This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

A Level English Language Essay

1669 words - 7 pages

Question

Using suitable examples, describe and comment upon some of the reasons for language change.

Language changes, as do all things in the living world, as language reflects and affects the society which uses it. The mechanics of language change show language as a system with larger and larger scale trends, which allows us to examine the conditions necessary for change.

The process of change occurs gradually, and the rate of this change does conform to a pattern. For instance, if you get an influx of foreign words, few people use them, and they spread slowly until people have become familiar with them. When they have, the word usage stabilizes.

Another factor affecting ...view middle of the document...

In response to this the younger inhabitants of the island were changing their pronunciation towards that used by the elderly inhabitants. Labov called this 'an unconscious gesture of solidarity', to prevent their identity from changing due to the unwanted influx of tourists. Labov called this 'change from below', because the younger inhabitants of the island were changing their speech to emulate those from a lower social class.

There are many utterances in use today that lie on the borders of comprehensibility. For instance, the sentence Did she not get the dress then? almost conforms to linguistic rules but contains many grammatical errors. These errors indicate the reason why there is a constant, ongoing language change.

The lexicon of a language has a great effect on language change, as new lexical items are constantly being added, and those words which are no longer needed are discarded. Compounding is one of these processes. This occurs when two words are bound together to form a single new word, whose meaning can differ from the original. For example railway and railroad.

Derivation is another way in which new lexical items are added to a language. For instance, the word parent which normally functions as a noun is adapted to use as a verb. It has now been given a participle form and expressed as parenting. The word visual, which is mainly used as an adjective, has gained an additional function as the verb visualise, created by derivation.

Foreign influences constantly change the lexicon of a language. The English language contains many words which have been 'borrowed' at various stages of its history. A recent one would be the example parenting, which is a word commonly used in America, but due to our close links with the country via television, we have now 'adopted' this word.

Historical evidence shows that during invasions the lexicon of a language changes constantly. There are many reasons for this. The native inhabitants of Britain were Celts, but they were driven out by the German invaders. Now only place names and a handful of words remain to remind us that the Celts were once the native inhabitants, for example ass, bannock, and binn are Celtic words that were absorbed into the English language.

The Scandinavian invasion in 851AD caused a fusion of both Anglo-Saxon and Danish cultures. Place names ending in -by such as Whitby and Derby were all imported by the Scandinavians. The vast number of ordinary terms adopted from Scandinavian compared with the relatively few technical terms shows that there was an easy settlement between the two nations.

Another foreign influence on language was the Norman conquest of 1066AD The Normans formed the upper class and therefore created a whole range of lexical items. Examples of these are crown, state, government, sovereign, country, power, and chancellor.

Military matters were taken over by the French and so most of the Anglo-Saxon terms were displaced by the French. The...

Other Papers Like A Level English Language

Position of English as a Global Language: Political and Cultural Factors

2157 words - 9 pages Position of English as a Global Language: Political and Cultural Factors English has achieved a global significance that no other language has ever been able to do so, in such a scale. A language earns its global status when it culturally and politically dominant across the continents. Also, it is notable that the most salient feature of a global language is not how many people use it, rather how strongly the people who speak this language is

Funny, Attractive and Entertaining: Richard Lederer’s “English Is a Crazy Language”

777 words - 4 pages WR097 Mar 3, 2013 Funny, Attractive and Entertaining: Richard Lederer’s “English Is a Crazy Language” After Richard Lederer retired in 1989, he wrote a book about how crazy English is. Because he had taught English for many years, he used many interesting comments to writes “English Is a Crazy Language,” the opening chapter of his book. In the sixth paragraph of the essay “English Is a Crazy Language,” the author, Richard Lederer uses

Why English Is Important

5263 words - 22 pages level than their peers. It is one of the basic prerequisites to rise up the corporate ladder. English today has brought the kind of connection that no other language had made possible. The language has shrunk the world. Today knowing English is also considered as a status symbol as it easily opens more opportunities for the person. It opens one's mind to a new culture, economy and is considered to open new horizons. It thereby boosts an

The Official Language Of The United Nations

1313 words - 6 pages “Bilingualism for the individual is fine, but not for a country”, claims S.I Hayakawa in his article “Bilingualism in America”, published in USA Today in 1989. A language is a systematic means of communication. It is used to express ourselves and communicate with others. More than 300 languages are spoken in the United States but English is one of the common bonds among the Americans of all backgrounds. English is the language of freedom

English Language Learner Assessment

775 words - 4 pages English Language Learner’s Assessment English Language Learners, (ELL), have specific tests and procedures that the ELL teacher must follow in order to properly assess each student’s level of proficiency in English. After interviewing the English Language Learner teacher at our school, assessing ELL students gives the both the home teacher and ELL teacher the information needed to develop a SIOP, (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol

A Comparative Study on China English, Chinglish and Their Influences

1791 words - 8 pages language performance. Some may be overt if it happens on vocabulary level. For the presence on level of discourse or pragmatics, it is difficult to diagnose from a Chinese speaker’s point of view. So there is a long way to go fighting with Chinglish. 4. Conclusion China English and Chinglish are different concepts indeed, they are different in may ways in spite of some common characteristics. Language is part of culture

Importance of English

1558 words - 7 pages views Why is important to study English? Why is important to study English? Cleverson Alves 87,808 views The English Language The English Language Mr Intenglish 4,516 views Advantage in learning english Advantage in learning english SherwinRulete 24,621 views English As A Global Language English As A Global Language Stephanie Dodson 12,750 views Why do you study english Why do you study english

Impacts of English Language in Chinese, Economy, Culture and Education

2372 words - 10 pages official English proficiency test being linked with the university or college degrees. The CET 4 and CET 6 certificates are as important as the graduation certificate for university students. Testimonies such as this give a clear picture of how highly the English language education in China really is valued (Hughes, 2006). The CET, College English Test, is the main means of defining the level of English proficiency among the university students

About English

1679 words - 7 pages . Over the years, English language has become one of our principal assets in getting a global leadership for books written by Indian authors and for films made by Indians in English language. A famous Indian movie maker Shekhar Kapoor’s film “Elizabeth” has got several nominations for Oscar Awards. It does not require any further argument to establish the advantage English language has brought to us at the international level. English language

English Language Learners

737 words - 3 pages to the level. My position on the debate is that to me, it is okay for English language learners to come to the United States to make a better life for their families and themselves. I do think that they should be able to learn English, so that they can communicate with the Americans. The federal and states laws helped them to get a better education for their children when the No Child Left Behind Act came into force. We can learn from

Improving Elp

1044 words - 5 pages you can extend to master degree at university so the The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOFLE) examination scores are not required. The Propose of project to improving standard of ELP program. At National University after complete the highest level of ELP will get Certificated from University but it does not show the actually performance for the student. The ELP certificated from university does not accept from others University and it

Related Essays

English As A Global Language Essay

690 words - 3 pages English is a West Germanic language and orignally spoken in England. English is spoken by almost half of the population in the world. It is official language in United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Australia, the commonwealth Carribean, Ireland, New Zealand, and is second language in Pakistan, India, South africa and Sri Lanka.   English is international language in communications, science, business, aviation, entertainment, radio and diplomacy

English As A Second Language Education

3605 words - 15 pages English As A Second Language Education When the English as a second language learner (ESL) or the English language learner (ELL) students have achieved English proficiency, it helps students to develop their understanding of mathematics. Students then effectively use mathematical tools, charts, patterns and other strategies, as well as their prior learning experiences to make connections to solve related problems. The majority are able

China Vs. English As A Second Language

2157 words - 9 pages shelter; now China needs at least basic education. As mentioned in a Jing, Fu (2008, August 28) article, Zheng said "Social gains will come in the long run: we have made the poor potential human capital, and they will now contribute to society, making society more stable. We need to accelerate this process to realize social harmony." The Chinese government knows that a higher level of education, that for clear reasons must include English Language

All Tertiary Level Students Should Be Required To Be Competent In A Foreign Language

694 words - 3 pages might not end up using the languages learned .Having English as your only language is not sufficient in all parts of the world therefore it would be wiser to have a level of versatility under your belt to separate you others in your category.English is not currently the universal language therefore are we to wait until it is before we can communicate with foreigners?Even if one does not use the languages learned, being bilingual has a profound