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Language Change- Linguistics

Par   •  21 Novembre 2018  •  4 048 Mots (17 Pages)  •  251 Vues

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double comparison

She’s more beautifuller than you are.

He’s my bestest friend

He’s the most roughest.

adjective forms for adverbs

He ran slow.

Come quick! (also colloquial standard English)

unmarked plurals

a hundred pound

five foot

place prepositions:

I was at London.

He went up the park.

- revival of the "mandative" subjunctive, probably inspired by formal US usage

We demand that she take part in the meeting.

– elimination of shall as a future marker in the first person

– - development of new, auxiliary-like uses of certain lexical verbs (e.g. get,

want ,

e.g., The way you look, you wanna / want to see a doctor soon.

- increase in the number and types of multi-word verbs (phrasal verbs,

have/take/give a ride, etc.)

- placement of frequency adverbs before auxiliary verbs (even if no

emphasis is intended

I never have said so

demise of the inflected form whom

- increasing use of less instead of fewer with countable nouns

e.g. less people

- spread of the s-genitive to non-human nouns

e.g. the book’s cover

- "singular" they

e.g. Everybody came in their car.


- a tendency towards analytical comparatives and superlatives (politer

more polite) ?

- empirical picture isn’t that clear

- towards end of 20th century: with –y-words + -le-words more

synthetic, with –ly wo

rds more analytic

- i.e. the change brings about a differentiation in processes,

"regularisation of a confused situation”

- my bad

- be like

- meister

- bot, from robot, knowbot, mobot (mobile devices)

- centric

cyber, cyberspace cyberpunk

e- e-café, e-zine, etc.

-ist , ageist, sizeist

tele, telebanking, telemarketing

- Über, überbabes, über-TV-show

- ware: software, freeware, charityware, etc.


Middle English Grammar

- loss of inflections 11th and 12th centuries, so it started well before the

influence of the Norman Conquest,

- the grammar system took a few hundred years to reorganize itself, until the

last part of Middle English


1. Viking settlements: contact situation led to a pidgin-like or Creole English

with fewer endings and more reliance on word-order; this may have spread

from the north-east to the East Midlands where Standard English later came


2. difficult to hear the difference between endings if the first syllable is mostly

stressed + weakening of unstressed final pre-consonantal vowels

- with loss of inflections word order became central

- change from synthetic to analytic grammar

- French invasion and retreat: removal of language authority as a condition for



- early texts: ’ne’ (no/na) was placed before the negated verb: I ne can ne I ne

may (I do not know how to nor am I able to)

- ’ne’ was often reinforced by ’nought’ (nought/nothing), ’nought’ developed

into ’not’: Ne reche I nought (I don’t care)

- double or triple negation was common: ne hadden nan more to gyuen (they

had no more to give); for nan ne was o the land (there was none in the land)

- extra negative words made negation stronger, emphasis

- ne dropped out in the 14th century, but remains for emphasis in some nonstandard


– not then follows the verb: I know not you

Word Order

SVO typical,

but: still forms like wenten they (still to be found in the 19th century), when the

subject was short


loss of declension= declinazione, except a few forms: genitive and a few remnants of dative

endings, for Gode, on honde, in lande

- because of inflection (declension) loss: more prepositions

OE: tham scipum (datives) Middle English: to the shippes

Mutated Plurals: - change of stem vowel: man – men, fot – fet, gos – ges

– broþer – breþer + additional


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