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

Study Guide: Midterm #2 Review

Fall 2008

Midterm #2 will cover chapters 7, 9, and 11, class discussions, and web pages linked to course schedule. It focuses on these topics: semantic change and its various types, etymology, parsing, and classical morphology in English words. The midterm will build on concepts introduced in the previous chapters, especially on concepts relating to morphology, and also including loanword language identification and parsing of words introduced or discussed in class and quizzes.

Here are some skills the second midterm will test:

  • ability to recognize and produce examples of various types of semantic change

  • understanding of the cognitive processes underlying semantic change, particularly metaphor and metonymy

  • knowledge of some specific word histories discussed in class and on web links

  • Recognition of particular morphemes and parts of morphemes in English words that reflect categories of Latin and Greek morphology

  • understanding of why variation exists in categories such as plurals

  • understanding of changes in Latin vs. French that give us some doublets

  • a deeper understanding of parsing and transparency in morphology

  • knowledge of some of the basic categories of Latin and Greek morphology and how English loanwords can show these categories

  • An understanding of some changes that happened after classical Latin, particularly in the history of French

  • A deeper understanding of how spelling can reflect older forms and how it can diverge from pronunciation

    Semantic change

    etymology                         widening (generalization)
    polysemy                          narrowing (specialization
    metaphor                          taboo
    metonymy                          euphemism
    amelioration (melioration)
    pejoration (degeneration)

    Latin and Greek morphology

    base or stem                              
    inflectional categories           
    grammatical gender                person:  1st, 2nd, 3rd
    masculine, feminine, neuter       verb conjugation class  
    noun declension (noun class defined by set of endings)  
    grammatical number                infinitive
    singular, plural                  participles: past, present, future
    case                              voice: active, passive    
    principal parts
    Changes in late Latin; Latin vs. French

    learned vocabulary
    spelling (spelling is the most conservative aspect of English words)
    classical diphthongs ae, oe
    pronunciation changes in late Latin 
    approximimants /i/, /u/ --> affricates  /d3/ as in justice,  /v/ as in 
    civil  (L. iusticia --> O. Fr. d3ustice --> Engl. d3ustice)  (L. civis
    'citizen'  /kiwis/--> O. Fr. sivi )
    velar stops /k/, /g/  --> /s/, /d3/ as in judge.
    Great Vowel Shift affecting Latinate words
    Latin -ula --> O. Fr. -le   (L. tabula --> O. Fr. table)
    Latin -fic- 'make' --> O. Fr. -fy
    Latin/French doublets
    Latin --> French syllable deletions
    Latin --> French coronalizations (usually called palatalizations):
       gaudiam --> joy, legalem -->loyal etc.
    diphthongizationss (Lat. pictum --> Old Frn. paint, L. punctum --> O. Fr. point)


    also review Parsing page

    stem-forming morphemes from Latin
    past participle (or perfect participle in book) morpheme
    present participle morpheme  (stem vowel + nt)
    future participle morpheme (or gerundive in book)  (stem vowel + nd)

    © 2008 Suzanne Kemmer
    Last modified 8 Nov 08