Linguistics and Change

Topics: Linguistics, Language change, Historical linguistics Pages: 2 (525 words) Published: May 25, 2006
"It is very easy to demonstrate to English speakers that languages change over time". (Holmes, 210) Language is always changing just because of the time, the people, the gender, the age, the social class, etc. It is very normal to see even in a decade that language has change in some ways, it always maintain the original background but as it goes changing it may be that you won't recognize it that much. Like an example that is mentioned by Holmes, it says that the k of knit and knife wasn't silent in the fifteenth century. So it can be seen how important the matter of time is in language change. Another example given by Holmes is about the meaning of the words like once nice meant ‘precise', and before that it meant ‘fastidious' and earlier still it meant ‘ignorant'. Language varies in three ways:

-in physical space
Which are the major ways that variation occurs in language. We can understand by variation that is the way language changes, a general term, general changes. And by change we can understand that is when a word, the pronunciation, etc. is modified overtime. In fewer words is the modification of a special concept. So "a language change has its origins in variation" (Holmes, 212) its understood that when a new form is spread it means that the change its being done. And if at the end the new form is now used instead of the old one it means it has already completed the change. That's called ‘fait accompli'.

The changes spread depending on the social factors such as gender, status, age, region, etc. "Linguistic changes infiltrate groups from the speech of people on the margins between social or regional groups via the ‘middle' people who have contact in more than one group" (Holmes 218) this is called change from group to group, and it determines that the middle class has much more contact than for example the high with the low, but as an intermediate the changes can be made in all groups, specially if it comes from the...

New York: Longman, 1992.
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