‘g’ in ‘lig’. Today, the ‘gh’ is silent in the pronunciation, but the spelling has remained the same. One of the main reasons for phonological change has simply been to make words easier to pronounce. Words which are borrowed from other languages often undergo sound changes if the original sounds do not occur in the borrowing language. An example of this is the English word ‘milk’, which becomes ‘miruku’ in Japanese.

B) Morphological change – These changes affect the internal structure of words. An example of morphological change is that some unusual plurals in English have become regular. The exception to the rule changes so that it follows the normal rule, e.g. in school, the plural of ‘cactus’ was ‘cacti’. These days, it is commonly found that the plural is formed by adding ‘-s’ or ‘es’. This is called analogy, where an existing morphological pattern is followed even for new words. Sometimes, the morphological structure of a word is misinterpreted which leads to reanalysis. The last example of morphological change is known as morphologisation, where a full word becomes a bound morpheme, like a prefix or suffix. An example is the Old English word ‘lic’ (like) into ‘manlic’ (man-like). In Modern English, ‘lic’ became ‘-ly’, and gave us words like...
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