Saussurean Paradox

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Saussurean Paradox. How can a language continue to be used effectively as a vehicle for expression and communication while it is in the middle of a change, or rather in the middle of a large number of changes?. Trask, R. L. Historical Linguistics . London: Arnold, 1996, 267. 1/18. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • Saussurean Paradox How can a language continue to be used effectively as a vehicle for expression and communication while it is in the middle of a change, or rather in the middle of a large number of changes? Trask, R. L. Historical Linguistics. London: Arnold, 1996, 267. 1/18

  • Variation in Speech No two people speak exactly the same

    And no individual speaks exactly the same every time he/she speaks. 2/18Holmes, Janet. 2013. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics, 4th edition. London: Pearson, p. 131.

  • Speaker InnovationNot Language Change In reality, it is not so much that language itself changes as that speakers and writers change the way they use the language. Speaker innovation is a more accurate description than language change. 3/18Holmes, Janet. 2013. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics, 4th edition. London: Pearson, p. 206.

  • Summary of Examples of Linguistic Change (Pronunciation 1)Page Location TrendSource of Change Example or Comment

    207 New Zealand new/ nuclear /nju/ /nu/ American influence208 Isle of Wight (UK) Vr Vr V London influence (3 gen)210 Marthas Vineyard (US) light /ai// i/ Attitude: solidarity/identify house au/ / u with island culture

    4/18Holmes, Janet. 2013. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics, 4th edition. London: Pearson, pp. 207-210.

  • Page Location TrendSource of Change Example or Comment

    213 Sydney (Aus) High-Rise Terminal NZ? (more young people)2ndFrench (France) 204 Nasalization /n/ nasal V2nd New Zealand 207 milk, fill, feel, silk Vl V England?? child5/18Summary of Examples of Linguistic Change (Pronunciation 2)Holmes, Janet. 2013. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics, 4th edition. London: Pearson, p. 213.

  • Page Location TrendSource of Change Example or Comment

    208English Scouse accent increased use Liverpool boys: peers209Charmey, Switz. (French?) pronun innovations the young and women210Ucieda (Spain) standard Castilian women6/18Holmes, Janet. 2001. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics, 2nd edition. London: Longman, pp. 208-210. Summary of Examples of Linguistic Change (Pronunciation 3)

  • Page Location TrendSource of Change Example or Comment

    210Ucieda (Spain) standard Castilian women213Norwich (Britain) Cockney slang; London influence on glottal stops; commuter Sam h-dropping7/18Holmes, Janet. 2001. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics, 2nd edition. London: Longman, pp. 210-213. Summary of Examples of Linguistic Change (Pronunciation 4)

  • Page Location TrendSource of Change Example or Comment

    205 David (England?) wireless / radio familiarity for 3 gen

    213 New Zealand far out one American boy 8/18Holmes, Janet. 2001. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics, 2nd edition. London: Longman, pp. 205, 213. Summary of Examples of Linguistic Change (Vocabulary)

  • Wave Metaphor of Variation Spread 9/18Holmes, Janet. 2013. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics, 4th edition. London: Pearson, p. 215.

  • Progress of Linguistic Change Holmes, Janet. 1992. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. London: Longman, p. 222. 10/18

  • Does TV spread new forms?11/18A popular compromise is the view that the media can soften listeners up by exposing them to new forms in the speech of admired pop stars or TV personalities. When people are subsequently exposed to a particular form in the speech of a real person, they are then more likely to adopt it.Holmes, Janet. 2013. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics, 4th edition. London: Pearson, p. 227.

  • SpreadingTraditional Model12/18

  • SpreadingTV Model?13/18

  • Early Modern English Pronunciation Change matemeat meetMiddle English /a:/ /:/ /e:/Vowel Shift /e/ /i/16th century /met/ /met/ /mit/ 17th century /met/ /mit/ /mit/Trask, R.L.. 1996. Historical Linguistics. London: Arnold; based on descriptions on pp. 281-284. 14/18

  • Morris Halles Explanation for mate, meat, and meet In 1962, the distinguished Chomskyan linguist Morris Halle, in apparent desperation, put forward an astounding explanation: taking advantage of the abstract underlying forms permitted by Chomskyan linguistics, he suggested that several generations of speakers must have manage to keep the mate and meat vowels distinct in their heads, even though they always pronounced these vowels identically, and even though they never heard anybody else making the distinction. Trask, R.L.. 1996. Historical Linguistics. London: Arnold, p. 283. 15/18

  • Evolution of do Support in English Questions

    1388:NONE Wycliffe 1526/1611: Some Tyndale / AV Today:ALWAYS 1

    1 Except when there are modals and BE and maybe HAVETrask, R.L.. 1996. Historical Linguistics. London: Arnold, p. 283. 16/18

  • Resolution of the Saussurean Paradox Changes can proceed without disrupting the system of a language because the vehicle of change is variation, and variation is always presentindeed, it is a central characteristic of speech. Trask, R.L.. 1996. Historical Linguistics. London: Arnold, p. 281. 17/18

  • Saussurean ParadoxHow can a language continue to be used effectively as a vehicle for expression and communication while it is in the middle of a change, or rather in the middle of a large number of changes? (p. 267) Resolution of the Saussurean ParadoxChanges can proceed without disrupting the system of a language because the vehicle of change is variation, and variation is always presentindeed, it is a central characteristic of speech. (p. 281) Trask, R.L. 1996. Historical Linguistics. London: Arnold, pp. 267, 281. 18/18