Language change and variation

This is the basis of the apparent-time hypothesis where age-based variation is taken as an indication of linguistic change in progress.

Language change

In other cases, a sound change may be "conditioned" so as to apply in certain kinds of environments and not in others. In the cases where we have access to several historical stages -- for instance, the development of the modern Romance Languages from Latin -- these sound changes are remarkably regular.

Here is a puzzle: People will identify some of these features as marking the "best" or most "beautiful" form of the language, other features will be considered nonstandard or undesireable.

Sound change and Phonological Language change and variation The concept of sound change covers both phonetic and phonological developments. At that time, there was a length distinction in the English vowels, and the Great Vowel Shift altered the position of all the long vowels, in a giant rotation.

The experience of each individual is different, and the process of linguistic replication is imperfect, so that the result is variable across individuals. Sociolinguistic variables[ edit ] Studies in the field of sociolinguistics typically take a sample population and interview them, assessing the realisation of certain sociolinguistic variables.

Variation (linguistics)

Alternatively, imperfect learning occurs regularly in one part of society, such as an immigrant group, where the minority language forms a substratumand the changed forms can Language change and variation influence majority usage.

The pre-print era had fewer literate people: Dictionary-writers try to keep track of the changes in languages by recording and, ideally, dating the appearance in a language of new words, or of new usages for existing words. Groups of speakers will reflect new places, situations, and objects in their language, whether they encounter different people there or not.

In contrast to assimilation, dissimilation, metathesis, and haplology tend to occur more sporadically, i.

Language Variation

Word meaning change in a similar way, through conventionalization of processes like metaphor and metonymy. Techniques developed in such cases permit us to reconstruct the sound system -- and some of the vocabulary -- of unattested parent languages from information about daughter languages.

Thus, in a mixed-gender group, gender differences tend to be less pronounced. That is, speakers of a particular age will use a specific linguistic form in successive generations. That is, a polite and empathic male will tend to be accommodated to on the basis of their being polite and empathic, rather than their being male.

Just as street youth dress differently from the "norm", they also often have their own "language". Assimilation, or the influence of one sound on an adjacent sound, is perhaps the most pervasive process.

Language is transformed as it is transmitted from one generation to the next. SIL assessment specialists use quantitative and qualitative research methods for studying language variation. The greater the inherent similarities shared between two varieties, the more likely that the speakers of each will be able to understand the same literature.

There might be only slight variations between forms of a language — such as minor pronunciations of words or a slight changes of grammatical structure that do not inhibit intergroup communication. Working collaboratively with the community gains quality information and builds capacity and awareness in the local community.

For example, when we hear the word "wicked", we automatically interpret it as either "evil" or "wonderful", depending on whether it is uttered by an elderly lady or a teenager. Spelling changes[ edit ] Standardisation of spelling originated relatively recently. Other sound change processes are merger, split, loss, syncope, apocope, prothesis, and epenthesis.

Association with geography[ edit ] Main article: In the modern world, language change is often socially problematic.

Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. An example of a morphosyntactic variable is the frequency of negative concord known colloquially as a double negative.

Research on Asian Americans in particular have noted the variation of Asian American speech. Social groups adopt distinctive norms of dress, adornment, gesture and so forth; language is part of the package. In such contact situations, languages often borrow words, sounds, constructions and so on.

Rapid or casual speech naturally produces processes such as assimilation, dissimilation, syncope and apocope.

Association with gender[ edit ] Main article: Speakers will change and create languages, such as pidgins and creoles.

We can cast each of the just-listed types of language change in such a framework. In some cases, an old sound becomes a new sound across the board. Poetic devices such as rhyme and rhythm may provide clues to previous phonological habits.discussions of the causes of language change often start with a list of imaginative theories, the most variation,” such a view of language clearly rules out any possible study of language change, simply because it leaves no possibility for change to happen.

2. The study of language variation guides language development activities.

Language Variation & Change

For example, when developing a writing system it is desireable for it to be useful and acceptable to the largest number of speakers of the language. Therefore, it is important to identify the most unifying features of the language. The study of language variation in social context continues to hold the attention of a large number of linguists.

This research is promoted by the annual colloquia on New Ways of Analyzing Variation in English' (NWAVE). This volume is a selection of revised papers from the NWAVE XI, held at Georgetown University.

It deals with a number of items, some of which have often been discussed, others. Language Variation and Change by Sarah Thomason A recent advertisement for Lockheed products claimed that if William the Conqueror had not had technological superiority when he invaded England in"this very ad might have been written in Anglo-Saxon".

A dialect is simply a distinct from of a language, possibly associated with a recognizable regional, social, or ethnic group, differentiated from other forms of the language by specific linguistic features (e.g., pronunciation, or vocabulary, or grammar, or any combination of these) From a linguistic point of view dialect is a theoretical concept.

Language variation is a core concept in sociolinguistics. Sociolinguists investigate whether this linguistic variation can be attributed to differences in the social characteristics of the speakers using the language, but also investigate whether elements of the surrounding linguistic context promote or inhibit the usage of certain structures.

Language change and variation
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