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LANGUAGE CHANGE AND VARIATION IN ENGLISH (Chapter 1, pp. 21-62). MAIN TOPICS Concepts of change and variation: how and why Attitudes to language: standard and non-standard varieties The main phases in the history of English
YUPPIE, DINKY, NIMBY
Since the 1980s YUPPIE( Young Upwardly Mobile Professional People), DINKY (Double Income No Kids), NIMBY ( Not In My Backyard) to refer to different groups of people and their life styles
Since the 1970s Ms was suggested to neutralise the distinction between Mrs and Miss in order to avoid “linguistic sexism”
BORROWING from other languages, e.g. Words from Italian in classical music ( e.g allegretto, pizzicato) and to refer to typical Italian food (spaghetti, pizza)
GAY, MEAT, SUBPRIME
From gay (merry/ cheerful) to gay (male homosexual)
From meat ( meaning food ) to the present more restricted meaning
In 2008 subprime, from adjective into noun to refer to “a subprime loan”
Thou / you
e.g Thou shalt not kill (The Bible)
You must not kill
A search based on The British National Corpus (BNC)says that thou is used 748 times in religious or literary texts and you 668,260 in a variety of contexts
e.g.To whom should I complain?
Who/whom should I complain to?
According to the BNC who is used 200,998 times and whom is used 12,596
“external”, e.g. historical events, inventions, new ideas, contact with other languages and cultures
“internal” e.g. analogy, regularity, reorganisation, hypercorrection
1. SOCIAL FACTORS LINKED TO LANGUAGE USERS, such as region, social class or group , education, gender , ethnicity, age
e.g. Labov’s analysis of the pronunciation of [r] in New York city after 1945 according to social class and style (pp. 22/23)
2. SOCIAL FACTORS LINKED TO THE CONTEXT OF SITUATION , i.e. topic, relationships between participants and the medium chosen
e.g. AVIAN INFLUENZA versus BIRD FLU
influenza aviaria versus l’influenza dei polli
e.g. SWINE INFLUENZA versus SWINE FLU versus inflenza A [H1N1]
influenza suina versus influenza dei maiali
e.g. GREETING DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEOPLE
GOOD MORNING TOM
GOOD MORNING, MR JOHNSON
GOOD MORNING, PROFESSOR PRAT
GOOD MORNING , JOHNSON
GOOD MORNING, SIR/ MADAM
GOOD MORNING, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
The lesson is beginning!
Can you listen to me, please?
Would you mind keeping silent?
Be quiet over there
Shut up, will you?
Attendance is not compulsory!!!
(Shut your big mouth)
All the varieties of a language are equally acceptable and interesting for a linguist and for its users
in each epoch there is a more socially accepted variety, which is considered the standard variety. A standard is associated to the elites of the time ( monarchy, the parliament, upper classes, intellectuals, educated people, the media or literature writers), and will be gradually elaborated and codified in grammars, dictionaries and style books
SOME CONCEPTS AND TERMS:
Synchrony/diachrony, sociolinguistics, social variables (related to users and to the context of situation), historical linguistics, history of the language, comparative linguistics, language family, Indo-European, Germanic family, Romance or Neolatin family
IS THE STUDY OF THE HISTORY AND VARIETIES OF ENGLISH RELEVANT TO UNIVERSITY STUDENTS OF ENGLISH?
2. The Norman period
3. Modern period
Great Britain and Northern Ireland united under the British crown. New territories explored and stable colonies established in America, Asia and Africa
4. 20th Century :
From English to “Englishes”
English as a global language
1. OLD ENGLISH, OE (700-1150)
2. MIDDLE ENGLISH , ME
3. MODERN ENGLISH, ModEngl. (1500-1900)
4. PRESENT-DAY ENGLISH (PDE) (to the present)HISTORICAL PERIODS AND LINGUISTIC PHASES
(Chapter 1, § 3.1, 3.2)
SOME MYSTERIOUS POPULATIONS (see Stonehenge , 3000 B.C)
THE CELTIC AND GAELIC INHABITANTS ( today many areas are bilingual and some geographic names are of Celtic origin , e.g. London, Leeds, Kent, Cornwall, Thames )
THE ROMANS INVADED THE ISLAND AT THE TIME OF CAESAR ( 50 B.C. ) AND ABANDONED IT IN THE 5th CENTURY A.D.)
5th century A.D: some Germanic tribes (Anglo-Saxons and Jutes) arrived in England and forced the Celts to move west and north
OE: We cildra biddaþþe , eala lareow, þæt þu tæce us [...].
We cildra þe biddaþ, eala lareow, þæt þu tæce us [...].
We cildra þe biddaþ, eala lareow, þæt tæce þu us [...]
(1066 or 1150-1500)
1066 The Normans invaded England and went into power. They spoke French (or Anglo-Norman) while Latin was the language of the Church and education, and Anglo-Saxon English was still the language of the majority of the population. Gaelic was spoken in Scotland
1204 The Normans lost their power in favour of English kings
1215 The Magna Charta Libertatum (in Latin)
The most authoritative example of written literary English: The Canterbury Tales by G. Chaucer (14th century)
1476 Introduction of the printing press in England by William Caxton
1 Thanne were ther yonge povre scolers two,
PDE: Then there were two young poor scholars,
2 That dwelten in this halle, of which I seye.
PDE: Who dwelt (lived) in this hall, of which I say.
Chapter 1, § 3.3.
1. BRITAIN BECAME A UNITED AND POWERFUL COUNTRY ( but with only 7 million inhabitants!)
2. BRITAIN BECAME A COLONIAL WORLD POWER
I praise God for you sir, your reasons at dinner haue beene sharpe and sententious: pleasant without scurrillity, witty without affection, audacious without impudency, learned without opinion, and strange without heresie…
To be, or not to be: that is the question:Whether \'tis nobler in the mind to sufferThe slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;No more; and by a sleep to say we endThe heart-ache and the thousand natural shocksThat flesh is heir to, \'tis a consummationDevoutly to be wish\'d. To die, to sleep;To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there\'s the rub;For in that sleep of death what dreams may come…
● fully inflected
● free word order
● mainly Germanic vocabulary
Middle English (1100-1500)
● reduced inflection
● increasingly fixed word order
● French and Latin influence on vocabulary
Modern English (1500-1900)
● very reduced inflection
● greater use of fixed word order
● codification of language
Present-day English (1900-nowdays)
● very reduced inflection and fixed word order
● formation of new native and non-native varieties worldwide
● English as a global lingua francaThe four main periods of English: a summary
1ST STAGE: The expansion of English within the British Isles with the reduction of Gaelic languages to minority languages in Scotland, Wales and Ireland
2ND STAGE: The colonial empire and the birth of colonial varieties of English and Pidgin and Creoles
3RD STAGE: the spread of English as a global lingua franca
Chapter 1, §4.1-4.10
RED = where English is the first and often only language of most people DARK PINK = where English as a native language but there is at least one other significant native tonguePINK = countries where English is not the native, but only the official language
External reasons: the colonial and industrial power of Great Britain in the 18th and 19h centuries; the political, economic and technological power of the USA in the 20th century; the number of speakers; the geographical spread; the cultural heritage
Internal reasons: morphological simplicity, structural clarity, size and mixed nature of its vocabulary, flexibility in creating new words, adaptability to distant contexts.
1. Native varieties of English (ENL or L1), such as American English, British English, Australian English, Canadian English, New Zealand English, but also regional varieties such Northern English, Southern American
2 Varieties of English as a Second Language (ESL or L2), used intranationally in former British colonies in the institutional, media and educational fields ( e.g. Indian English, Nigerian English, South-African English, Singapore English, Hong Hong English)
“…the English language ceased to be the sole possession of the English some time ago”
(Salman Rushdie, 1991)
…a set of different but related varieties which share a common core of grammar and vocabulary. They differ mainly in pronunciation and lexis, with limited differences in spelling and in grammar.
The two main ones are British English (BrE ) and American English (AmE). They provide the norms for EFL learners.
… have gone through a process of language contact (i.e. imposition of native norms followed by nativisation/ hybridisation/acculturation
e.g. “As honest as an elephant, been-to, township, apartheid, co-wife, younger husband”)
…. have been progressively acknowledged as local standards (e.g. Indian English, East-African English), described in dictionaries and grammars and used by writers
… share common features that are different from native standard varieties
1. I was feeling thirsty, so I bought one soda
2. Last time she come on Thursday
3. We are having something to do
4. Whenever we go there they be playing
5. She came yesterday, isn’t it?
You must be the change you want to see in the world.
Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
For production :
- follow one of the native standards chosen on the basis of proximity, tradition, personal needs or taste (e.g. British Standard English or American Standard English).
- be prepared to understand different varieties
A world language is necessary for mutual intelligibility in a
A post-national language may be useful to world democracy and citizenship
English is the vehicle of different cultures
Non-native writers reach a world audience
English is killing other languages and cultures
People are becoming lazy in learning other languages
English expresses a particular world view and favours its native speakers (cultural imperialism)
English has become uncontrollable
Will interpreters and translators become useless?
Non-native writers sacrifice their own identitiesPros and consof English as the lingua franca of today’s world
Take some Picts, Celts and SiluresAnd let them settle,Then overrun them with Roman conquerors. Remove the Romans after approximately 400 yearsAdd lots of Norman French to someAngles, Saxons, Jutes and Vikings, then stir vigorously. Mix some hot Chileans, cool Jamaicans, Dominicans,Trinidadians and Bajans with some Ethiopians, Chinese,Vietnamese and Sudanese. Then take a blend of Somalians, Sri Lankans, NigeriansAnd Pakistanis, Combine with some GuyaneseAnd turn up the heat.
Sprinkle some fresh Indians, Malaysians, Bosnians
Iraqis and Bangladeshis together with someAfghans, Spanish, Turkish, Kurdish, JapaneseAnd Palestinians Then add to the melting pot. Leave the ingredients to simmer. As they mix and blend allow their languages to flourishBinding them together with English. Allow time to be cool.Add some unity, understanding, and respect for the future,Serve with justiceAnd enjoy. Note: All the ingredients are equally important. Treating one ingredient better than another will leave a bitter unpleasant taste.
PdE is an analytic language because grammatical and syntactic relations are expressed by fixed word order and grammatical words like prepositions rather than through inflection
English was brought by colonisers to different parts of the world during the 17th, 18th and 19th century, first to America and then to Asia and Africa. Different native and non-native varieties have gradually developed thus creating a vast multicultural speech community.
Three categories have been identified by the linguist Katchu:
1. People for whom English is the mother tongue (ENL). There are several native varieties that partly differ in pronunciation, lexis, grammar and spelling. The two most important native standards are British English (BE) and American English (AmE).
2. people for whom English is the second language (ESL) in former English colonies, such as India and Kenya. These Englishes partially differ from native norms and are gradually recognized as independent standards.
3. people for whom English is a foreign language (EFL) who usually take a native variety as their model
Languages change for EXTERNAL and INTERNAL reasons. The former are major historical, political and cultural events like the Norman invasion in 1066, the Industrial Revolution or the colonial expansion since the 18th century. The latter refer to changes in the language system such as the Great Vowel Shift from the 15th to the17th century, and the gradual loss of inflection in nouns and verbs from Old English to Present-Day English
Lexical change is usually sudden as new words may be required to refer to new ideas, objects and discoveries. For instance, “hippy, yuppy, dinky, nimby” were created to describe different life styles in the 20th century
Grammatical change is usually slower. For instance, the loss of inflection in nouns, adjectives and verbs took many centuries from 500 to 1900