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Historical Linguists

Studies of language change

Tristam Suggested that Celtic may have had considerable effect on low status spoken varieties of Old English, effects which only became evident in the morphology and syntax of written English after the Old English Period
Weale Believed that there is now some genetic evidence for mass immigration to central England consistent with displacement of the male Celtic population by Anglo Saxons but saying nothing about females
Kroch & Taylor Exploited the related idea that a Scandinavianised dialect of Middle English could have developed different rules of cliticisation and word order from dialects in the south
Keene Made ingenious use of taxation records and other documents to count and often to identify by name and locality the individuals who moved to London
Schwartz Found that by 1914 the rail networks had reached their peak in extent and road transport too moved large numbers of people, exposing travellers to forms of English which previously would have remained outside their experience
Nevailainen & Raumolin-Brunberg Established that multiple reversals of fortune between Parliamentarians and Royalists ensured a period of rapid social change
Cassidy & Hall Asserted the slave trade's lexical importance in the history of American English, citing special senses like "doughboy" and "Ku-Klux-Klan"
Fisher Postulated that the increasing prestige of rhotic dialects at the turn of the 20th century may have been due in some part to the fact that the losers of the Civil War were non rhotic
Alston & Michael Discovered that practical English grammars began to appear around 1710
Fulk Exploited frequently a well established minimum of four syllables for Old English half lines without committing to any particular formulation of the metrical rules
Aitchison Invented three prescriptivism metaphors: "damp spoon", "crumbling castle" and "infectious disease"
Romaine Categorised factors influencing language change as internal factors and external factors
Hockett Built on Random Fluctuation Theory by saying that random mistakes lead to language changing such as predictive text changing works
Deutscher Deduced that language changes due to the economy, expressiveness and analogy
Halliday Proposed that language changes according to the needs of its users, such as new inventions, technology and slang
Created by: 13hored
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