Introduction to Linguistics Language Change Yun-Pi Yuan 1 I. Introduction: change=a fact; attitudes towards change II. Examples of change at all levels A. sound (phonetic and phonological) B. morpho-syntactic C. lexical changes III. Reasons for change A. External (social) reasons) B. Internal reasons: natural linguistic processes a. child language acquisition b. speaker errors c. preference for regular systems d. competing pressures IV. Historical linguistics
A. comparative reconstruction a. cognates b. non-cognates c. general principles B. results of comparative reconstruction: lang. families C. language classification: a. genetic b. typological Yun-Pi Yuan 2 I . Introduction (1) Language change is an undeniable fact: look at ancient Chinese, at Beowulf, at rapid changes in slang. Some people object to language change; they want to protect and preserve pure and correct language. Examples (Nash 105): French law (in 1975)
prevents the use of borrowed words (especially from English) in advertising: le club, le bar, le hit parade, le weekend, les hot dog. But, fighting a losing battle, since fighting a natural process Yun-Pi Yuan 3 I . Introduction (2) All languages change; all parts of the grammar can and do change: phonology, morphology, syntax, lexicon, semantics, sociolinguistic rules, etc. Change can involve Addition, Loss and Shift (including individual elements e.g. a word added, lost, or shifts meaning; and rules, too). Yun-Pi Yuan
4 II. Examples of Change Well talk about changes at three levels: sound , grammar, and word. A. Phonetic and Phonological Changes Post vocalic r Addition of //, /v/ phonemes Loss of /x/ Great vowel shift Mandarin consonant split B. Morpho-Syntactic Changes C. Lexical Changes Addition Loss of words Change in meaning Yun-Pi Yuan 5
Phonetic and Phonological Changes (1)changes A. Phonetic & phonological 1. post vocalic r (Labov 1972; Yule 240-41) British: no post vocalic r; American: with p ost vocalic r in general Some British and American varietiesBriti sh (high class; also Boston, parts of NYC, parts of the south in the US): pronounce /r/ only when it comes before a vowel e.g.: car, farm red (spelling shows it was there before) Yun-Pi Yuan 6 Phonetic and Phonological Changes (2) 2. Addition of / /, /v/ phonemes (Nash 106)
a. Before the Norman French invasion of England in 1066, there was no / / in English. / /added to English through the influence of borrowed French. e.g. pleasure, measure, vision b. Also before the Norman invasion, Old English had no /v/ phoneme. French words that were borrowed into English (e.g. very, vain, vacation) stimulated the split of /f/ into two phonemes, /f/ and /v/. Yun-Pi Yuan 7 Phonetic and Phonological Changes (3) 3. loss of sound /x/: (Nash 106) voiceless velar fricative /x/ was in English, but disappeared between the times of Cha ucer and Shakespeare.
e.g. night /nIxt/, saw /saux/ Yun-Pi Yuan 8 Phonetic and Phonological Changes (4) 4. great vowel shift: (~1400-1600) (Yule 22 0) e.g. mouse /maus/ /mus/; house /haus/ /hus/; /u/ /au/ out /aut/ /ut/ Regular vowel sound change: changes i n a system are not haphazard, but regul arthey occur not in isolated words, but in all words in a certain environment (i.e. , /u/ /au/) Yun-Pi Yuan
9 Great Vowel Shift (1) The seven long or tense vowels of middle English underwent the following change: aI au i o e u
Yun-Pi Yuan 10 Great Vowel Shift (2) Examples from Yule 220: Old Eng. Modern Eng. hu:s wi:f spo:n
Yun-Pi Yuan 11 Phonetic and Phonological Changes (5) 5. Mandarin consonant split (see Nash 106) Six of each of the Mandarin consonants split into two phonemes. This split can be described by rule: befor e /i/ and /y/ (namely, ), (high front v owel), each of the original phonemes be came the corresponding + palatal, - retro flex consonant. Yun-Pi Yuan 12 A Local vs. Widespread Change (1) These examples are all of widespread changesthe change spreads through
out the language; there are also local c hangeswhich dont spread so farth us regional varieties. Examples of local change: Parts of NYC: // /oi/ e.g., third, bird, h eard, first thoid, boid, hoid, foist Yun-Pi Yuan 13 A Local vs. Widespread Change (2) a local change vs. a widespread ch ange These two examples, great vowel shift & example, can help to show th at regional sound differences (accents) are not bad in any way, but are only exa mples of the results of natural sound cha nges which did not spread beyond certai
n areas. Thus, no dialect or variety of a l anguage can claim to be superior to or p urer than some other variety. Yun-Pi Yuan 14 Morpho-Syntactic Cha nges (1) Question formation Negative sentence formation Case endings Verbs Other examples Mandarin Yun-Pi Yuan 15 Morpho-Syntactic Chan ges (2) B. Morpho- syntactic changes
(Nash 108-11; Yule 221) 1. Q formation (Nash 108) 2. negative sentence formation (Nash 109) 3. case endings (Nash 109-110) Nouns (marked with suffixes) who/ whom questions: (Nash 108) e.g. I dont know who/whom to give it to. (whom: mainly in formal speech and writing) A remnant still in the process of changing Other remnants: other pronoun forms (e.g., I/me, he/ him, she/her), plural forms. Yun-Pi Yuan 16
Morpho-Syntactic Cha nges (3) 4. verbs: examples: (from Elgin 211) ic cepe u cepest he heo cepe hit we cepa ge cepa hi cepa I keep you keep he she keeps it
we keep you keep they keep Yun-Pi Yuan Note: Historical development of English Old English: ~7th century to end of 11th century Middle English: ~1100-1500 Modern English: after 1500 17 Morpho-Syntactic Cha nges (4) 5. Other examples:
Old English about 7th century to 11th century (1066) 1. 8 forms of the (Nash 110): 2. example (Framkin and Rodman) The Man Slew the King (6 possible word order in Old Eng.) a. se man sloh one cyning. b. one cyning sloh se man. c. se man one cyning sloh. d. one cyning se man sloh. e. sloh se man one cyning. f. sloh one cyning se man. se: definite article only with su bject one: definite article only with object. So, with the article (& suffixes), word order wasnt s o important but now word or der (and preposition, too) is cr ucial in modern English. Comparisons: The man slew the king.
The king slew the man. Therefore, word order matters now. Yun-Pi Yuan 18 Morpho-Syntactic Cha nges (5) This change (reduction of Eng. inflections) related to Great Vowel Shift (phonological c hange)which made it hard to distinguish t he endingsnecessitated other changes in order for the lang. to remain clear & proces sible, also quick & easy, & expressive (whi ch could also be related to processes of chi ld lang. acquisition) so, suffixes dropped out, Eng. word order becomes stricter and prepositions become more important. Yun-Pi Yuan 19 Morpho-Syntactic Cha
nges (6) 6. Mandarin: related to monosyllabic questionsancient Mandarin: monosyllabic; but phonological changes caused many formerly distinct syllables (morphemes) to become homophonous (e.g. , ). Threat of too many homophonous morphemes forced Mandarin to dramatically increase the proportion of polysyllabic words. (Li and Thompson 14) Homophone: a word that sounds the same as another, but is different in spelling, meaning, and origin. e.g. knew and new are homophones. Yun-Pi Yuan Polysyllable: a word that contains more than 2 or 3 syllables. e.g. unnecessary 20
Lexical Changes (1) Lexical Changes (Nash 111-14; Yule 221-22) Its not difficult to add words to a language (as seen in Morphology, many derivational processes); Words can be added, lost, or changed. Addition Loss of words Change in meaning Broadening Narrowing Shifting Yun-Pi Yuan 21 Lexical Changes (2) 1. Addition a. derivational
processes b. borrowing (a process, not a reason) Majority of English words (as in a dictionary) are borrowed. But, most of the most frequently used words are native to English (100 most frequent wordsall native; of next 100, 83native out of corpus of 50,000 words). Why so many borrowed words? History of Eng. language. Yun-Pi Yuan 22 Lexical Changes (3) Historical development of English: Old English (OE): ~7th century to end of 11th century (or 450 ~1150)
Angles, Saxons, Jutes from northern Europe invaded the British Isles in 5th century spoke Germanic languages developed into earliest form of English. 6th to 8th centuries converted to Christianitythis brought Latin influence alphabet, many borrowed words. 8th to 9th centuries Viking invaders brought another language influence: old Norse. (many settled there). Yun-Pi Yuan 23 Lexical Changes (4) Middle English (ME): ~1100-1500 (or 1150 ~1500) Norman invasion in 1066: ruling class used Frenchthe nobility, government, law, church leaders. But, the language of common people: still English. e.g. (low-class and high-class people used different words) cow/beef; pig/pork; sheep/mutton; calf/veal; deer/venison.
Colonial/imperial periods: (economic imperialism now) e.g. curry, tea, pajama (from India). Yun-Pi Yuan 24 Lexical Changes (5) Renaissance: 14th~17th century Greek and Latin represented LEARNING (still an influ ence in scientific terminology) Borrowed words also got lost: Of the more than ten th ousand new words brought into English during the 16th and 17th centuries, only about half are still in use (Clair borne 162). Note: half doesnt mean bad at all. Borrowing can be direct or indirect algebra: Arabic Spanish English grammar: Greek Latin French English Any Eng. Japanese Taiwanese? e.g. tomato, beer, truck, , lighter, slippers
Modern English: after 1500 Economic domination of US: McDonalds, microsoft, C Yun-Pi Yuan 25 ostco, etc. Lexical Changes (6) 2. Loss of words: Borrowed words also got lost: Of the more than te n thousand new words brought into English during t he 16th and 17th centuries, only about half are still in use (Clairborne 162). usually not as noticeable as borrowinggradual e.g. 1. from Shakespeare (Nash 113) 2. Hebrewlost curse words, had to borrow form Arabic (Nash 113) 3. avoidance of bad words: cock in American English (Nash 113) Yun-Pi Yuan
26 Change in Meaning (1) 3. Change in meaning: a. Broadening holiday: holy daynow any day without work (social change, too) picture: now including photograph sail: now a spaceship sails, too (Nash 114) dog: used to mean a certain breed of dog; now dogs in general (also see hound below) Yun-Pi Yuan 27 Change in Meaning (2) b. Narrowing girl original: young person of either sex meat (Bible) = food; now animal flesh
used as food (Nash 114) hound original: dog of any type; now usually hunting dog wife original: any woman Yun-Pi Yuan 28 Change in Meaning (3) c. Shifting nice original: ignorant bead original: prayer silly original: happy (OE) nave (ME) foolish (Modern English) Shift through borrowing: footing (borrowed from English) in Spanish = jogging lady-like (in English): lady Yun-Pi Yuan 29
III. Reasons for Change (1) External (social) reasons: Socio-political upheavals New ideas, inventions, new things from other countries Other social reasons Internal reasons: natural ling. processes Child language acquisition Speaker errors Preference for regular systems Competing pressures Yun-Pi Yuan 30 III. Reasons for Change (2)
A. Social Reasons (external reasons) 1. Socio-political upheavals: Wars, invasions: such as Norman invasion of England in 1066; Japanese occupation of Taiwan; religious conversions Chinese civil war (geographical/physical separation): differences in Mandarin between Taiwan and Mainland China Yun-Pi Yuan 31 III. Reasons for Change (3) 2. New ideas, inventions, new things fr om other countries Television, computer, (set off whole big ran
ge of changes: window, modem, hard copy, mouse), technological developmen t, tea (words plus whole associated list of te a utensils, tea-making processes), toufu, piz za, , , etc. Yun-Pi Yuan 32 III. Reasons for Change (4) 3. other social reasons: social gender/class/status differences: female: leads to standard, prestigious use male: vernacular, non-standard lang. use social interaction: tightly knitted community, few interaction with outside world fewer changes population:
multilingual more changes Yun-Pi Yuan 33 III. Reasons for Change (5) B. Internal reasons: natural linguistic processes: 1. child language acquisition: No one teaches them. Children build their own grammar from what they hear; it gradually becomes more and more similar to adult grammar, but never exactly like adult grammar. Moreover, they hear many different speakers, who each have a slightly different grammar. A tenuous transmission processeach new user of the language has to recreate for himor herself the language of the community. Yun-Pi Yuan
34 Speaker Errors (1) 2. speaker errors: assimilation as a speaker error (Nash 107) sound change: e.g. gamel gamble; thuner thunder; tener tender release /m/ as a stop, both bilabial (/m/ and /b/) alveolar (both /n/ and /d/ ) Yun-Pi Yuan 35
Speaker Errors (2) reversal of position of phonemes e.g. comfortable very often pronounced / k mft bl/ (Nash 107) e.g. metathesis (OE Modern E): involves a reversal in position of two adjoining sound s. For example, bridd bird; hros hors e; frist first (a similar e.g. of metathesis b y modern cowboy as a dialect variant with in modern Eng.: purty good pretty goo d); in some American English dialects: a sk aks (Yule 220) Yun-Pi Yuan 36
Speaker Errors (3) spelling pronunciations: (Nash 107) Pro nunciations have been affected by word spellings. e.g. often /ftn/, sword, singer [Note: Chinese examples should be cal led a writing pronunciation, not a spell ing pronunciation. e.g. ; vs. ; ; ; ; ; ; ] Yun-Pi Yuan 37 III. Reasons for Change (5) 3. preference for regular systems: (Nash 117) (Universal Operating PrincipleAvoid exceptions)
e.g. 1. Singular/plural nouns cowkine (pl.) cows banditbanditti (pl. Italian) bandits agendum (sing.)agenda (pl.) agenda (singular)--agendas (plural) pizzapizze (pl.) pizzas (pl.) syllabussyllabi (pl.) syllabuses e.g. 2. Irregular past tense forms: sweepswept sweeped lightlit lighted dreamdreamt dreamed Yun-Pi Yuan 38 III. Reasons for Change (6) 4. competing pressures: (the 4 Rules) e.g. involved in case endings change (one change leading to another)
sound change: first affected endings, then something had to happen to maintain proc essibility and expressiveness strict wor d order and more prepositions) e.g., for quick and easy: abbreviations replace longer original forms e.g., laser Yun-Pi Yuan 39 IV. Historical Linguistics (1) A. Comparative reconstruction (Yule 213-17)
Linguistic investigation of this typefocuses on the historical development of languages, and attempts to characterize the regular processes which are involved in language change. (Yule 213 bottom) Note: regular processes = rule governed Scholars noted certain similarities between different languages (e.g. SanskritLatinGreek), some very far apart geographically (see Yule 214 chart). Linguists studied these similarities; examined older written materials (when available); hypothesized a common ancestoron the basis of the similar features and the development that would be traced through older records. Yun-Pi Yuan 40 IV. Historical Linguistics (2)
Cognates: (1) words that have descended from a common so urce (as shown by systematic phonetic and ofte n semantic similarities) are called cognates. (2) (2) possible family connection between different languages within groups (Yule 215). (3) (3) A word in one lang. which is similar in form a nd meaning to a word in another lang. because both langs. are related. e.g. (Eng.) brother vs. (German) bruder (Note: sometimes words in 2 languages are similar i n forms and meaning, but are borrowings and not cognate forms. e.g. (Swahili) kampuni= a borrowing from (English) company) Yun-Pi Yuan 41 Germanic Languages (Cognates) More closely related : Eng. Dutch, German,
Swedish English Dutch German Swedish Turkish /mn/ /mAn/ /mAn/ /mAn/ adam /hnd /hAnt/ /hAnt/ /hAnd el / man hand /fut/ /br/ foot bring /vu:t/ /fu:s/ /fo:t/ ayak
/bree/ /bren/ /briA/ getir Note: Turkish is not a Germanic language because vocabulary items fail to show systematic similarities. Yun-Pi Yuan 42 Cognates vs. Noncognates Which language is unrelated? English Russian Turkish Hindi two dva iki do
three tri tin brother brat karde bhaya nose nos burun
nak (na hi) Note: English, Russian, Hindi distantly related because they belong to different smaller families (i.e. Germanic, Slavic, Sanskrit). Yun-Pi Yuan 43 Some General Principles So, from this kind of comparisonwith much larger set of cognates (data) many regular processes of change (rules) were figured out. [Note: all this is sound (phonological) change.] 1. The majority principle (see Yule 216) 2. The most natural development principle Yun-Pi Yuan 44
The Most Natural Development Principle a. final vowels often disappear b. voiceless sounds become voiced between vowels and before or after voiced consonants (assimilation) c. stops become fricatives (weakening) d. consonants become voiceless at the end of words e. consonants become palatalized before front vowels. (relevant to the split of Mandarin consonants, Nash 106) f. (other) fricatives become /h/
g. difficult consonant clusters become simplified. Yun-Pi Yuan 45 Language Families B. Some results of comparative reconstruction: (Yule 214 chart) Language families: about 30 language families identified so far (+ 4,000 languages) Family Trees: (see slides #42,43Language Family Trees) 1. Indo-European 2. Sino-Tibetan Yun-Pi Yuan 46 Indo-European Languages Proto-Indo-European
Germanic Celtic Italic Hellenic Balto-Slavic Baltic (Latin) Slavic (Ancient Greek) German English Dutch Danish Swedish Norwegian
Icelandic Yiddish Afrikaans etc. IrishGaelic ScotsGaelic Welsh Breton Italian Spanish French Portuguese Romanian Catalan Romansch Sardinian Occitan Greek
Latvian Lithuanian Yun-Pi Yuan Indo-Iranian Indic Iranian (Sanskrit) Russian Polish Czech Bulgarian SerboCroatian Slovene etc. HindiUrdu Bengali Punjabi
Marathi Gujarati Romany etc. Persian Pashto Kurdish etc. 47 Sino-Tibetan Languages Sino-Tibetan Tibeto-Burman Sinitic Miao-Yao (?) (# of tones)
Burmese Szechuan Northern Mandarin (4) Tibetan N. India Nepal Burma Tibet Sharpa Newari Central Mandarin Yunnan Shanghai (5) Miao Yao
Cantonese (8) Yun-Pi Yuan South China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand 48 Language Classification Genetic vs. typological classification: Genetic classification comparative reconstruction: show historic relationships and changes
Typological classification another way to classify languages is by structural similarities Yun-Pi Yuan 49 Typological Classification (1) Similar word order patterns SOV: Japanese, Korean, Turkish SVO: English, Chinese (sort of) VSO: Hebrew, Welsh, Maasai (language in Kenya) Morphologyword structure Isolating Agglutinating Synthetic/inflectional polysynthetic
Phonological systems Yun-Pi Yuan 50 Isolating Languages Isolating (analytic) languages: E.g., Mandarin Chinese (& English to a great e xtent), Cantonese, Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambo dian All of its words consist of a single morphem e (root), so therere few bound morphemes (affixes); e.g., Categories such as number and tense mus t therefore be expressed by a free morphe me (a separate word); e.g. or or Yun-Pi Yuan 51
Agglutinating Languages Agglutinating languages: E.g., Turkish (one-to-one correspondences) Making extensive use of words containing t wo or more morphemes (a root and one or more affixes). Each affix is clearly identifiable and charact eristically encodes a single grammatical con trast; e.g., affixes in Turkish: ev = house, e v-ler = houses (ler marks plurality), ev-ler-de = in the houses (de = in) Yun-Pi Yuan 52 Synthetic/inflectional Languages Synthetic/inflectional languages
Several-to-one correspondences Example: Russian Affixes often mark several grammatical categories simultaneously. e.g. Ptits-i peli (=Birds sang.) A single inflectional affix (i.e., I) indicates : (1) the noun belongs to the feminine ge nder class (i.e., the Ns gender class) (2) the noun is plural (its number) (3) N functions as subject (its grammatical role) Yun-Pi Yuan 53
Polysynthetic Languages Polysynthetic languages: e.g. Swahili, native languages of North Am erica Long strings of bound forms (or affixes) are united into single words (which may be equ al to entire sentence in English). e.g. ni ta ku penda (Swahili) I-will-you-love (I will love you) Yun-Pi Yuan 54 A Mix Language: English English: a mix language 1. lots of isolatingfree morphemes, function words 2. also agglutinatingin derivational
morphemes. For example, unwillingness 3. some syntheticpronouns (person, gender, number, case, all in one form) e.g. he=the third person, singular, masculine subject Yun-Pi Yuan 55 Phonological Systems 3. Phonological systems Tone/intonation language: Chinese/English Stress time vs. syllable time language: Stress time: rhythm is based on the stressed syllable (i.e., Eng. poetry); the stressed syllable is more important Syllable time: syllable = unit of rhythm; stressed or not, every syllable receives more or less equal time English vs. French, Spanish, (and maybe
Chinese) Yun-Pi Yuan 56 Genetic and Typological Lang (1) Genetically related languages may be different typologically. E.g., Eng. + Russian distantly related genetically, which are very different typologically. Russian: highly inflectional, extensive case system, free word order English: few inflections, almost no case marking, fixed word order Yun-Pi Yuan 57 Genetic and Typological Lang (2)
Typologically similar languages ma y be unrelated genetically. Chinese & Vietnamese: both isolating lang uages, but genetically unrelated. Hebrew & Massai: both VSO languages, b ut genetically unrelated. Chinese & Thai (5 tones): both tone languages, but genetically unrelated. Yun-Pi Yuan 58 Review Is language change for better or worse? Is it i nevitable? Can you give some examples about language change at phonetic & phonological, morpho-s yntactic, and lexical level? What are the reasons for change? How are languages classified? Name four Germanic languages. Define the terms: cognates, isolating languag
es, agglutinating languages, and the majority principle. Yun-Pi Yuan 59
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