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 for 1st Midterm

Fall 2011

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

Old English (Anglo-Saxon lg.)     Harold Godwinson, Harold King of Anglo-Saxons
Middle English                    Normans 
Early Modern English              William of Normandy = William the Conqueror
Present Day English (PDE)         Battle of Hastings (1066)   
Celts (Native Britons)            Norman Conquest
Romans                            Norman French    
Anglo-Saxons                      relative positions of English and Norman French, post-conquest
Beowulf                           Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
Kingdom of Wessex                 William Caxton, printing press 
King Alfred                       beginnings of standardization (of language, of spelling)
 = Alfred the Great, late 800s    mismatch of spelling and pronunciation in English
Vikings, 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:

Words in English

native                           synonyms, synonymy   
borrowed                         homonyms, homonymy = homophones, homophony
nativized words, nativization    [polysemy: same sound; meanings are different 
loanword, borrowing                but closely related. Covered in Ch. 7]
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                    inflection (grammatical variants of one word: plural, tense marking etc.)
word element                      derive, derivation (creates new word; makes a new part of
morph, morpheme                      speech or new function)
root                              zero-derivation 
affix                             compounds, compounding
prefix                            endocentric, exocentric
suffix                            onomotopoeia
superfix                          blends, blending
base, stem                        acronym, initialism
filler or linker morpheme         clipping, clippings
hypernym                          backronym
hyponym                           reanalyis 
parse, parsing                    folk eytmology
                                  novel creation
relation of meaning of component morphemes to meaning of whole word 

© 2011 Suzanne Kemmer
Last modified 23 Sept 11