Why Do Languages Change?
Cambridge University Press, 2010 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 198 pages
The first recorded English name for the make-up we now call blusher was paint, in 1660. In the 1700s a new word, rouge, displaced paint, and remained in standard usage for around two centuries. Then, in 1965, an advertisement coined a new word for the product: blusher. Each generation speaks a little differently, and every language is constantly changing. It is not only words that change, every aspect of a language changes over time - pronunciation, word-meanings and grammar. Packed with fascinating examples of changes in the English language over time, this entertaining book explores the origin of words and place names, the differences between British and American English, and the apparent eccentricities of the English spelling system. Amusingly written yet deeply instructive, it will be enjoyed by anyone involved in studying the English language and its history, as well as anyone interested in how and why languages change.
Why are languages always changing?
Where do words come from?
Whats in a name?
Where does English come from?
Why is American English different from British English?
Why is English spelling so eccentric?
Which is the oldest language?
Some ﬁnal thoughts
accent American English ancestor appears Australia Basque began borrowed Britain British English Britons called Celtic Chinese clipped colour consonant Cree creole derived dialects dictionaries difﬁcult distinct Dutch earlier early England English speakers English spelling English-speaking Europe European example existence fact ﬁlm ﬁnal ﬁnally ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬁrst recorded French words grammar Greek happened Indo-European inﬂuence invented Italian jai alai jazz label language change Latin learned letter linguistic look meaning Michif mixed language Modern English mother tongue nasal vowels native English word nineteenth century non-rhotic Norman French North noun ofﬁcial Old English Old Norse perhaps pidgin Pimlico place names plural prestige probably pronounced pronunciation Proto-Germanic recent reﬂecting result rhyme Roman alphabet Russenorsk Scotland script sense sign language sound Spanish speak speech spelling system spoken sufﬁx Susie syllable thing Tok Pisin uptalk varieties verb vocabulary vowel writing system written