HotEL at Universität Bielefeld

Flashcards and summaries for HotEL at the Universität Bielefeld

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What is the family model?

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What is the problem with the family model?

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What is the principle of accommodation?

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What is internal language change?

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Why was the /h/ sound dropped?

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Why were demonstratives used more before nouns over time?

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What is typological change?

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What is a specifier?

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What is external language change?

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What are pidginization & creolization?

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What is borrowing?

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What is Verner's Law?

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Exemplary flashcards for HotEL at the Universität Bielefeld on StudySmarter:

HotEL

What is the family model?

The concept that languages change based on geographical distance, which first leads to slight differences between varieties (dialects) and then to different languages.

HotEL

What is the problem with the family model?

The family model only concerns itself with the divergences between languages due to the 'drifting apart' of peoples. However, when speech communities come into renewed contact, phenomena like borrowing lead to an increase in shared linguistic features.

HotEL

What is the principle of accommodation?

In conversation we make our speech more similar to that of our communication partners to:

  • improve communication
  • gain social approval
  • maintain positive social identity
  • minimize negative outcomes
  • reduce social and psychological distance

This process can also take place over time, with different varieties becoming more similar when they are in constant contact with each other.

HotEL

What is internal language change?

When a number of people start using or drop certain language features, this influences the language over time. Also called "language drift", which occurs naturally.

Examples:

  • dropping aitches
  • using more demonstratives before nouns

HotEL

Why was the /h/ sound dropped?

The use of /h/ at the beginning of words might have been for emphatic expression. The /hw/ cluster was retained the longest, which appears in question words like What, Why, When to emphasize the importance of these words with strong aspiration.

In non-frenetic speech, a loss of this emphasis would be expected.

HotEL

Why were demonstratives used more before nouns over time?

  • used to emphasize the following noun
  • deictic expression 

HotEL

What is typological change?

When a change to a language system is so fundamental that it can be used to differentiate it from other languages, that change is typological.

Example:

  • the development of an article system in English (in contrast to e.g. Russian, which has no articles)

HotEL

What is a specifier?

e.g. articles

-> Articles indicate that the following noun is a specific, individual example of the class indicated by the noun

HotEL

What is external language change?

External language change can be traced back to its source, which is mostly the contact to another language. Examples are creolization and borrowing of terms.

HotEL

What are pidginization & creolization?

When two mutually unintelligible languages come into contact and there is a power imbalance in the language contact, the speakers of the substrate language  (subordinated language) will try to learn the superstrate language (superordinate language) to establish a ground for communication.


The superstrate language is first translated word by word by users of the substrate language -> pidginization

A pidgin is nobody's native language, just a medium for communication.


The children of pidgin speakers, however, will build on the pidgin to form a new language, which is called a creole.




HotEL

What is borrowing?

  • an effect on languages without significant structural change
  • borrowing words from other languages and including them in own language
  • e.g. borrowing from Latin in pre-invasion Germanic period
    • cheese, OE cese (Latin caseus)
    • street, OE straet (Latin strata)

HotEL

What is Verner's Law?

Voiceless fricatives (/f, s, θ, ʃ/) became voiced if the preceding syllable was stressed

-> Latin pater became father with /ð/ instead of /θ/ because both words originally were stressed on the first syllable

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