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Department
Linguistics
Course Code
LIN100Y1
Professor
K.Kyumin

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Historical linguistics
-Study of the description and explanation of language change
Language change
-All languages undergo change over time
-All components of grammar (semantics, syntax, morphology, phonology, and
phonetics) are subject to change
-Language change is systematic, with specific causes
Causes of language change
-Articulatory simplification
oEase of articulation, a physiological motivation
oArticulatory simplification via consonant deletion or vowel insertion, both
to simplify a complex consonant cluster
-Spelling pronunciation
oIntroduce new pronunciation more closely related to spelling
oSpelling tends to change less than pronunciation
-Analogy
oCognitive-based cause of change
oChange to follow existing language patterns
oPhonological and semantic irregularities absorbed into the preferred
regularity
-Reanalysis
oCognitive-based cause of change
oChange in morpheme boundary
oA word given component morphemes when it formerly was without,
whether correctly or in error
oFolk etymology
Reanalysis of unfamiliar morphemes into familiar ones, without
conscious or thorough study of that word
-Language and dialect contact
oTwo or more languages or dialects interacting
oBorrowing
Primarily affects the lexicon, occasionally introduces new sounds
and distributions
oHypercorrection
Overgeneralization of particular rules
Sound change
-Most sound change involve sequences of segments, but also individual segments
Sequential change
-Assimilation
oSimplifies articulatory movements
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Description
Historical linguistics - Study of the description and explanation of language change Language change - All languages undergo change over time - All components of grammar (semantics, syntax, morphology, phonology, and phonetics) are subject to change - Language change is systematic, with specific causes Causes of language change - Articulatory simplification o Ease of articulation, a physiological motivation o Articulatory simplification via consonant deletion or vowel insertion, both to simplify a complex consonant cluster - Spelling pronunciation o Introduce new pronunciation more closely related to spelling o Spelling tends to change less than pronunciation - Analogy o Cognitive-based cause of change o Change to follow existing language patterns o Phonological and semantic irregularities absorbed into the preferred regul
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