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

Study Guide: Midterm #3 Review

Fall 2011

In terms of the textbook, Midterm #3 will cover Chapters 9 and 11 on Latin and Greek word structure; Chapter 10 on Indo-European; and Chapter 8 on Language in Society. There will be a bit on the part of Ch. 3 on neologisms that formed part of the basis for doing your Word Journal assignment (the word formation types). You should now recognize these types easily when given clear examples of them.

Besides the book material, the exam will cover class discussions and web pages linked on the grid on the home page and on the Course Schedule. Parsing will be tested also, but via multiple choice questions on the parsing of words introduced or discussed in class and quizzes.

In terms of topics, the exam focuses on:
1. Latin and Greek word structure
2. genetic relationships of languages, the Indo-European language family, Proto-Indo-European vocabulary and what it reveals about Indo-European culture; a little on languages that are NOT Indo-European
3. Language variation and varieties of English.

Questions in the midterm will assume knowledge of concepts introduced in the previous chapters, but these will not be tested specifically.

Latin and Greek morphology

inflection                        verbs
base or stem                      person:  1st, 2nd, 3rd        
inflectional categories           verb conjugation classes (stem classes)
nouns                             stem vowels
grammatical gender                infinitive
masculine, feminine, neuter       principal parts
noun declension                   voice: active, passive
(= noun class defined by set of endings) participles
grammatical number                past participle 
singular, plural                     ( = perfect participle in book) morpheme
case                              present participle morpheme (stem vowel + nt)
                                  future participle morpheme 
                                    (= gerundive in book)  (stem vowel + nd)

Changes in late Latin; Latin vs. French

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

Genetic relationship, Indo-European language family, the Indo-Europeans

genetic relationship
related languages VS. languages affected by culture contact (and
 therefore borrowing)
language family
family tree metaphor
parent language, mother language, ancestor language
sister language
daughter language
language breakup
  (due to loss of contact  + different changes in different places)
Grimm's law
sound change
reasons for persistence of evidence of relationship:
  regularity of sound change
  resistance to change of basic vocabulary
The Proto-Indo-Europeans: origin, time of migration to Europe, hypotheses
   North Germanic
   East Germanic
   West Germanic
   Scots Gaelic, Irish Gaelic
Italic / Romance (Italic refers to Latin and its sister and ancestor
   languages; Romance is name given to the descendents of Latin)
Hellenic  (the family that includes Greek)
Indo-Iranian, Indic (Aryan) and Iranian (Persian) subfamilies
Hittite language  (Anatolian family)
4 language families of Africa
3 language families of the Americas
1 family of Australia with 2 major subfamilies
Austronesian family (extending from Taiwan and Philippines to New
  Zealand to Hawaii to Madagascar)
The Indo-Europeans
reconstruction of words 
reconstruction of aspects of culture  (linguistic archaeology)

Language Variation and Language in Society

standardization and education
dialect (= a social variety or geographical variety; contrast popular
    meaning of term, infused with judgement of 'good'/'bad' )
standard, nonstandard
correctness; relativity (or context-dependence) of correctness
standard forms as shibboleths; role of education
prestige maintenance via linguistic shibboleths
formal, informal varieties  (variation in register or style)
orthography; sound vs. spelling
spoken vs. written language (also a variation in register)
language as a marker of a group
in-group vs. outgroup
slang, characteristics of slang
jargon (words used by a professional or interest group)
language and power
peevology: the study of people's pet peeves about language

Neologisms (and the word formation types used to create them

Review Word formation types

compounds, compounding: phrasal compounds, rhyming compounds
blends, blending
clipping, clippings
folk etymology
creative respelling
novel creation
sound symbolism/onomotopeia

Other processes/types of origins/formation:


Review the Parsing page.

© 2011 Suzanne Kemmer
Last modified 29 Nov 11