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Historical Linguistics and Language Changes Studies

Historical Linguistics and Language Changes Studies

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Published by aljabriy25
search paper in linguistics

prepared by :

Mohiee Ad’den Alja’biriee
search paper in linguistics

prepared by :

Mohiee Ad’den Alja’biriee

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Published by: aljabriy25 on Oct 02, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Historical linguistics And language changes studies
search paper in linguistics prepared by
Mohiee Ad’den Alja’biriee
Although it is clear that Ferdinand de Saussure ( father of modern linguistics ) gave more interesting for study languagein its currently forms, and he confirmed on a synchronic studyof language, but its really important to know that the study of language in time (diachronic studies) and observing itschanges from time to time, take its great roles in the seriousstudies of the language performation and its own technicalways to convey meaning.In twentieth century, when Saussure tried to distancebetween synchronic and diachronic studies of languages, thisbranch of traditional studies of language take its newcharacters and called by different name as
. which refers to study of 
language change
and of its consequences.Historical linguistics was the first branch of linguistics tobe placed on a firm scholarly footing. It is traditional to datethe founding of the discipline to 1786, when the Britishamateur linguist Sir William Jones famously pointed out theclear common ancestry of Greek, Latin and Sanskrit, andhence of the existence of the vast
family of languages, all of which descend from a single commonancestor .Historical linguistics was vigorously developed throughoutthe nineteenth century, chiefly by linguists who were Germanor trained in Germany. Most of the attention was on
comparative linguistics:
the business of deciding whichlanguages shared a common ancestry and hence which
language families
existed, of performing
towork out the properties of unrecorded ancestral languages
), and of identifying the various changeswhich had led each ancestral language to break up into itsseveral divergent daughters.
 In the last quarter of nineteenth century , a group of scholars named the (Young Grammarians ) claimed thatlanguage change is regular ,( linguistics – jean Aitchisonp.28 ). they decided that they had enough evidence to declarethat sound change was invariably regular—that is, that a givensound in a given context in a given language always changedin the same way, without exception. This
became the orthodoxy in the field for the nexthundred years, and it proved very fruitful
.( 77-78 KEY CONCEPTS. (
Neogrammarians saw in sound change the application of laws of a mechanical nature opposed by the psychologicalprocess of the speakers towards regularization of formsresulting in analogically irregular sound changes.
In the twentieth century, and especially in recent years,there has been an explosion of interest in all aspects of language change. In particular, linguists have been searchingeagerly for principles governing language change: whatmakes some changes more likely than others? It has provedpossible to study changes which are in progress incontemporary languages, including English, and such studieshave turned up a number of startling phenomena, many of which are clearly incompatible with the
. A key point has been the discovery of the cruciallink between
and change. Historical linguistics hasonce again become one of the liveliest areas in all of linguistics.
( 77-78 KEY CONCEPTS. (
From a practical point of view, historical linguists map theworld’s languages, determine their relationships, and with theuse of written documentation, fit extinct languages of the pastinto the jigsaw puzzle of the world’s complex pattern of linguistic distribution.From a theoretical perspective, the practitioner may beinterested in the nature of linguistic change itself; that is, howand why languages change, and the underlying forces andprocesses which shape, mould and direct modifications. Of paramount concern is the notion of language universals, whichshed light on the linguistic behavior of the species. Suchuniversals may reflect tendencies in language to changetowards preferable types of sound patterns, syllabic structuresand even syntactic arrangements. Such universals may relateto physiological and cognitive parameters inherent in theorganism in a form of marked and unmarked features of language. The historian must also identify the variousinfluences that disrupt these tendencies with varying degreesof intensity related to the degree and nature of externalcontacts and internal conflicts.

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