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English Language revision site.
Transcript of English Language revision site.
Language Change English from the 18th Century Printing press:
• 1476- William Caxton established the first printing press. Important step in reaching standardisation; as producing
identical copies of a text meant that everyone was reading the same thing, written in the same way.
•Bit tricky for Caxton as everything was often spelt differently according to dialect or the personal choice of the reader. Thus he had to decide on what spellings to use.
•The type of English being used in courts, the universities (in particular Cambridge) and in London at the time were chosen.
o This was already associated with political authority, learning and commerce. It gave books “a feeling of permanence and prestige.” (CGB AQA ENGB A2 revision guide)
•Language became standardised to an extent, but there was still variation.
•Then in the 18th century the state of language became a great concern amongst writers and grammarians. They were worried that if the language was not governed by a strict set of rules, it would decay (QUE PRESCRIPTIVISM).
o Dictionaries and grammar books were published telling people how to use English – and they became popular. First dictionaries had a strong influence on standardised spelling:
Most important was Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language(1755); it contained 40,000 words:
1.Johnson’s dictionary laid down rules for the spelling and meanings of words. Wasn’t the first but it was the biggest – shame he missed “knitting”
2.Johnson backed up his definition with quotes from “the best writers” e.g. Shakespeare and Milton. He also provided the etymology of words. Other dictionaries since then used the same method – Influential!!!!
3.He said his aim was to record language – that he wanted “not to form, but register” English.
4.BUT he also stated that he wanted to tame language because he felt that it was out of control. (oh dear)
5.Was important because it helped standardise spelling and meaning. The dictionary is used as a reference point for the meaning of or spelling of a word. Grammar, influenced by prescriptive books:
Although they have been around since the 16th century, they became really popular in the 18th century, when they were written to lay down the rules of language and prescribe correct usage.
For example, whom is used when who is the object:
Who did you see today? Is incorrect .
Whom did you see today? Is correct.
18th century grammarians were proscriptivists – they outlined the types of languages people shouldn’t use (whilst prescriptivism involves stating what types of language people should use).
For example a proscriptive rule is that a sentence should not end with a preposition, e.g. Where did you come from? Should be From where did you come?
Many of these rules were written by 18th century grammarians such as Robert Lowth, who wrote A short introduction to English grammar (1762). Some rules were imposed from Latin or Ancient Greek because they were seen as superior languages – they were no longer spoken, so they couldn’t “decay” like English could. Contractions:
In the early 18th century contractions had become very common in written and spoken English.
o This was partly because they were often used in poetry to ensure that words fit the metre, and so that printers could make words fit on the line. This meant that contractions were often inconsistent.
However in the 18th century, writers like Jonathan Swift complained that contractions were “corrupting” the English language and it would make the language difficult for future generations to understand.
This led to contractions going out of fashion. By the 19th century they were much less common. Eg. A letter from Wilkie Collins in 1866 reads(blue symbolises 18th century contractions):
I am unfortunately already engaged to dinner on Sunday – or I should have been delighted to dine…
Contractions then started to be frequently used in the second half of the 20th century.
Contractions that are still used in the Present Day English (PDE) were common in early 18th century e.g. can’t, would’ve
Others were also used e.g. t’was, o’er, e’en
Proclitic contractions are less used in PDE; this is where the contracted part of the word is at the beginning. Enclitic contractions are more common in PDE; where the contraction is at the end.
Past participles used to be contracted to show that the final syllable wasn’t pronounced. Reasons for change Stephen Fry: Language
Descriptivism Invasion The expansion of the British empire led to words being borrowed from the countries that came under British rule. These loan words came from India:
• Bandana (1752)
• Shampoo (1762)
• Bangle (1787)
• Dinghy (1810)
• Thug (1810) Science, Medicine During the late modern period, advances in science and medicine led to the invention of new words:
• Centigrade (1812)
• Biology (1819)
• Laryngitis (1822)
• Antibiotic (1894)
• Chemotherapy (1907)
• Penicillin (1929)
• Quark (1964)
• Bulimia (1976) Grammar Perhaps it would
good to include
some AS? Essay structure Word Formation Coalescences Introduction One of the most commonly used coalescent
forms is smog, a blend of the words smoke and fog. State your expectations of a text from the given genre.
Use the provenance of the text to suggest how social values may have changed since the text was written.
State expected reasons for change, again using the context given. Late 20th Century this process became less common, as acronyms came to be widely used - although UK government regulatory groups like OfSTED (Office for Standards in Education)
have names which are coalescences. Acronyms These are words formed from sets of initials,
like NATO, RAF and UN. Main content Early acronyms used capital letters for all elements.
Nowadays, you will often see lower case letters used. Attitudes to Language Change Structure paragraphs in terms of semantics, grammar, pragmatics, etc.
Link features to reasons for change, e.g. technology, commercialisation. Make reference to theorists when doing so.
Make note of features of the genre that haven't changed, as well as findings that subvert your expectations. e.g. YOLO At first these were introduced to represent grammatical words (such as ‘of’ or ‘for’), which might be helpful
in creating an acronym which could be spoken easily. AS English Language Clipping Similar to blending Taking part of an existing word,
like forming ad from advertisement Conclusion Semantic shift Compound Evaluate the extent to which the given genre of text has changed.
Evaluate the most important factors involved in these changes. Semantic shift / change describes the evolution of word usage.
How the modern meaning of a word can be relatively different to its original meaning. Examples of semantic shift include: 865 Neologism 1066 1386 A completely new word 1476 An innovation enters into a language and spreads through the speech community along socially determined lines.
The original meaning of a form is not immediately displaced by the new meaning, but the two may coexist for some time. 1611 Loanword Approaches to Gendered Language 1623 A word borrowed from another language,
like cliché, from French The Presentation Approaches to gendered speech Jennifer Coates in ‘Women, Men and Language’ (1986) outlines four approaches to looking at language and gender. Deficit model Women’s speech somehow inferior to men, deficient to the norm – weaker expletives, empty adjectives, polite forms.
Characterised by Robin Lakoff.
Critiqued by Dubois and Crouch (1975), O’Barr & Atkins (1980), Holmes (1992).
Use as a starting point. Dominance model Assumption that men dominate in mixed-sex speech (connected to patriarchal society). Women’s speech naturally passive, men’s naturally assertive.
Characterised by Zimmerman and West, who used a small sample but found that 96% of interruptions in mixed-sex conversations were by men.
Dale Spender outlines the dominance approach, but as a feminist critique – she wants it to change. Difference model Men and women speak in different ways because they are from different subcultures; both are valuable, but difference may explain why the tow different sexes have problems in communication.
Characterised by Coates, Cameron, Tannen and many other more recent academics. Dynamic or Social Constructionist model Looking at speech through a wider social context; thinking about how genders ‘do’ speech - gender is not fixed, but a social construct and alters in context.
In this sense, features can be classified as masculine of feminine, but that both men and women can use the features in different situations. Language and Influential Power LANGUAGE AND POWER Now look at some possible answers…….. LANGUAGE AND POWER 1 Advertising and special lexis
High frequency adjectives and imperative verbs listed by Ogilvy (cited by Shirley Russell in Grammar, Structure and Style):
new good fresh crisp better natural fine free
buy taste go give look feel use LANGUAGE AND POWER In the 1960s, advertisers began to use grammatical conversion more often, taking a brand name, for example, and using it as a noun, adjective or adverb. This tendency has made a come-back, for example:
That’s so Suzuki
How refreshing, how Heineken. Note there is no attempt to alter the word through attaching a suffix such as -esque or –ish, or using ‘like’. LANGUAGE AND POWER Influential Power LANGUAGE AND POWER Look at the following advertisement extracts and try to say how they work:
Move mountains (Sim City4 PC/Dixons)
Not so much a price as an invitation (flights to Spain/Iberian airways)
A win, win, win, win, win, win situation (6 months free banking/Barclays)
Not even the tax man can catch it (Saab 95 saloon) LANGUAGE AND POWER Barclays: uses a phrase that is a cliché or buzzword among business people: a ‘win-win situation’ implies an arrangement that benefits people at either end, challenging the received wisdom that if X gains, Y loses. Thus the advertiser keeps to a register familiar to the business customer, while printing the adjective six times indicates the number of months for which the free offer runs, and serves to intensify the noun through its repetition. LANGUAGE AND POWER Special registers –
Technical eg car ads
Scientific/Pseudo-scientific eg beauty products
…or registers aimed at an apparent target market (‘Pot Noodle – everything else is just pants’) LANGUAGE AND POWER 3 Advertising and semantics
Denotation - stated (surface) meaning
Connotation - suggested (deeper)meaning
Look at beauty products where there may be connotations of scientific research and innovation (laboratoires Garnier) but little actual information. Comparisons with a real pharmaceutical company show that there is much more information, more precisely given. LANGUAGE AND POWER A good pragmatic approach to studying these texts is to consider the position and viewpoint that the viewer is being asked to adopt.
This might be the widespread assumption that we are all trying to save money, or to get a healthier lifestyle. How does the advertiser hook us into identifying with the viewpoint? What shared references are we invited to acknowledge?
We might also consider the grammatical relationship between imagined receiver of the text's message and its imagined sender – look at pronouns (you, we, our, their etc) or the use of imperatives (and mitigation or politeness forms) LANGUAGE AND POWER 5 Advertising and discourse structures
Simply structured advertising maybe composed of a problem-solution structure, but there are now much more sophisticated ideas used, especially in tv ads.
Advertising is highly imitative and may reference different text types to help to engage our interests – an advertisement may appear to be a child’s writing book, or a postcard, or make visual references to films. This is called intertextuality. LANGUAGE AND POWER A typical discourse pattern which is adopted is the narrative form. A sequence of advertisements may hook us into an imagined world which is like a tiny soap opera – the Oxo couple ‘Katie’ and ‘Philip’, the BT family with the mother and her new partner who has to adjust to being part of his new family; the Renault father and daughter, ‘Papa’ and ‘Nicole’. The Gold Blend advertisements ran for 6 years, releasing one or two new ‘episodes’ each year, (which were then serialised into a novel!)
The short one-off ‘Mini Adventures’ were also popular, as were the post watershed Pot Noodle ads which alluded to sexual behaviour (‘it’s dirty but you want it’) The creative challenge! Collect a series of magazine/paper advertisements and see how you could group these; how many framework features can you spot?
Make a series of playing cards or bingo cards with features of influential power on them, cut out a series of ads - and create a feature-spotting game! LANGUAGE AND POWER Sim City: alliterative and imperative in form, succinctly suggests power, and obliquely refers to religious power (‘faith will move mountains’) – appealing to our desire to have power over events just as people can within the limitations of a ‘virtual’ game.
Iberian airways: repeats the idea, found in many ads, of good value, while at the same time suggesting something personal about visiting Spain through the noun ‘invitation’ which we associate with parties and celebrations. LANGUAGE AND POWER The Saab saloon: implies evading a high taxation, and appeals to the desire to save money and somehow cheat the state, whilst also referring to the high speeds of which the car is capable. LANGUAGE AND POWER Oppositions or contradictory/oxymoronic aspects brought together in a way that suggests it’s unusual to find them together - eg:
Quality and value: ‘good food costs less at Sainsburys’
Aesthetic appeal and functionality: 'Technology with style’ (Smeg) LANGUAGE AND POWER 2 Advertising and grammar
Minor sentences (D Crystal) invite us to fill in the missing elements; noun or verb phrases are frequently used to stand for full ‘messages’:
Happy new radioPrecious metal for precious little
Deals to remember Winter welcome LANGUAGE AND POWER 4 Advertising and pragmatics
Advertisers utilise spaces where we are usually occupied with another task – walking to work, watching a film, sitting on a bus or reading a magazine.
They try to capture our attention by using a range of means at their disposal – for example, a tv ad might use a celebrity, a voiceover, a musical track, sound effects, static or moving text, images, dialogue. Presentation Blackadder:
Ink and Incapability Compounding forms a word out of two or more root morphemes. The words are called compounds or compound words Derivation Deriviation is the creation of words by modification
of a root without the addition of other roots.
Often the effect is a change in part of speech. Affixation The most common type of derivation is the addition of one or more affixes to a root, as in the word derivation itself. This process is called affixation, a term which covers both prefixation and suffixation. 18th century Practices: Formal, complex sentences with embedded clauses Influences: Standardisation, hierarchical society, writing seen as separate from speech. 19th century Practices: Still formal, though less complex. Influences: Standardisation, changes in class attitudes, universal education, dialects represented in literature (Dickens). Borrowings 20th/21st centuries Practices: Simpler syntax, minor sentences, non-standard forms in texts and emails (Shortis). Most borrowings from other languages occur in a given historical period. For example, the close relationship between India and Britain within the British Empire adds to the lexicon in the late 19th and early to mid 20th centuries. Musical terms (from Italian) enter the language from the late 17th century and the 18th. It's a bit of fun Many borrowings from Latin are compounds, such as: Circumference, conjunction, compassion, malnutrition, submarine, substantial, suburb, supernatural, transfer etc. Borrowings from Greek are heavy in the sciences and technology. Borrowings include: biology, geometry, logic, photography, sympathy, telephone etc. Influences: Worldwide and American English, advertising, equality, informality, entertainment and leisure, oral forms affecting writing styles. Greek and Latin More borrowings from classical languages occur
in Modern English than in Old or Middle English Borrowings from Greek are heavy in the sciences and technology. In addition to macro- and micro-, often-used prefixes include poly- and tele-. 1. ad absurdum
ad = to, toward
absurdum (adj.), neutral form of absurdus = irrational, absurd
To the absurd.
2. alea iacta est; originally iacta alea est
alea (noun) = (game of) dice
iacta [est] (verb), passive perfect of iacere = to throw, to hurl
[est (verb), present of esse = to be, to exist]
The dice has been thrown.
3. alma mater
alma (adj.), female form of almus = nourishing, foodgiving
mater (noun) = mother
alias (pron.) = another, other; different
5. alter ego
alter (pron.) = another, the other
ego (pron.) = I
alumnus (noun) = ward, nursling; pupil
7. anno domini
anno (noun), ablative of annus = year
domini (noun), genitive of dominus = master, ruler, lord
Year of the lord.
8. ante bellum
ante (prep.) = before; in front of
bellum (noun), accusative of bellum = war
Before the war.
9. post mortem
post (prep.) = behind, after
mortem (noun), accusative of mors = death
10. mens rea
mens (noun) = mind; disposition
rea (adj.), female of reus = guilty, guilt-ridden; accused
11. tabula rasa
tabula (noun) = board, plank; slate
rasa (verb), past participle passive of radere = to scrape, to scratch
Board that has been scraped.
12. bona fide
bona (adj.), female of bonus = good
fide (noun), ablative of fides = trust, faith
13. carpe diem
carpe (verb), vocative of carpere = to pick, to pluck
diem (noun), accusative of dies = day
Pluck the day.
14. coitus interruptus
coitus (also: coetus, noun) = a coming together; gathering
interruptus (verb), past perfect passive of interrumpere = to break off/apart, to interrupt
A coming together that has been broken off.
15. mea culpa
mea (pron.), female of meus = my
culpa (noun) = fault, error
16. summa cum laude
summa (adj.), superlative of superus = highest
cum (prep.) = with
laude (noun), ablative of laus = praise
With highest praise.
17. ex libris
ex (prep.) = out of, from within
libris (noun), plural ablative of liber = books
Out of (the) books.
18. habeas corpus
habere (verb), 2nd pers. sing. subjunctive of habere = to have
corpus (noun) = body
You [should] have the body.
19. in vitro
in (prep.) = in
vitro (noun), ablative of vitrum = glass
20. post partum
post (prep.) = behind, after
partum (noun), accusative of partus = bearing, birth, delivery
21. semper fidelis
semper (adv.) = always
fidelis (adj.) = faithful
22. et. al. = et alii
et (conj.) = and
alii (pron.), plural of alius = others
23. etc. = et cetera
et (conj.) = and
cetera (adj.), female of ceterus = remainder, rest
And the remainder/rest.
24. e.g. = exempli gratia
exempli (noun), genitive of exemplum = example
gratia (prep.) = for … sake
For the sake of example.
25. i.e. = id est
id = that
est (verb), third person sing. of esse = is
That is. Many borrowings from Latin are compounds circumference, conjunction, compassion, contemporary, malnutrition, multilingual, submarine, substantial, suburb, supernatural, transfer Top 25 Words (and Phrases) We Borrowed From Latin (according to http://blog.brainscape.com/2012/04/top-25-words-we-borrowed-from-latin/) Top 10 words from Greek Mythology 1. Atlas
2.Chronological and Chronic
10.Eureka New scientific and technical terms are often made from the borrowings of Greek and Latin e.g. Television, Microphone Intellectual property of Cameron MacLeod. All rights reserved. Language and Technology Probably a bit before our time, but what the hell The world in the past 200 years Johnson did however forget to include "knitting" in his 40,000 word dictionary. and Technology This is basically what we do... I say basically, I mean abstractly. Extract from podcast Amelioration -When a word develops a more positive meaning eg- Nice used to mean foolish and tremendous used to mean terrible Pejoration- When a word develops a negative meaning eg- Notorious used to mean widely known but now means well known Language change theories - Egregious – Was originally described as something that was remarkably good. The word is from the Latin egregius "illustrious, select", literally, "standing out from the flock". Now it means something that is remarkably bad or flagrant. - Demagogue – Which originally meant "a popular leader", from the Greek dēmagōgós "leader of the people", from dēmos "people" + agōgós "leading, guiding". Now the word has strong connotations of a politician who panders to emotions and prejudice. - Gentle - Was borrowed in Middle English in the sense of ‘born of a good-family, with a higher social standing’. Later the sense ‘courteous’ and then ‘kind, mild in manners’ developed because these qualities were regarded as qualities of the upper classes. Dialect leveling:
A form of standardisation, whereby dialect differences decrease as a result of exposure to other dialects. Chambers and Trudgill (1984) chose to view dialect as a subdivision of a particular language. They saw standard English as another dialect. 1755 First invasions
of vikings Kerswill (2001) and Milroy (2002) are associated with the theory that Estuary English is replacing RP. Norman conquest Chaucer's Canterbury
tales Caxton's printing
press King James
Bible published First folio
of Shakespeare Conversationalisation:
Coined by Norman Fairclough. It describes the 'shifting boundaries between written and spoken discourse practices, and a rising prestige and status for spoken language. Dr. Johnson's Dictionary Synthetic personalisation:
Coined by Norman Faircough, it describes a persuasive device often used in advertising, which is an attempt to create a friendly relationship with the audience through the use of conversational language features. Informalisation:
Tim Shortis' theory that modern methods of communication such as emails and texting have influenced the formality of modern texts. This is similar to conversationalisation. Accommodation theory:
Accredited to Howard Giles. This encompasses convergence and divergence, both upwards and downwards. As an example, the Queen's speech behaviour is downwardly converging. Shifts occur when the sense of a word expands and contracts, with the final focus of the meaning different from the original. Phonological Change Phonological change:
Jean Aitchson argues that processes such as omission (sounds disappear from words) and assimilation (phonemes blend together) occur naturally within all languages. Estuary English:
Coined by David Rosewarne. He suggests that a combination of London dialects could ultimately replace RP as the standard form of spoken English. Three prescriptive attitudes to language change:
These were identified and argued against by Dennis Freeborn, and are as follows:
Incorrectness - language is compared to standard English and RP, deviations are seen as incorrect.
Ugliness - correctness is based upon what sounds appropriate, language that sounds non-standard is perceived as 'ugly'.
Impreciseness - non-standard English is seen as lazy or sloppy. Martha's vineyard:
Studied by William Labov. The accent of the islanders diverged from that of the US tourists over a period of time, as a means of protecting their national solidarity and identity. Synthetic personalisation:
Coined by Norman Fairclough. It is the use of the 2nd person by advertisers to imitate a personal relationship with the audience. Adverts will often contain conversational language and will attempt to come across as friendly. Metaphorical language:
Studied by Tim Shortis, who observed that new terms coined due to advances in technology are often metaphorical, e.g. 'mouse'. Standardisation:
The creation of a standard set of spelling and grammar rules within the English language, which was occurred over centuries, and was significantly contributed to by grammarians, and Johnson's dictionary in 1755, as well as its successors. Fairclough - Synthetic personalisation