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Unformatted text preview: 10/12/2010 1 1 HUMA100E Introduction to Sociolinguistics Lecture 6 Sociolinguistic Study of Cantonese Phonetic Variation and Change 11 October 2010 Prof. Robert S. BAUER Division of Humanities Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Topics in this Lecture • Three Dimensions of Language Change • Phonetic, Lexical, and Social Aspects of Language Change • Possible Impacts of Language Change on Speech Community • Sociolinguistic Basis of Language Variation and Change • Phonological Variation X ~ Y and Change in Hong Kng Cantonese Speech Community • Theory of Lexical Diffusion 2 3 Terminology for Phonological Variation and Change • Linguistic variation • Social variation • Phonological variation • Phonological change, Sound change • Diachronic variation • Synchronic variation • Phonological variable and its variant forms • Stages of sound change 4 Synchronic Study of Phonological Variation and Change • Narrow time frame of sound change • Broad time frame of sound change • Phonological variable and its variant forms • Social variable • Sociolinguistic interview • Stratified random sample population of speakers • Style shifting 5 Synchronic Study of Phonological Variation and Change • Spontaneous speech • Casual speech, casual style • Formal speech, formal style • Reading passage style • Word-list style • Free variation • Conditioned variation • Conditioned sound change • Unconditioned sound change 6 Phonological Variation and Change and the Theory of Lexical Diffusion • Theory of Lexical Diffusion • Phonological dimension of sound change • Lexical dimension of sound change • Social dimension of sound change • Variation in both sounds and words as mechanism of sound change 10/12/2010 2 7 Three Dimensions of Language Change 1. Time Dimension: Language change occurs over time. We can compare a language’s current state with that of a few years ago, a few hundred years ago, or even a few thousand years ago. Pronunciation of a word, meaning of a word, or syntactic usage can all be compared over time to see if there has been change between the two time periods. Time 1 Time 2 14 th century 21 st century Language A ==> Language A 8 Three Dimensions of Language Change 2. Linguistic Dimension Change can affect a word' s pronunciation, its meaning, its syntactic usage, etc. We can represent these kinds of changes as follows: (1) Sound X => Sound Y (2) Meaning A => Meaning B (3) Usage 1 => Usage 2 9 Historical Sound Change Historical (i.e. diachronic) sound change refers to changes in pronunciations of words that have occurred over a broad time span of several hundred or several thousand years....
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