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Chapter 7现代语言学

Chapter 7 Historical Linguistics 历史语言学

1. The purpose and significance of the historical study of language
研究语言变化的目的和意义 The historical study of language is of great importance to our understanding of human languages and human linguistic competence. Researches in historical linguistics shed light on prehistoric development in the evolution of language and the connections of earlier and later variants of the same language, and provide valuable insights into the kinship patterns of different languages. The historical study of language also enables us to determine how non-linguistic factors, such as social, cultural and psychological factors, interact over time to trigger linguistic change. 研究语言变化对于理解人类语言和人类的语言能力极其重要。 历史语言学的研究成果揭示语言变化的史前发展和同一语言早期和后期变体自己的联系, 为不同语言的亲缘关系提供线索。 历史语言学的研究还可以使我们对非语言的因素, 如社会文化和心理因素等在语言变化过 程中所起的作用有更深的认识。


The nature of language change

语言变化的本质 All living languages change with time. Unless a language is no longer spoken by the general public of a society, such as Latin, its change is inevitable. As a general rule, language change is universal, continuous and, to a considerable degree, regular and systematic. Language change is extensive, taking place in virtually all aspects of the grammar. Although language change is universal, inevitable, and in some cases, vigorous, it is never an overnight occurrence. Language development may be regarded as linguistic evolution from one stage to another. 所有尚在使用的语言都随着时间的变化而变化。 语言的变化是不可避免的。 语言变化是普 遍的、 连续的, 在一定程度上也是规则的和系统的。 语言变化涉及语法系统的各大组成部分。 在语言演变过程中,词汇和语法规则有的消亡了,有的诞生了,有的是外借的,有的则转化 了其意义或功能。 尽管语言变化是普遍的,必然的,有时甚至是显著的,但语言的变化是一个缓慢的渐变过 程,其变化是同代人所不易察觉的。 语言的发展可以看作是语言从一个阶段到另一个阶段的演化过程。


Major periods in the history of English

英语历史发展的主要阶段 a) Old English (450-1100) 古英语阶段 b) Middle English (1100-1500) 中古英语阶段

c) Modern English (1500-今) 现代英语阶段 Most Modern English speakers find Middle English only partially comprehensible, and Old English simply unintelligible, just like a foreign language hardly recognizable as the native language they speak. 大多数现代英语的使用者发现,对于他们来说,中古英语只能部分地被理解,古英语则如 外语一般,简直不可理解。 Old English dates back to the mid-fifth century when Anglo-Saxons invaded the British Isles from northern Europe. Middle English began with the arrival of the Norman French invaders in England. Middle English had been deeply influenced by Norman French in vocabulary and grammar. Modern English is separated with Middle English with European renaissance movement. 古英语源自欧洲大陆的盎格鲁撒克逊民族所操的语言。 中古英语深受诺曼底占领者所操的法语的影响。词汇和语法等均受其影响。 现代英语是英语自身发展和欧洲文艺复兴运动渗透结合的产物,很多词汇是外来语。 As British influence reached other continents, the “British Empire” established English-speaking colonies in many parts of the world. English is now the native language in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. 英帝国的兴起及其移民化过程的成功使现代英语的使用遍布全球。 以现代英语为母语的国 家包括英国、美国、加拿大、澳大利亚和新西兰等。


Linguistic change in English

英语语言系统的变化 Language change is essentially a matter of change in the grammar. We refer to the change in the grammar of a language as linguistic change. Linguistic change occurs in all components of the grammar, including changes in the sound, morphological, syntactic, lexical and semantic systems. 语言变化实质上是语法变化。 我们把一种语言的语法变化称为语言变化。 语言变化包括语 音系统、形态系统、句法系统、词汇系统和语义系统等部分的变化。 a) sound change 语音变化 Vowel sound change 元音变化 The change occurred at the end of the Middle English period, approximately 1400-1600. These changes led to one of the major discrepancies between the phonemic representations of words and morphemes, that is, between the pronunciation and the spelling system of Modern English. Known as the Great Vowel Shift in the history of English, these changes involve seven long, or tense, vowels. Refer to P132 of the test book for examples. 元音变化出现在中古英语后期,大约在 1400 到 1600 年之间。这些变化使一些单词的音 位表达和词素之间出现了很大的不一致。 这些变化在英语史上被称为元音大变位, 涉及七个 长元音,或紧元音。实例见书本 132 页。 Sound loss 语音消失 Not only did types of vowel sounds change, but some sounds simply disappeared from the general pronunciation of English.

不仅数种元音发生了变化,而且一些语音还从英语的整个发音体系中消失了。 实例: 1》 古英语中/x/ 在现代英语中已不存在。 如:古英语 nicht (night) 读做/nixt/,而现代英语读做/nait/ 2》 古英语和中古英语中有/kn/,都发音,在现代英语中/k/不发音了。 如:knight/knee 在古英语中字母 k 是发音的,而在现代英语中不发音 3》 古英语中有一类名词的复数形式不是在词尾加/s/音, 而是加/i/这个音, 现在没 有了。 如:goose 的复数形式在古英语中的发音是/go:si/ 4》 现代英语中出现了位于词尾的元音音段的省略现象,称为词尾音脱落。 如: name/love 在古英语中发音为/na:ma:/和/lufu/, 在中古英语中发音为/na:m? /和/luv? /, ? ? 而在现代英语中的发音为/neim/和/lΛv/ 5》 词尾音脱落还影响了某些词的拼写。 如:古英语单词 helpe 随着词尾音的消失,在中古英语和现代英语中拼写成了 help Sound addition 语音增加 While some sounds were lost in the course of the historical development of English, other sounds were added. Sound addition includes the gain or insertion of a sound. A change that involves the insertion of a consonant or vowel sound to the middle of a word is known as epenthesis. Refer to P134 of the text book for examples. 英语在发展过程中消失了一些语音, 但也增加了一些语音。 语音增加包括增加一个音或嵌 入一个音。在一个词的中间嵌入一个辅音或元音被称为插入音。实例见书本 134 页。 Sound movement 语音移位 Sound change as a result of sound movement, known as metathesis, involves a reversal in position of two adjoining sound segments. 语音移动所导致的语音变化被称为语音变位,它涉及两个相邻音段互换位置。 实例: 古英语中 bridd/hros 在现代英语中变成了 bird/horse b) Morphological change 形态变化 Affix loss 词缀消失 消失了的词缀包括: -baere(形容词派生词缀) -bora(相应动作的施为者) -yan(加在形容词后称为使役动词) 注:现代英语中的-en 不再具有产出性技能,因而我们不能派生出诸如以下的一些单词 Green-en / blue-en / asleep-en Affix addition 词缀增加 增加了的词缀包括: -able(动词转化为形容词的词缀) -ment(动词转化为名词的词缀) -ze (名词或形容词转化为动词的词缀) c) Syntactic change 句法变化 Rule loss 规则消失 消失的规则包括: 1》Morphosyntactic rule of adjective agreement. The rule stipulated that the endings of

adjectives must agree with the head noun in case, number, and gender. 形容词一致的形态句法规则。规则要求形容词词尾在格、数、性等方面必须与中心词保持 一致。 2》Old English syntax contained a double-negation rule, which would negate a sentence with both negators of “ne” (“not”) and “n? fre”(“never”). ? 古英语中还有一个双重否定规则,即用两个否定词来否定一个句子。 Rule addition 规则增加 增加的规则有: 1》Particle movement rule. 小品词移位规则。 实例: John threw out the ball through the window. 其中 throw out 中的小品词 out 可以移位 John threw the ball out through the window. 2》Another syntactic rule gain in English concerns the distinction between auxiliary verbs and main verbs. In modern English the syntactic behavior of auxiliary verbs differs from that of main verbs in that only auxiliary verbs can be fronted in interrogative sentences. 英语中增加的另一条句法规则涉及助动词和主要动词之间的区分。在现代英语中, 助动 词和主要动词的句法表现的主要区别在于,只有助动词在疑问句中能被提前。 Rule change 规则变化 发生变化的规则有: 1》A negative sentence could be formed by merely adding “not’ at the end of an affirmative sentence prior to Shakespeare’s time. 在莎士比亚时代之前,英语仅在一个肯定句的句尾加 not 就可以使它变为否定句。 2》Languages vary in the order of the subject, the verb and the object. 不同语言的主语、谓语动词和宾语的顺序是不同的。现代英语基本都是主谓宾结构。 d) Lexical change 词汇变化 Lexical loss 词汇消失 实例见书本 141 页。 Lexical addition 词汇增加 The history of English lexical expansion is one that is characterized with heavy borrowing and word formation. 英语词汇增加的历史特点是大量地借用外来词和通过构词法构成新词。 Although English has borrowed most heavily from French, other languages as Latin and Greek have also made their contributions. 虽然英语从法语中借来的词数目最多,其它语言,如拉丁语和希腊语也做出了贡献。 In addition to borrowing, new words have made their entry into English via word formation rules such as compounding, derivation, acronym formation, blending, abbreviation, clipping, back-formation, and coinage. 除了借用外,英语还通过复合法、派生法、词首字缩略法、混合法、缩写法、逆向构词法 和创新词法等构词规则参数新词。以上方法的实例详见书本 144 和 145 页。 e) Semantic change 语义变化 Semantic broadening 语义扩大化 实例见书本 146 页。包括 bird/dog/aunt/holiday 这些词。 Semantic narrowing 语义狭义化

实例见书本 146 和 147 页。包括 hound/meat/wife/girl/liquor/fowl/disease 这些词。 Semantic shift 语义演变 实例见书本 147 和 148 页。包括 silly/fond/nice/immoral 这些词。


Language Family 语系

Language family is a group of historically (or genetically) related languages that have developed from a common ancestral language. For example, most of the languages of Europe, Persia, and the north part of India belong to the Indo-European language family, and they have the same origin known as Proto-Indo-European. 语系是一组从同一古代语言发展而来的具有历史联系(或者说是亲缘关系)的语言集合。 例如:绝大多数的欧洲语言、波斯语、印度北部地区的语言都属于印欧语系,它们都源自一 种叫做原始印欧语的语言。


Classifying genetically related languages

It is estimated that over five thousand languages are spoken in the world today. There are about 30 language families with four main ones: the Indo-European Family, the Sino-Tibetan Family, the Austronesian Family, and the Afroasiatic Family. 世界上大概有五千多中语言,30 个语系,其中最重要的 4 个语系是:印欧语系、汉藏语 言、澳斯特罗尼亚语系和非亚语系。 The Indo-European family has a membership of about 150 languages. The Sino-Tibetan family consists of about 300 East Asian languages. The Austronesian Family comprises up to 1000 different languages scattered over one third of the Southern Hemisphere. The Afroasiatic Family is made up of about 250 languages spread across the northern part of Africa and western Asia. English is belonged to the Indo-European Family. 印欧语系有 150 中语言, 包括欧洲的大部分语言和印度次大陆的语言。 汉藏语系包括 300 多种东亚语言。澳斯特罗尼亚语系包括多达 1000 种语言,它们散布在南半球的三分之一以 上的区域。非亚语系由大约 250 种语言组成,分布在非洲北部和西亚地区。英语属于印欧 语系。 Many seemingly different languages are actually genetically related as sisters or cousins of a big language family and have developed from a common, possibly “dead”, ancestral language. Historical linguists have to identify and classify families of related languages in a genealogical family tree, and to reconstruct the protolanguage. 很多看似不同的语言实际上存在亲密的亲缘关系, 它们可能来源于同一种可能已经消失拉 丁古代语言。历史语言学家们通过对各语系中相关语言进行甄别,勾画出家族谱系图,从而 重新构建语系的原始语。 A language family is established by the use of a method known as comparative reconstruction. By identifying and comparing similar linguistic forms with similar meanings across related languages,, historical linguists reconstruct the proto form in the common ancestral language. 历史语言学家们采用比较重建法甄别语言,重建语系的原始语。 Work on the systematic form-meaning resemblance in cognates, words that have descended from a common source, lies at the core of comparative reconstruction. 研究同源词-从同一来源发展而来的词-的形式和意义的系统的相似性, 是比较重建的核



The Indo-European language family

The Indo-European language family is the first and most widely investigated language family of the world. The discovery of Indo-European began with the work of British scholar Sir William Jones. In 1822, the German scholar Jacob Grimm specified in his treatise the regular sound correspondences among Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, and the Germanic languages. Grimm’s major contribution to historical linguistics is his explanation of the relationships among cognates in terms of a sound shift, the systematic modification of a series of phonemes. Because these sound changes were so strikingly regular and law-like, they became collectively as Grimm’s Law. 在世界上的各语系中, 印欧语系是研究最早和最深的一种语系。 首次致力于印欧语系的发 现工作的人是英国学者威廉.琼斯爵士。1822 年,德国学者雅各布.格里姆在他的论著中详细 说明了梵语、 拉丁语和日尔曼语之间有规则的语音对应。 格里姆对历史语言学的主要贡献是, 他从音变-一系列音位有系统的变异-的角度解释了同源词之间的关系。 因为这些语音变化 的规则如此显著,象定律一般,所以这些变化统称格林定律。


The causes of language change 语音变化的原因

a) Sound assimilation 语音的同化 Sound assimilation refers to the physiological effect of one sound on another. Assimilation processes are phonological changes due to physiological mechanisms. 语音同化是指一个语音对另一个语音的生理影响。 同化过程是由于生理机制而发生的语音 变化。 In an assimilative process, successive sound is made identical, or more similar, to one another in terms of place or manner of articulation, or of haplology- the loss of one of two phonetically similar syllables in sequence. Another example of sound assimilation involves vowel nasalization. Another example of sound assimilation that results in morpho-logical and lexical changes is the /k/ sound as in the word “key”. 语音同化过程使一个音受其毗邻的音的影响而发生音变,使其发音变得与其毗邻的音相 近。语音同化的结果可以导致元音或辅音的丢失,可以导致元音的鼻音化,也可以导致语音 形态的变化。 b) Rule simplification and regularization 规则的简化与统一 Rule simplification and regularization involves exceptional plural forms of nouns. 规则的简化与统一的一个例子是英语中名词复数形式。 本来有规则形态变化和不规则形态 变化,在英语演化过程中,由于不规则形态趋于规则化,所以复数形式趋向简化。 c) Internal borrowing 内部借用 Another kind of change that is motivated by the need to lessen the burden on memory is called internal borrowing. 引起语言变化的又一个原因是旨在减轻记忆负担的语言规则的内部借用现象。 例如, 英语 动词的过去式不规则变化形式繁多,随着时间的推移,借用-ed 这一规则变化形式在当代英 语中越来越普遍。 d) Elaboration 规则的细化 Rule elaboration occurs when there is a need to reduce ambiguity and increase

communicative clarity or expressiveness. Language seems to maintain a balance in expressiveness and grammatical elaboration over time. If a particular grammatical feature is lost as a result of, say, a change in the phonological system, some other feature may be added in another component of the grammar, such as in the syntax. 人们在使用语言时,为了避免模棱两可、含糊不清的词句,或为了提高语言表达上的准确 性,往往需要增加一些规则,致使句法规则更加细化,如词序规则的严格化、功能词使用的 频度等。 e) Sociological triggers 社会因素 Linguistics have become increasingly aware of sociological triggers for language change. Radical socio-political changes such as wars, invasions, occupation, colonialization, and language planning and standardization policies lead to vigorous language changes. 促使语言变化的原因不仅有语言内部的,更多的是来自语言系统外部的社会环境的变化, 如侵略战争、殖民化政策、政府推行的语言规划政策或标准化运动等。 f) Cultural transmission 文化传播 Although a new generation has to find a way of using the language of the previous generation, it has to find expressions that can best communicate the views and concepts of the time and the changed and ever-changing social life, and re-create the languages of the community. Many young speakers have the desire to sound different from the older generation. 语言变化的原因还在于, 层出不穷的新概念和新事物需要人们用新的词语去表达。 变化了 或变化着的生活、社会、观念、思维方式等需要人们更新表达方式。尤其是新的一代,在语 言的表达上喜欢标新立异。 g) Children’s approximation toward the adult grammar 儿童语法接近成年人语法 Children acquire their native language not through formal instruction of grammatical rules. Children usually construct their personal grammars by themselves and generalize rules fro the linguistic information they hear. They are exposed to diverse linguistic information. Children have a strong desire to simplify and regularize grammatical rules, particularly when they see adults use certain rules optionally. In such cases, a change in the grammar occurs. 儿童在习得母语时接收到了各种语言信息和表达习惯, 其中有的繁琐复杂, 有的简明扼要。 儿童往往偏向于习得简化了的或者规则化了的表达方式, 因此代代相传的语言其演化自然也 就呈现出简化或规则化的趋势。

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