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1 What kind of English linguistics do we need? (of the ca. 65 fields available) 0. Starter: Waltzing Mathilda 1. why linguistics? 2. why English linguistics?

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Präsentation zum Thema: "1 What kind of English linguistics do we need? (of the ca. 65 fields available) 0. Starter: Waltzing Mathilda 1. why linguistics? 2. why English linguistics?"—  Präsentation transkript:

1 1 What kind of English linguistics do we need? (of the ca. 65 fields available) 0. Starter: Waltzing Mathilda 1. why linguistics? 2. why English linguistics? 3. one answer to the topic: historical linguistics

2 2 swagman = AusE old-fash. 'man with clothes and possession carried around'; swag slang 'stolen goods' billabong ('temporary lake')  climate coolibah tree = 'eucalyptus'  aborig. billy = 'William', met. 'friend, pot for food' jumbuck = Native Austr. jiimba, > jump-buck (folk-etym.), cf G. Bock tucker = Austr. slang 'food' (cf to tuck) Slim Dusty Starter: example Waltzing Mathilda (1820s), now "national anthem" songs preserve history/culture

3 3 tucker in close-up: OED2 to tuck 'ausstaffieren' < ONFr or It. toccare? (Venice!)

4 4 1. Why linguistics? Language, the object of linguistics, is the major tool of human communication and of social life. as against animals language = very universal and multi-purpose tool for making statements giving commands performing a speech act ("I herewith declare...") praising sb. arguing with sb. communicating complex thoughts...

5 5 2. Why English linguistics? E = world language 104 countries (McArthur) general lingua franca diplomacy aviation and navigation tourism international scholarship WWW: "Universität" 28 mill vs "university" 649 mill Sowi now offers its lectures in English. EFL is a foreign language of a diff. calibre than Fr or It

6 6 (1) geographical distribution of English: McArthur's circle of world Englishes, from Crystal 1995: 111 e.g. Chinese, Pakistani, Tok Pisin

7 7 (2) GB was important, the US still are  E as a lingua franca

8 8 (3) GB has one of the richest cultures of Europe literature: from Beowulf to The Beatles high culture, pop culture, medial culture (

9 9 3. Why historical linguistics? Orwell's warning: Newspeak (cf Essay in 1984, publ. in 1949) many features reduction of vocabulary simplified WF (clippings: Agitprop, Gestapo; cf modern acronyms [NATO, Excel] and initialisms [BBC, Stuko] simplified grammar (thinked instead of thought etc) main point: Newspeak cuts off language from its history quote: "When Oldspeak had been once and for all superseded, the last link with the past would have been severed."  implications of loss of history: no subtety of meaning, no unorthodox opinions; associations clinging to traditional words are cut out a-historical language now: "Kollektivvertrag", "senior lecturer", "lector"

10 10 "In need of history": special reasons in English Studies English provides a particular wealth of language history cf David Crystal 2004, The Stories of English enormous range of material gathered to demonstrate the diversity of English through the ages (one of the reviewers) 600 pages on selected language-historical aspects from OE to Tolkien's Hobbits (Crystal = synchronic linguist) Research deficits in view of British dialects, spoken English and international Englishes!

11 11 Selection of three features (a) vocabulary: particularly rich and diversified (b) sounds and spellings: particularly traditional (unlike in German) (c) communicative and cultural aspects: exceptionally interesting

12 12 (a) Lexis: Quantification of various English vocabularies (from Voigt, Langenscheidt/Longman, 1982)

13 13 English lexis: towards a survey lexicology: 1. word field 2. semantics: metaph. 3. etymology 4. pragmatics: please, terms of address 1. OE: heroic words, later relig. words (God, love, filth; later: sentimental) 2. kenningar: the bent-necked wood, sea-farer for 'ship'; whale-road for 'sea' 3. Roman, Celtic, Germanic; ON, Ofr, Latin in differ. times (Human.: debt, doubt) 4. Cultural background needed: please you) 

14 14 morphol. and syntax: thou, thee, you and ye in England thou = sg. nom. (G. du) thee = sg. acc. (cf Shp.) you = pl. acc. ye(e) = pl. nom. Pl. acc. dominates over the other forms.

15 15 Semantics: Explain word pairs forgive/pardon shirt/skirt cow/beef dish/disk chief/chef PN Laing/Laird – long, lord

16 16 Etymology creates transparency: cognate English borrowings from Fr. and Lat. (Bodmer n.d., pp. 282) LatinEngl. Words < Frz.Engl. Words directly < Lat. conceptumconceit (Einbildung)concept (Begriff) constrictionemconstraint (Zwang)constriction (Zusammenziehung) collocarecouch (sich legen)collocate (ordnen) computarecount (zählen)compute (berechnen) quietuscoy (spröde)quiet (ruhig) dignitatemdainty (Leckerei)dignity (Würde) defectumdefeat (Niederlage)defect (Mangel) aestimareesteem (achten)estimate (schätzen) factionemfashion (Mode)faction (Partei) factofeat (Kunststück)fact (Tatsache) fragilisfrail (schwach)fragile (zerbrechlich) legalisloyal (loyal)legal (gesetzlich)

17 17 2nd example: sounds and spellings Extreme deviation of present pronunciation and spellings – why: – English is more hybrid, i.e. it has been more under the influence of other languages than, e.g., German;  different sets of rules Scandin.: to get, sky French: employee, garage – In spelling, E. has been decidedly traditional since the late MAs (Caxton).

18 18 some details examples: – : orig. (ME) a fricative [X], cf Scottish night, bright – -our, -or: orig. (ME) < Ofr (= ModFr –eur), weakened pronunciation in E today: honour, liquor – photo, phenomenon: = Greek, in frequent words  vowels changed most in the history of E, part. due to GVSh (15-17th c.), therefore their spelling is partic. misleading (rough, ought) the present spelling is a mixture of diff. historical processes (English = hybrid)

19 19 Rhotic pronunciation in England c (from dtv-Atlas Englische Sprache 2002) r lost r kept

20 20 Menorha model applicable to histor. English phonol.: correlation between historical stages and present varieties) Germanic heritage OE ME Scandinavian French 18th c. 19th c. AE Austr North Ld. dial. common words ESP roots varieties

21 21 3rd example: Cultural studies 1. What is the Doomsday Book? Bayeux tapestry Harold is killed.

22 and all that 1086 William the C. Relevance of the Doomsday Book "Grundbuch" (index of land ownership) What happened in Britain in 1986? 


24 24 A stamp of 1986 ? ? ? ?

25 25 Summing up: Historically conditioned complexity: Taking-leave formulas Goodbye! –< God be with you/ye!  (historical) phraseology; word field: religious Good day! –arch./Austr.  register/varieties Bye-bye! –iterative formation  baby language/infantilisms in dialect/Tok Pisin etc Bye for now! Ciao! –inform./fashion  register/etymology See you (later/next week/term). –idiomatic expressions: semantic/phonological implications I hope to see you again! Farewell! Have a nice day/weekend! Cheerio! (Br inf) So long! (Br inf) Hasta la vista, Baby! (US A. Schwarzenegger) Piss off! F* off! –slang  sociolinguistics, pragmatics I must be off!/ I must be going! / I've got to go. --> grammar prep.  adj. conclusion: E allows many varieties/ is difficult OED2: 1588 Shakes. L.L.L. iii. i. 151, I thanke your worship, God be wy you — 1 Hen. VI, iii. ii. 73 God b’uy my Lord.

26 26 Fazit Viele heutige Wissensinhalte sind geprägt von Schnelllebigkeit und immanenten wirtschaftlichen Interessen: Passwörter, Benutzer- Namen, Call-Center, Hotlines, Zinssätze, Aktienkurse, Akronyme Umso mehr brauchen wir heute auch die klassischen, d.h. langlebigen und bewährten Bildungsinhalte: –Die Geschichtlichkeit der Sprache/des Englischen korrreliert mit unserer eigenen Geschichtlichkeit und der unserer Kultur. –Die strukturelle und quantitative Komplexität des Englischen heute, als Folge seiner komplexen Geschichte, bietet eine Vielzahl langlebiger und wichtiger Wissensinhalte. –Ahistorizität = menschliche Entwurzelung –Der Strukturalismus des 20 Jhds. (de Saussure etc) und die derzeit modische Beschränkung auf Anwendungsmodelle (Applied Linguistics) werden der Tatsache, dass wir sprachlich und kulturell historisch verwurzelt sind, nicht gerecht. Und wenn Sie mich persönlich fragen,...

27 27 We can learn for our future by knowing our personal past. 30 years ago Thank you for your attention! 1 year ago

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