Midterm #2 will cover chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7, class discussions, and web pages linked to course schedule. It focuses on these topics: allomorphy and types of allomorphy, phonetics, semantic change and its various types, etymology, dictionaries/lexicography, the OED, and in addition the topics that are continuing topics through the course, namely parsing, a small amount on loanword sources (particularly based on the information in Chapter 6), and neologism types.
By now you should have mastered the morphological concepts introduced in the first part of the course. The midterm will build on concepts introduced in the previous chapters, particularly concepts relating to morphology and allomorphy, and identification and parsing of words introduced or discussed in class and quizzes. The material on phonetics relates to and builds on the concepts involving allomorphy.
Here are some skills the second midterm will test:
allomorphs, allomorphy assimilation ablaut metathesis rhotacism deletion weakening insertionPhonetics
consonants fricative voicing affricate larynx (voice box), vocal chords nasal place of articulation liquid lips, bilabial approximant labiodental lateral interdental voicing assimilation alveolar, alveolar ridge place assimilation palatal-alveolar manner assimilation ( = alveo-palatal) partial & total assimilation hard palate, palatal vowels soft palate (velum), velar vowel frontness: front/central/back glottis, glottal vowel height: high/mid/low manner of articulation diphthong stop, oral stop (plosive) sounds vs. letters (pronunciation vs. spelling) - terms above all apply to SOUNDS not lettersSemantic change
polysemy widening (broadening, generalization) metaphor narrowing (specialization) metonymy taboo eponymy euphemism synechdoche (= part for whole) cycle of euphemism amelioration (melioration) technological change as factor in pejoration (degeneration) semantic change Some clarifications on types of semantic change (or cognitive processes that can lead to change) that are sometimes confused: Metaphor vs. metonymy Metaphor is the use of a word for one concept to mean another, similar concept. Metaphor involves some perceived similarity between two things. ('Thing' is used in a very broad sense here.) Metonymy does not. For example, the word FORK can mean the place where a road or path splits into two roads. This meaning of FORK is metaphorical: it is based on the shape similarity between instruments with prongs, like the forks you eat with or the barbecue tool for spearing meat, and the configuration of roads or paths on the ground: Two or more longish things emerging from a joined base. Metaphor can be called domain shift because we use it to think about concepts in one domain (area of experience) in terms of another domain. We use language of the domain we better understand, to talk about the concepts we don't understand or don't know how to describe so well. Some similarities are not visual, but are actually mental (cognitive) similarities. The many metaphors involving spatial terms being used for temporal concepts shows that we view time and space as similar in their basic configurations. Also, when we speak of LOUD colors, or a SHARP taste, we are taking words from the domain of perception of various kinds, and using them to talk about another kind of perception. LOUD is usually about sounds in English, but a color that is visually striking can be said to be loud. Metonymy is a change or process in which there are two things close together - they occur in the same situation - and we use the word for one to mean the other. If we said "I hear a piano", what we are actually hearing is music (or at least noise from the piano), but we use the word for the object producing it to refer to that noise. "The same situation" is often described as "the same place and time". Perhaps situation is a clearer formulation. An example for semantic change would be the change of the word MONEY, which originally meant, in Latin, 'warning, one who warns'. The word was first applied to the temple of Juno Moneta, the warning or guardian goddess of the Romans, and then came to be applied to her temple, and later to something that came out of that temple, namely coins. In Rome Juno's temple was the place used for coining money. (Later more temples to Juno were built in other places and were also used this way). The person/goddess was associated with her name (person and name are in same situation); then the name was associated with a temple (goddess was in same situation as temple, since people were worshipping her in there), and then with a product made in the temple (temple and product were in the same situation). At each stage the word's use was extended to a concept in the same situation as the earlier concept, resulting in a long chain of metonymies in this example. There is nothing metaphorical about the relations between the goddess and the temple, or the temple and the money. It wasn't similarity that allowed people to extend the word, but rather these situational connections. Synechdoche and eponymy are specific types of metonymy. All involved situational "contiguity" (nearness in time and space). Broadening/generalization vs. metaphor and metonymy Broadening, like narrowing, is specifically about types and subtypes: the word for a specific type of thing or action comes to be used for the general type that INCLUDES the original thing or action. So, the English word DOG, originally a word for a particular breed of dog, now means 'dog' in general. The new meaning includes the old concept but is more general ('general' here MEANS inclusive); it is a more general TYPE of thing or action. Metaphors don't really involve inclusion. They are about similarity in two different domains of experience. So even though a metaphorical meaning might SEEM more general than the original meaning, it is not, in the sense that semanticists use the word GENERAL. Example: LONG meaning 'extended for a considerable period in time' is a metaphorical usage based on simlarity of spatial and temporal longness (based more fundamentally on the perception of time as being line-like). The word LONG did acquire a temporal sense, so it might seem that it is more general than if it just meant 'extended a considerable distance in space'. But that is not what we mean by general in terms of semantic change, or else all cases of increasing polysemy would be generalization. But they are not. Temporal longness is not a more general (inclusive) type of longness than spatial longness. It is just a DIFFERENT type of longness. The same arguments apply to metonymy. A metonymic extension might, it is true, yield greater polysemy, like when the word MONEY first came to mean 'coins; currency' in addition to its original meaning. But that does not mean it refers to a more general TYPE of thing. Coins are not a more general type of thing that also includes temples or the warning goddess. They are a kind of thing that happened to be in situations where those earlier kinds of things were mentioned. So watch out for the difference between generalization vs. types of change that involve increasing polysemy or layperson's other potential interpretations of generality. Generalization/broadening in semantics always mean 'process of coming to refer to a more general TYPE of thing/action, which includes the more specific types it used to refer to exclusively.Dictionaries and etymology
etymology relation of etymology and parsing folk etymology, false etymologies, hoax etymologies Samuel Johnson Noah Webster authoritative sources standard definition; extended definitions lexicography citations (quotations) the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) relation of definitions and semantic change in OED
Review Parsing page
Review Sound terminology page
Review word formation types, for purposes of recognizing examples. Neologisms discussed in class might be asked about.
zero-derivation = conversion
Last modified 26 Oct 11