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

Study Guide: Midterm #1 Review

Terminology and Topics for Review

Fall 2009

Nature of the English language and English Words

number of words in English

English as a World Language

dialects of English
richness of English vocabulary 
synonyms in English

History of English

Old English (Anglo-Saxon)         Harold Godwinson, Harold King of Anglo-Saxons
Middle English                    Norman French   
Early Modern English              William of Normandy (William the Conqueror)
Present Day English (PDE)         Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
Celts                             William Caxton, printing press
Romans                            Great English Vowel Shift  
Anglo-Saxons                      King James Bible, King James Version
Beowulf                           European conquest and colonialism
King Alfred (Alfred the Great)    Shakespeare
Vikings, Danes                    standardization (of language, of spelling)
Canute (Cnut)                     18th century--start of prescriptive movement 
Danelaw, Watling Street           standardization
Normans                           dictionary makers
Norman conquest                   Samuel Johnson
Battle of Hastings                Noah Webster
Edward the Confessor              British vs. American spellings
periods of the various major waves of loanwords (borrowings) in English

Words in English

native                           synonyms, synonymy   
borrowed                         homonyms, homonymy 
nativized words, nativization    [polysemy: same sound; meanings are different 
loanword, borrowing                 but closely related]
place names vs. common words     descriptive, descriptivism
doublets, triplets               prescriptive, prescriptivism
Classical (or Latinate)          standard, nonstandard varieties
  word elements                  etymology (word origin)
Oxford English Dictionary

Morphology, or Word Formation

word structure                    inflection (plural, tense marking etc.)
word element                      derive, derivation (makes new part of
morpheme, morph                      speech or new meaning 
root                              zero-derivation 
affix                             compounds, compounding
prefix                            folk etymology                   
suffix                            blends, blending
filler or linker morpheme         clipping, clippings
parse, parsing                    acronym, initialism

© 2009 Suzanne Kemmer
Last modified 26 Sept 09