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Introduction to Linguistics

Introduction to Linguistics

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Introduction to Linguistics

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  1. Introduction to Linguistics Language Change Yun-Pi Yuan

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. II. Examples of Change • We’ll talk about changes at three levels: sound, grammar, and word. • A. Phonetic and Phonological Changes • Post vocalic r • Addition of /ʒ/, /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

  6. Phonetic and Phonological Changes (1) A. Phonetic & phonological changes 1. post vocalic “r”(Labov 1972; Yule 240-41) • British: no post vocalic “r”; American: with post vocalic “r” in general Some British and American varieties—British (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

  7. Phonetic and Phonological Changes (2) 2. Addition of /ʒ /, /v/ phonemes(Nash 106) a. Before the Norman French invasion of England in 1066, there was no /ʒ / in English. /ʒ /―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

  8. 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 Chaucer and Shakespeare. e.g. night /nIxt/, saw /saux/ Yun-Pi Yuan

  9. Phonetic and Phonological Changes (4) 4. great vowel shift: (~1400-1600)(Yule 220) e.g. mouse /maus/← /mus/; house /haus/ ←/hus/; /u/  /au/ out /aut/ ← /ut/ • Regular vowel sound change: changes in a system are not haphazard, but regular—they occur not in isolated words, but in all words in a certain environment (i.e., /u/  /au/) Yun-Pi Yuan

  10. Great Vowel Shift (1) • The seven long or tense vowels of middle English underwent the following change: aI au u i o e   ɛ Yun-Pi Yuan

  11. Great Vowel Shift (2) Examples from Yule 220: Old Eng. Modern Eng. • hu:s haws (‘house’) • wi:f wayf (‘wife’) • spo:n spu:n (‘spoon’) • brɛ:k bre:k (‘break’) • h:m hom (‘home’) • /e/ /i/ geese • /o/ /u/ goose • // /e/ name Yun-Pi Yuan

  12. 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: before /i/ and /y/ (namely, “ㄩ”), (high front vowel), each of the original phonemes became the corresponding + palatal, - retroflex consonant. Yun-Pi Yuan

  13. A Local vs. Widespread Change (1) • These examples are all of widespread changes—the change spreads throughout the language; there are also local changes—which don’t spread so far—thus regional varieties. • Examples of local change: • Parts of NYC: /з/  /oi/ e.g., third, bird, heard, first  thoid, boid, hoid, foist • 台灣國語 Yun-Pi Yuan

  14. A Local vs. Widespread Change (2) • a local change vs. a widespread change These two examples, great vowel shift & 台灣國語 example, can help to show that regional sound differences (accents) are not bad in any way, but are only examples of the results of natural sound changes which did not spread beyond certain areas. Thus, no dialect or variety of a language can claim to be superior to or purer than some other variety. Yun-Pi Yuan

  15. Morpho-Syntactic Changes (1) • Question formation • Negative sentence formation • Case endings • Verbs • Other examples • Mandarin Yun-Pi Yuan

  16. Morpho-Syntactic Changes (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 don’t know who/whom to give it to. (“whom”: mainly in formal speech and writing) Other remnants: other pronoun forms (e.g., I/me, he/ him, she/her), plural forms. A remnant still in the process of changing Yun-Pi Yuan

  17. Morpho-Syntactic Changes (3) 4.verbs: examples: (from Elgin 211) ic cepe “I keep” ðu cepest “you keep” he he heo cepeðshe keeps hit it we cepað “we keep” ge cepað “you keep” hi cepað “they keep” Note: Historical development of English Old English: ~7th century to end of 11th century Middle English: ~1100-1500 Modern English: after 1500 Yun-Pi Yuan

  18. Morpho-Syntactic Changes (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 ðone cyning. b. ðone cyning sloh se man. c. se man ðone cyning sloh. d. ðone cyning se man sloh. e. sloh se man ðone cyning. f. sloh ðone cyning se man. Comparisons: The man slew the king. The king slew the man. se: definite article only with subject ðone: definite article only with object. So, with the article (& suffixes), word order wasn’t so important— but now word order (and preposition, too) is crucial in modern English. Therefore, word order matters now. Yun-Pi Yuan

  19. Morpho-Syntactic Changes (5) • This change (reduction of Eng. inflections) related to Great Vowel Shift (phonological change)—which made it hard to distinguish the endings—necessitated other changes in order for the lang. to remain clear & processible, also quick & easy, & expressive (which could also be related to processes of child lang. acquisition) so, suffixes dropped out, Eng. word order becomes stricter and prepositions become more important. Yun-Pi Yuan

  20. Morpho-Syntactic Changes (6) 6. Mandarin: related to monosyllabic questions—ancient Mandarin: monosyllabic; but phonological changes caused many formerly distinct syllables (morphemes) to become homophonous (e.g. 要, 藥). “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. Polysyllable: a word that contains more than 2 or 3 syllables. e.g. “unnecessary” Yun-Pi Yuan

  21. Lexical Changes (1) • Lexical Changes(Nash 111-14; Yule 221-22) It’s 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

  22. 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 words—all native; of next 100, 83—native  out of corpus of 50,000 words). Why so many borrowed words?  History of Eng. language. Yun-Pi Yuan

  23. 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 Christianity—this 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

  24. Lexical Changes (4) Middle English (ME): ~1100-1500 (or 1150 ~1500) Norman invasion in 1066: ruling class used French—the 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

  25. Lexical Changes (5) Renaissance: 14th~17th century • Greek and Latin represented LEARNING (still an influence in scientific terminology) • Borrowed words also got lost: “Of the more than ten thousand new words brought into English during the 16th and 17th centuries, only about half are still in use” (Clairborne 162). • Borrowing can be “direct” or “indirect” “algebra”: Arabic  Spanish  English “grammar”: Greek  Latin  French  English Any Eng. Japanese Taiwanese? e.g. tomato, beer, truck, 秀逗 , lighter, slippers Modern English: after 1500 Economic domination of US: McDonald’s, microsoft, Costco, etc. Note: half doesn’t mean bad at all. Yun-Pi Yuan

  26. Lexical Changes (6) 2. Loss of words: • Borrowed words also got lost: “Of the more than ten thousand new words brought into English during the 16th and 17th centuries, only about half are still in use” (Clairborne 162). • usually not as noticeable as borrowing—gradual e.g. 1. from Shakespeare (Nash 113) 2. Hebrew—lost curse words, had to borrow form Arabic (Nash 113) 3. avoidance of “bad words”: cock in American English (Nash 113) Yun-Pi Yuan

  27. Change in Meaning (1) 3. Change in meaning: a. Broadening holiday: “holy day”—now 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

  28. 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

  29. Change in Meaning (3) c. Shifting nice original: “ignorant” bead original: “prayer” silly original: “happy” (OE)  ”naïve” (ME) “foolish” (Modern English) Shift through borrowing: “footing” (borrowed from English) in Spanish = “jogging” “lady-like” (in English): 她很 “lady” Yun-Pi Yuan

  30. 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

  31. III. Reasons for Change (2) • 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

  32. III. Reasons for Change (3) 2. New ideas, inventions, new things from other countries Television, computer, (set off whole big range of changes: “window,” “modem,” “hard copy,” “mouse”), technological development, tea (words plus whole associated list of tea utensils, tea-making processes), toufu, pizza, 比薩, 漢堡, etc. Yun-Pi Yuan

  33. 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

  34. 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 process”–each new user of the language “has to ‘recreate’ for him- or herself the language of the community.” Yun-Pi Yuan

  35. 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

  36. Speaker Errors (2) • reversal of position of phonemes e.g. “comfortable” very often pronounced /kΛmftɚ bl/ (Nash 107) e.g. metathesis (OE Modern E): involves a reversal in position of two adjoining sounds. For example, bridd  bird; hros horse; frist first (a similar e.g. of metathesis by modern cowboy as a dialect variant within modern Eng.: purty good pretty good); in some American English dialects: ask  aks(Yule 220) Yun-Pi Yuan

  37. Speaker Errors (3) • spelling pronunciations:(Nash 107)Pronunciations have been affected by word spellings. • e.g. often /ftən/, sword, singer [Note: Chinese examples should be called a “writing pronunciation,” not a spelling pronunciation. e.g. 太空“梭”“俊“;癌vs. 炎; 床笫之事; 莘 莘學子; 龜裂; 占卜; 病入膏肓; 一丘之貉] Yun-Pi Yuan

  38. III. Reasons for Change (5) 3. preference for regular systems:(Nash 117) (Universal Operating Principle—“Avoid exceptions”) • e.g. 1. Singular/plural nouns cow—kine (pl.) cows bandit—banditti (pl. Italian) bandits agendum (sing.)—agenda (pl.) agenda (singular)--agendas (plural) pizza—pizze (pl.) pizzas (pl.) syllabus—syllabi (pl.)  syllabuses • e.g. 2. Irregular past tense forms: sweep—swept  sweeped light—lit lighted dream—dreamt dreamed Yun-Pi Yuan

  39. 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 processibility and expressiveness  strict word order and more prepositions) • e.g., for “quick and easy”: • abbreviations replace longer original forms • e.g., laser Yun-Pi Yuan

  40. IV. Historical Linguistics (1) • Comparative reconstruction(Yule 213-17) • “Linguistic investigation of this type…focuses 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. Sanskrit—Latin—Greek), some very far apart geographically (see Yule 214 chart). Linguists studied these similarities; examined older written materials (when available); hypothesized a common ancestor—on the basis of the similar features and the development that would be traced through older records. Yun-Pi Yuan

  41. IV. Historical Linguistics (2) Cognates: • words that have descended from a common source (as shown by systematic phonetic and often semantic similarities) are called cognates. • (2) possible family connection between different languages within groups (Yule 215). • (3) A word in one lang. which is similar in form and 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 in forms and meaning, but are borrowings and not cognate forms. e.g. (Swahili) kampuni= a borrowing from (English) “company”) Yun-Pi Yuan

  42. Germanic Languages (Cognates) More closely related : Eng. Dutch, German, Swedish Note: Turkish is not a Germanic language because vocabulary items fail to show systematic similarities. Yun-Pi Yuan

  43. Cognates vs. Non-cognates Which language is unrelated? Note: English, Russian, Hindi distantly related because they belong to different smaller families (i.e. Germanic, Slavic, Sanskrit). Yun-Pi Yuan

  44. Some General Principles • So, from this kind of comparison—with 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

  45. 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

  46. 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 #42,43—Language Family Trees) 1. Indo-European 2. Sino-Tibetan Yun-Pi Yuan

  47. Indo-European Languages Proto-Indo-European Germanic Celtic Italic Hellenic Balto-Slavic Indo-Iranian Baltic Slavic Indic Iranian (Latin) (Ancient Greek) (Sanskrit) German English Dutch Danish Swedish Norwegian Icelandic Yiddish Afrikaans etc. Irish- Gaelic Scots- Gaelic Welsh Breton Italian Spanish French Portuguese Romanian Catalan Romansch Sardinian Occitan Greek Latvian Lithuanian Russian Polish Czech Bulgarian Serbo-Croatian Slovene etc. Hindi-Urdu Bengali Punjabi Marathi Gujarati Romany etc. Persian Pashto Kurdish etc. Yun-Pi Yuan

  48. Sino-Tibetan Languages Sino-Tibetan Tibeto-Burman Sinitic Miao-Yao (?) (# of tones) Szechuan Burmese Tibetan Sharpa Newari Northern Mandarin (4) Central Mandarin (5) Southwest Mandarin (5) Hsiang (6) Hakka (6) Wu (7) Min-pei (7) Min-nan (7) Cantonese (8) Miao Yao Yunnan N. India Nepal Burma Tibet South China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand Shanghai Yun-Pi Yuan

  49. 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

  50. Typological Classification (1) • Similar word order patterns • SOV: Japanese, Korean, Turkish • SVO: English, Chinese (sort of) • VSO: Hebrew, Welsh, Maasai (language in Kenya) • Morphology—word structure • Isolating • Agglutinating • Synthetic/inflectional • polysynthetic • Phonological systems Yun-Pi Yuan