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Historical Phonology & Morphology How Sound Systems and Word Structures Change over Time Asian 401.

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Presentation on theme: "Historical Phonology & Morphology How Sound Systems and Word Structures Change over Time Asian 401."— Presentation transcript:

1 Historical Phonology & Morphology How Sound Systems and Word Structures Change over Time Asian 401

2 Linguistic Structures We have seen that languages are made up of structured systems These systems exist at different levels Languages have Phonology: sound structures Morphology: word structures Syntax: sentence structures

3 Historical Linguistics When languages change over time, the changes can occur in any of these structured systems We therefore speak of Historical phonology Historical morphology Historical syntax

4 Historical Phonology Weve looked at different types of sound change that can happen over time We can now ask how individual sound changes affect the phonology of a language; that is, how they effect the number and relations of phonemes

5 Phonological Change A sound change might Have no effect on the phonological system Change the allophones of a phoneme Decrease the number of phonemes Increase the number of phonemes If the number of phonemes changes, it will affect minimal pairs

6 No Change in # of Phonemes Example 1: Chinese [a] > [ ] / j_n E.g. sky [t h jan 55 ] > [t h j n 55 ] The number of phonemes did not change But the allophones of /a/ did change: /a/ [ ] / j_n [a] elsewhere

7 No Change in # of Phonemes Example 2: English hypothetical Suppose that we started to pronounce /g/ as [ © ] (weakening). E.g. bigger [ bÈgß% ] > [ bÈ©ß% ] The number of phonemes does not change Bigger and bicker are still a minimal pair /g/ [ © ] (same phoneme, new allophone) This change is happening in the Northwest

8 No Change in # of Phonemes Example 3: Japanese hypothetical Japanese has five vowel phonemes /a e i o ɯ / Suppose [ ɯ ] > [ u ] (unconditioned change) The number of phonemes does not change There are still five vowel phonemes: /a e i o u/

9 Phonemic Merger Example: Cockney English Two unconditioned changes: [ ƒ ] > [f] and [ Ï ] > [v] Four phonemes have been reduced to two That and vat were once minimal pairs; now homophones [væt] Thin and fin were once minimal pairs; now homophones [f È n]

10 Phonemic Split Example 1: Modern English /p/ Peak[p h ik]/p/complementary Speak[spik]/p/ distribution Beak[bik]/b/ Suppose there is deletion of /s/: Peak[p h ik] /p h / new minimal Speak[pik]/p/pair Beak[bik]/b/

11 Phonemic Split Example 2: Japanese ongoing Japanese /d/ has allophones [d ʒ ] (before /i/) and [d] (elsewhere). But some new English loans have [di], e.g. dis ɯ ko disco, contrasting with native words with [d ʒ i]. This is creating the potential for minimal pairs and thus the introduction of a new phoneme /d ʒ /.

12 Other phonological changes The phonology of a language can change in more drastic ways than just the addition or subtraction of phonemes Syllable structure can change Chinese and Vietnamese were once non-tonal languages; they developed tones about years ago

13 Regularity of Sound Change A fundamental principle of historical phonology Sound change is regular If sound A changes to sound B in a particular environment in some words, then sound A changes to sound B in all words with that environment.

14 Regularity of Sound Change Example: Southern American English [ ] > [ È ] / _ [n] (vowel raising) Pen and ten are [p h È n] and [t h È n], homophonous with pin and tin. This sound change is regular It affects [ ] in all words with this environment: when, tennis, Ben, men, glen, etc.

15 Regularity of Sound Change Regularity of sound change is a very important principle It will allow us to reconstruct the pronunciation of languages in the distant past, even when we have no written records We will see how when we do historical reconstruction

16 Historical Morphology Over time, the morphology of a language changes The set of morphemes in the language changes The function and meaning of morphemes changes Inflectional paradigms change Derivational rules change

17 Historical Morphology In extreme cases, languages that were once isolating can develop inflectional morphology Likewise, languages can lose inflectional morphology and become isolating In the last 1500 years, English has lost much of its inflectional morphology

18 Historical Processes Some common types of morphological change are: Grammaticalization (Grammaticization) Analogy Reanalysis Folk Etymology Back Formation

19 Historical Processes Remember: The building blocks of morphology are morphemes, not words The historical processes described here involve changes to morphemes

20 Grammaticalization Over time, a free morpheme (i.e. a word) acquires grammatical (i.e. morphological or syntactic) function Often this process is accompanied by Phonological reduction (gets shorter) Fusion (becomes bound) Semantic bleaching (loses original meaning)

21 Grammaticalization Example 1: English be going to > be gonna Original meaning: motion through space New Function: future tense marker (Im gonna take linguistics next quarter.) Phonological reduction: 3 syllables > 2 syllables, vowels become schwa *Im gonna the store to buy some soap. Semantic bleaching: sense of motion is lost Im gonna stay right here.

22 Grammaticalization Example 2: English have Original meaning: possession Function: auxiliary verb (Ive eaten lunch already) indicating completed action Phonological reduction: have can be pronounced /v/ only when grammaticalized: *Do youve any money on you? Semantic bleaching: possession meaning is lost

23 Grammaticalization Example 3: Chinese /ljaw 214 / > /l ˙ / Original meaning: verb to finish Function: completed action marker (/ wø 21 tswø 51 l˙ / I have done it.) Phonological reduction: monophthongization, vowel reduction, loss of tone Semantic bleaching: no longer used as a verb meaning to finish

24 Grammaticalization Example 4: Japanese /ageru/ Original meaning: verb to give Grammaticalized function: indicates that an action is done on someones behalf Example: Yamada taught Brown kanji. Yamada-san ga Brown-san ni kanji o osiete agemasita Yamada SUBJ Brown IO kanji DO teach-gave Semantic bleaching: no gift changes hands

25 Analogy A powerful force in morphological change A morphological rule is extended, or generalized, to forms by analogy with other forms that already fit the rule Q: Why can we make sentences or derive words that we have never heard before? A: We have learned the morphological and syntactic rules and can apply them But rules also have exceptions

26 Analogy Example: English past tense {-ed} Children growing up hear present and past tense forms of verbs, and induce an inflectional rule based on them: walkwalked+ /t/ learnlearned+ /d/ fadefaded+ / ˙ d/ Rule: Add an allomorph of {-ed} to verb stem to make past tense

27 Analogy Having learned the rule, the child might make an analogy: Walk : walked :: go : ______ Learn: learned :: teach : ______ By analogy, the child applies the rule and says Yesterday we goed to the park or Bill teached me how to tie my shoes or I taked some cookies

28 Analogy Eventually the child may learn the exceptions to the rule. But sometimes analogical formations stay in the language, and the exceptions are regularized. In some English dialects today, people say teached and throwed. Similar changes have happened to many verbs in English, and continue to happen. Whats the past tense of strive? cleave? dive?

29 Analogy Analogy often has the effect of reducing the overall number of allomorphs Example 2: Old English {old} had two allomorphs, /old/ and / ld/: Old - elder - eldest Today these are obsolete. By analogy with Red - redder - reddest (no change to stem) We now have only one allomorph: Old - older - oldest

30 Reanalysis Speakers of a language reinterpret the location of morpheme boundaries This may create new morphemes, or change the forms of existing morphemes Example 1: English a napron > an apron Example 2: English an ewt > a newt Listeners put the morpheme boundary in a new location, and changed the form of the words napron and ewt.

31 Reanalysis Example 3: Creation of a new morpheme Historical morpheme boundary: alcohol-ic Alcohol: noun; -ic: adjective-forming suffix Alcoholic: adj (an alcoholic beverage) An alcoholic person > alcoholic: noun (a person addicted to alcohol) New morpheme boundary: alc-oholic -oholic/-aholic: derivational suffix: work- aholic, choc-oholic

32 Reanalysis Example 4: Lollapalooza Slang: Something outstanding or amazing After the big Lollapalooza music tours, palooza was reanalyzed as a derivational suffix meaning an event thats big and exciting Country-palooza, Polka-palooza, Metal- palooza, Soap-a-palooza, Polar-palooza, …

33 Reanalysis Example 5: Sanskrit > Pali Sanskrit developed into Pali in the first millennium BC in Northern and Central India Sanskrit root krı ̄ to buy kre-tum to buy (infinitive) krı ̄ -ta bought (past participle) stem+past participle suffix krı ̄ -ṇa ̄ -ti he/she buys stem+present tense suffix+3rd-person sg. suffix

34 Reanalysis In Pali, the morpheme boundary in the present tense form was reanalyzed as: krı ̄ ṇ-a ̄ ti he/she buys stem+3rd person sg. suffix Part of the present tense suffix was reanalyzed as part of the verb stem, yielding a new stem kiṇ The result was these new forms in Pali: kiṇ-itum to buy (compare Skt. kre-tum) kiṇ-ita bought (compare Skt. krı ̄ -ta) kiṇa ̄ -ti he/she buys (compare Skt. krı ̄ -ṇa ̄ -ti )

35 Folk Etymology A specific type of re-analysis in which people misunderstand the historical origin of a word (etymology refers to word origins) Example 1: In some dialects of English, asparagus is now called sparrow-grass. Example 2: Hamburger derives from the German city Hamburg plus suffix -er. Speakers assume the word is a compound with first morpheme ham, so conclude that burger is a morpheme too, meaning a type of food patty.

36 Back Formation A specific type of reanalysis and/or analogy that creates new stems from derived or inflected forms Happens when language speakers misidentify a word as being composed of a stem and affix, then remove the affix to get back to what they think is the original stem Child (pointing to plate of cheese): Whats that? Parent: Cheese Child (hearing /z/ and assuming it is a plural suffix): Can I have a chee?

37 Back Formation Consider these verb-noun pairs compensatecompensation denigratedenigration operateoperation procrastinateprocrastination delegatedelegation _________orientation By analogy, speakers assume the verb stem is orientate (historically it is orient). Orientate is a back-formation.

38 Back Formation In Old English, the word for pea was pise (singular), pisan (plural) In Middle English, singular pease was reanalyzed as having a plural {-s} suffix. A new singular form pea was created by back- formation, and peas was reanalyzed as a plural. The singular pease is still preserved in the old nursery rhyme: Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold, pease porridge in the pot nine days old.

39 Next Time Historical Syntax: How sentence and phrase structure changes over time Historical Reconstruction: How we can look at modern languages and determine what they used to sound likeeven without written documents

40 End

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