Presentation on theme: "Language Change Revision lecture Unit 3 ‘Developing Language’ Exam Section B."— Presentation transcript:
Language Change Revision lecture Unit 3 ‘Developing Language’ Exam Section B
Planning READ. ANNOTATE.PLAN. Aim for 15 minutes planning time- this should include any relevant annotation and an overview of the structure of your response
Structuring your response Remember to cluster your findings and analysis- if in doubt, the best way to organise your ideas is by analysing the text according to the key frameworks. That said, ‘significant language features’ (linked back to genre) can be the starting point of your response Ensure that you select fewer features and respond to them ‘in depth’, rather than ‘glossing over’. Select analyse with link to genre explore processes of change June 2010: ‘Good responses, for example, selected words that could exemplify semantic change or the influences of other languages on English were able to meet all the AOs, if developed.
Context is key! Remember: context must be your starting point, outlining the context of production and reception; linking to genre and purpose will provide a strong foundation for the rest of your response Read the data booklet carefully, it will provide all the details of production that you need. Don’t forget to read the secondary detail on the SOURCE of the data- this might give you more clues!
Context: The importance of genre Identification of the GENRE is essential; most examiner’s reports have drawn attention to the ‘superficiality’ of responses that fail to consider the genre of the data Ensure that you explore the implications of genre and situational factors: WHY was the text produced? What was the producer aiming to achieve? How does this impact on specific lexical, grammatical, pragmatic (etc.) choices? E.g. Defence testimony=> PERSUADE : How does the speaker represent themselves/ their opposition?
Genre/ purpose Must form the basis of your response – starting with the most salient features (lexis? Discourse structure?) Linked linguistic features to context For example: In the ‘A Charge’ Speech: E.g. genre of a speech- link to particular features of the text/s such as the prosodic effects of punctuation and rhetorical devices such as the address to ‘gentlemen’ the warnings and motivations to the male students in the rhetoric, the biblical lexis linking to the society of the time and the references to the ‘vulgar’ cementing the social hierarchy and expectations of students at the time More on context to come!
Considering the text producer Perspective Voice of the text: tone e.g. satirical, humorous Register Representation
Mode Good answers will consider mode and multimodality – if applicable! For example in a reported oral testimony students did well by acknowledging the complexity of the text as a written account of someone’s prepared, spoken testimony. This could be taken a step further to consider whether it was mode or the age of the text that was responsible for some of the features identified.
AO1: Linguistic methods Lexis + Change: The introduction of new lexical items; words that fall out of use Neologisms/ coining Borrowing- loan words (usually nouns and adjectives) Affixation –a ‘productive source’ of lexical developments; suffixes (word class) and prefixes (meaning) (see Latinate/ Greek sheets- e.g. ‘hyper’ Compounding: ‘jet set’, ‘body-blow’ (not always hyphenated) Blending: netiquette Conversion: text, chair, mail (words change class/ function) Back Formation- losing an element to a word: editor edit; commentator commentate Eponym: Hoover, Nicotine Proprietary name: Kleenex, Xeroxed
AO1: Linguistic methods Lexis+ change Abbreviations: Acronyms: SATS, NASA Initialism: FBI; FYI Clipping: dropping syllables- ‘deli’ Also consider lexical units such as noun phrases and any pre or post modification that occurs
AO1: Linguistic methods Lexis Archaisms : Obsolete words ‘doth’, ‘trow’ Less fashionable words e.g. courting, wireless
Lexical choices French: political Latinate: often compounds Greek : Science/ technology Often Polysyllabic – but not always! Vs Monosyllabic High Frequency lexis
Comparing Lexis – a note from the examiner Students will benefit from applying an integrated approach: E.G June 2010: Some of the best answers used the features which the two texts had in common- the lexical set of football and its fan base- to make interesting comments on the nature of status and celebrity, formality and informalisation. This enabled candidates to integrate their linguistic understanding with issues and concepts (AO2) and the contexts of production and reception of the texts (AO3)
AO1: Linguistic Methods Grammar Negative constructions: ‘I deny it not’ (now: negative before the verb) ‘Invented’ rules: double negatives: ‘I don't know nothing about that.’; prepositions should not come at the end of a sentence: ‘This is the man that I spoke to’ (could be linked to dialect) Pronouns: ye, thou, thee etc. Word functions: often technological influence e.g text Intensifiers: ‘I’m so not ready for this exam!’ Consider grammatical constructions + link to genre! E.g. imperatives in advice texts
Grammar: Syntax Syntax: More effective responses will identify where word classes have appeared to have changed position in more recent forms of English- Inverted syntax : VSO SVO Complex sentences with a number of clauses
AO1: Linguistic Methods Semantics – changes in meaning Archaisms Obsolete word/ meaning Narrowing (for specialisation): ‘meat’ used to mean ‘food’ in general Broadening (for generalisation): ‘bird’, ‘place’ Amelioration- ‘nice’ Pejoration: (derogation) – ‘gay’ Political correctness (half-caste, actress); can obscure meaning ‘sanitation consultant’ toilet cleaner Metaphors, idioms, cliches, euphemisms : ‘figurative expressions give new meanings to old words’
Pragmatics Implied meaning Shared understanding
AO1: Linguistic Methods Orthography Spelling first major development with Caxton’s printing press (link to standardisation of Estuary dialect); Johnson- foundations of standardisation Spelling- sometimes phonetic, always evolving! Punctuation: increased complexity by end 17 th C ESH (Long S): initial and medial usage until 1800s Capital letters: nouns Modern changes: technology, ease, informalisation
Language Change Processes: Standardisation A gradual, ongoing process, not an ‘event’! Language EVOLUTION! Language was not completely ‘unstandardised’ before Johnson/ Lowth! By the end of the 19th century prescriptive grammar had reached its highest level of development; the system of grammar known in modern linguistics as ‘traditional’ had been established.
Attitudes to change Prescriptivism: Lowth, Humphrys etc. Language change = Decay Classical languages (e.g. Latin) seen as ideal models for English: correct, pure forms ; sets of rules in order to use language ‘properly’ Prestige Dr. Samuel Johnson, in the preface to his 1755 Dictionary of the English Language, notes that "tongues have a natural tendency to degeneration" but mocks the lexicographer who imagines that his dictionary "can embalm his language", as "to enchain syllables, and to lash the wind, are equally the undertakings of pride". In the act of giving us the most enduring of our authorities for standard forms, Johnson sees its limitations.
Attitudes to Change Damp-spoon Crumbling Castle Infectious disease
Attitudes to change Descriptivism: Aitchinson, Crystal, Cameron etc Describes how language is actually used, rather than prescribing how it should be used OED early 20 th C: Editors were descriptivists – record, rather than prescribe Values all varieties No reason why ‘standard English’ should be the prestige form Language change is inevitable; language change is progress Crystal: language change is neither progress, nor decay
Synoptic studies: other relevant concepts Gender Power: instrumental, influential, positional etc. Overt/ covert prestige Synthetic personalisation Accommodation: Convergence/ Divergence; social networks Political correctness Standard/ non-standard uses
AO3: Contextual Influences Migration, travel, the British Empire- expansion, Globalisation Movement in and out of cities Wars or invasions Science and technology Trade, working practices, new inventions Social, ideological and cultural changes- esp. gender roles/ changing attitudes and perceptions; religion Media- esp. representation
Focus on the data! Careful with prescriptive/descriptive debates: do not reference linguists unless their arguments link directly to the data E.g. In the School Reports comparison: More thoughtful applications of prescriptivism were seen in the connections made to 'enunciated reading & recitation' to attitudes about speaking 'properly' and engagement with the subtleties of formality in both texts. Avoid commenting on language as ‘incorrect’ prior to standardisation Look for words that you could link to all three Aos
Do not just throw in ‘blocks’ of contextual information that are not linked explicitly to the data. Ensure your points are supported with evidence from the data. Avoid applying any ‘rehearsed’ AO2- don’t try to squeeze the data into your knowledge! Don’t ‘speculate’ on what a modern text might say or do IF there is a modern text in front of you! Only relate language change to a modern-day text if you are responding to a single text Don’t feature spot! Texts may be linked by topic rather than genre
And Finally… Good Luck! We wish you all the best!!
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