Words in English public website
Ling/Engl 215 course information
Rice University
Prof. S. Kemmer

Study Guide: Study Test 1 Review

Terminology and Topics for Review for Study Test 1

Fall 2013

Nature of the English language and English Words

number of words in English
countability of words in English
comparison of sizes of vocabulary of languages
closest linguistic relations of English 
native vs. borrowed words

English as a World Language

dialects of English  (geographical and social varieties of English)
major national varieties of English
richness of English vocabulary 
synonyms in English
absence of national language academies in English-speaking world

History of English

Pre-English - from about 300-400 (pre-migration)-ca. 600  
Old English (Anglo-Saxon lg.)  600-1100
Middle English  1100-1500
Early Modern English   1500-1650
Present Day English (PDE)  1650-present
Modern English (includes Early Modern and Present Day English)  1500-present

Celts (Native Britons)            Harold Godwinson, Harold King of England
Anglo-Saxons                      Normans 
Romans                            William of Normandy = William the Conqueror 
Angles, Saxons, Jutes             Norman French    
Anglo-Saxons                      Norman Conquest
Christianization, Christianity    Battle of Hastings (1066)   
Beowulf                           Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
Kingdom of Wessex                 William Caxton, printing press
King Alfred  = Alfred the Great, late 800s
beginnings of standardization (of language, of spelling)
mismatch of spelling and pronunciation in English
Vikings, Norsemen, Danes          King James Bible =  King James Version
sacking of monasteries by bands   Great Vowel Shift  
  of pagan adventurers            Shakespeare
Alfred's victory                  (Other greats of Elizabethan English:
Danelaw                             Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson)
Watling Street                    European conquest and colonialization
 (line of partition)              18th century--start of prescriptive movement 
Height of Anglo-Saxon power and   Increasing standardization: 
 cultural success:                  -privileging of  London-Cambridge-Oxford variety of spoken English
 900s-early 1000s                   - establishment of conventions for
                                       written English syntax
2nd wave of Vikings attacks from    - less and less variability in spelling
 about 1014:  armies under kings    - more conventions for punctuation
Athelred the Unready              Dictionary makers
 (driven to Normandy)             [Samuel Johnson - first DESCRIPTIVE 
                                     dictionary of English]
Canute (Cnut)                     [Noah Webster]
Edward the Confessor              [British vs. American spellings]

Review the Periods of the various major waves of loanwords
(borrowings) in English.
For each stage, which languages were major sources of loanwords?
Pre-Old English:   
Old English:
Middle English:
Early Modern English:
Present-day English:

See also:

Words in English

nativized words, nativization   
loanword, borrowing             
place names vs. common words     descriptive, descriptivism
doublets, triplets                 prescriptive, prescriptivism
Classical (or Latinate)            standard, nonstandard varieties
  word elements                    etymology (word origin) [difference from parsing]
Oxford English Dictionary        

Morphology, also known as Word Formation

word structure 
word elements, word components
parse, parsing words into word components
morphs - minimal, indivisible word components that have an
   identifiable meaning or function
     (Ch. 4 introduces morphemes, a closely related
     concept. Difference not relevant yet.)

lexical components or lexical morphs:
grammatical components or morphs:
base - what an affix attaches to.
     Has at least one root, but may be more complex   
stem - a base  to which  inflectional affixes can be added. 
(distinction of base and stem not relevant for us now)

free vs. bound morphs
English type language (many free morphs) vs. Latin, Greek type  (most
   morphs bound to others)
filler or linker morph (book calls it an interfix - an affix that
   requires something before and after.) Fillers/linkers have no
   function or meaning other than linking two other morphs.

complex words created by 
  inflection (grammatical variants of one word: plural, tense marking etc.)
  derivation  (creates new word; makes a new part of
     speech/new function or new meaning)

Types of word formation (creation of words): 
 compounds, compounding                 
 (more types p. 56 and following)
relation of meaning of component morphemes to meaning of whole word 

relations of morphemes (whether whole words, roots, or affixes):
  synonyms  - morphs with similar meaning
  homonyms  - morphs with same form (accidental resemblance)

See also study aids:
Roots vs. Affixes
Also, see Definitions from "morphemes" on.

© 2013 Last modified 16 Sept 2013