2Historical Lingustics Definition:the study of how languages change over time.
3Reasons for Language Change The nature of societygeography and isolation of groups,invention/discovery of new things,imperfect learning, andsocial status.Example: Martha’s Vineyard, MassachusettsMove to lower socioeconomic status to show membership in year-round resident groupExample: Children learn imperfectly and transmit their errors to younger children.
4Reasons for Language Change The nature of languageease of articulation,analogy, andmetaphorExample: Metaphors eventually change the meaning of words into their metaphorical meaning (arms (on the body) to arms (weapons) and brazo (arm) to braceros (laborers))
5Language Change Occurs in PhoneticsPhonemicsMorphologySyntaxSemantics
6Regular sound shifts that occur over time in many languages Phonetic ChangesRegular sound shifts that occur over time in many languagesGrimm’s Law (1822)bh b b p p fdh d d t t thgh g g k k xVoiced voiced voiced voiceless voiceless voicelessaspirated plosive plosive plosive plosive aspiratedEG. Latin Englishpater father p-f, t-thpiscis fish p-ftres three t-th
7Verner’s LawWhen the stress/accent falls on the root syllable of the word, Grimm’s law works; when it does not, then Verner’s Law works:p bt dk g
8Assimilation – one sound influenced by the pronunciation of a neighboring sound. (Don’t be silly – Dombe silly)Dissimilaton – when the same consonant sound appears close together, one will disappear (surprise – supprise, governor – govenor)Haplology – the loss of one of two repetitive syllables (probably – probly, Anglaland – England)Loss – a sound disappears – Old English eahta (8)Prothesis – introduction of an extra sound at the beginning of a word – Latin scola to Spanish escuela.Apocope – the loss of final sounds – Old English helpe to help.Etc………Types of Sound Change
9Types of Morphological Change Analogy – irregular forms change to conform to regular patterns –helpan, healp, holpentohelp, helped, helpedGender changes –Early Indo European masculine, feminine and neuter toFrench - masculine and feminineDutch - common and neuterEnglish - noneGerman and Greek – masculine, feminine and neuter
10Types of Semantic Change Lexical history (etymology)Borrowing - French from English - weekend, parkingLoan Translation - German from English – telephone to ferensprecherfern=distant, sprecher=speakerObsolescence - Concept no longer useful – English telexExtension - A word widens its meaning – Latin virtue is a male quality, English is used for both males and femalesAmelioration – loss of negative connotation, English mischievous used to mean disastrous
11Reconstructing Past Languages Contemporary accounts – writings by authors who described language at the timePoetic evidence – rhymingAlphabetic evidence – alphabets had added symbols for soundsComparative reconstruction based on families of languagesIn future – tape recordings and video recordings.