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There are a number of common threads running through language change. Describe the most important ones and illustrate with examples using your knowledge of systematic frameworks.

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Introduction

There are a number of common threads running through language change. Describe the most important ones and illustrate with examples using your knowledge of systematic frameworks. (400) Changes in the language that we use arouse strong emotions, with examples of change often seized upon as confirmation that standards in society are falling. Others argue that change is inevitable, and that we should focus on how language is changing rather than make judgements about how good or how bad these changes are. Hostility to language change is not surprising. ...read more.

Middle

For example, the use of double infinitives in 'I don't know nothing about that'. These were once perfectly acceptable in English (Chaucer/Shakespeare) and sentences containing them are not likely to be misunderstood. Borrowing, possibly one of the most influential in language change, occurs when words are taken from other languages. Such words may also be known as loan words. Examples include: soprano (Italian), Lager (German), Pyjama (Indian). Over the centuries English has absorbed an especially large number of French, Latin and Greek words. Borrowing sometimes occurs when a new idea or product is introduced to English life (the Russian word 'Vodka' entered the language in this way). ...read more.

Conclusion

It involves adding prefixes or suffixes to existing words to form new words. Prefixes often used in this way include micro-(as in 'microwave'), multi-(as in 'multimedia'), inter-, super-, mega- and so on. In modern English, some semantic change has arisen from the desire for political correctness. There has been a drive to replace words and expressions that are considered offensive or demeaning to disadvantages or minority groups. Some notable examples include; Mixed race (replacing 'Half-caste'), words such as 'actor, 'sculptors' etc (which now refer to females as well as males). The view most favoured today is that English is neither progressing nor decaying - it is simply changing. Languages adapt themselves to the differing needs of each generation. Word Count: 425 Sanjay Mistry A2 Language Change 01/03 ...read more.

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