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Causes of language change

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Causes of language change The English language is one that is always and will never stop developing and changing. Dr Johnson and Jonathan Swift both tried to fix the language and both strived to make sure the language could never change. However, they both realised that this is an impossible feat. There are many factors that cause language to develop and change. These factors fall into two classifications. These are 'External' and 'Internal' External factors are to do with language chance that is not of the individuals personal needs. Such as factors that have predominated through an external social force. An example of an external factor would be the ever-changing developments of technology. If something new comes into society then a lexical term needs to be to brought in for a referee. ...read more.


Americanisms also illustrate foreign influences. E.g. 'Happy Holidays' or 'Can I use your bathroom' or 'Do the math' Child language acquisition can also affect changes in language, albeit only for a small segment of a child or a parent's life. Children are not directly taught how to speak how we speak, they imitate and sometimes this doesn't always happen and the child doesn't imitate perfectly, therefore, the pronunciation of words may firstly be incorrect - thus changing the language. Moreover, children don't learn some of the grammar that their parents do, as they don't here it around a lot. For example, the past tense of "help" use to be "holp" but because we have gradually regularised English words so that past tenses have acquired "-ed" on the end, this has died out of use. ...read more.


For example, loss of inflections and assimilation. However, the loss of inflections was compensated for with the strict word order. Humans have always had a desire to communicate effectively, i.e. to be able to communicate effortlessly and quickly. Jean Aitchinson suggests that if language change was only due to how fashionable we sound or the drift of sounds then the language would soon up in chaos. Moreover, it seems the English language only borrows aspects from other languages as they easily fit easily into our own. Therefore, the external factors according to Aitchinson are fairly superficial, concluding that there must be deeper psychological factors for which determines how or why the language changes. All of the above factors concentrate on human desires and their wish to communicate effectively or easily. However, language is always seeking more patterning and regularity, which, without we would probably forget our language. Consequently, language will always change to repair and improve the patterning. ...read more.

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