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Lecture 11

Anthropology 1027A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 11: Apocope, Sound Change, Language Change


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTH 1027A/B
Professor
Kinga Pozniak
Lecture
11

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March 25th 2015
Language change
All living languages are changing
Change does not mean degeneration or decay
Areas of language change:
oSounds
oMorphology
oSyntax
oSemantics
Types of change
Synchronic: change in different places or in different populations
odescribes language at a given point in time
Diachronic: change within a language over time
Why do they change?
variations among speakers get amplified as populations disperse
creative impulse in humans for distinction and innovation
influences of populations in contact
political
models of language relatedness
Related languages descend from a common “mother” language
oEx. Proto Indo-European > Germanic >English, Frisian, German, Flemish,
Dutch….
Models representing relations among languages
oFamily tree
oWave

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Family tree Classification of romance languages
History of language
3 major periods:
oOld English: 450-1100
oMiddle English: 1100-1500
oModern English: 1500-present
Old English (450-1100)
Hwæt! We Gardena in geardagum,
Listen! We of the Spear-Danes in days of yore
þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon,
Of those folk-kings the glory have heard,
hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon.
How those noblemen brave-things did.
Oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena þreatum,
Often Scyld, son of Scef, from enemy hosts
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