16_causes_of_change

16_causes_of_change - Eight Causes of Language Change 1 Why...

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Eight Causes of Language Change 1 Why do languages change? Language change is constant, pervasive, and systematic Specific changes in a given language are not predictable in advance. However, certain types of language changes occur repeatedly and their motivations can be examined. Most linguists consider these eight causes of language change to be common: i) Ease of articulation ii) Expression of new meanings iii) Desire for novelty iv) Regularization or rule extension v) Redundancy reduction vi) Metanalysis vii) Obsolescence of meanings viii) Language contact
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2 Eight causes of language change 2.1 Ease of articulation Ease of articulation may initiate common phonological changes, especially deletion and assimilation. 2.1.1 Deletion Deletion is common in language change throughout the world. Some examples from the history of English (additional examples are in your textbook): [k] deletion in [kn] initial words (you can hear [kn] in the recording of Canterbury Tales): [kniif] > [najf], [knee] > [ni] [g] deletion before [n]: [ ] > [sajn], [ ´µ¶µ·±²¸ ] > [ ´¹¶º·µ»¸ ] [x] deletion: [rixt] > [rajt], [nixtingaal] > [najt º ngel] Some deletions in process in many dialects of English today: Schwa in many words: ‘potato’ [ptedo], ‘Timothy’ [ ¼½¸¾± ]
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2.1.2 Assimilation Assimilation: a change on which a sound becomes more similar to a neighboring sound. Examples from English: Nasals often assimilate in place to following stops, e.g.: co n tortion, co m post, co[ ]quer. Many consonants palatalize before front (especially
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course ENG 01 taught by Professor Orgun during the Winter '08 term at UC Davis.

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16_causes_of_change - Eight Causes of Language Change 1 Why...

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