Teaching Plan 3
Episode 2 Main Characteristics of English Vocabulary Content: ?. The development of English Vocabulary
?. Reasons of Its Newest Development
?. Main Characteristics
?. Classification of Words
To help Ss come to the evolution of English vocabulary;
To help Ss know the different characteristics of English vocabulary
To help Ss know the reasons leading to the evolution of English
To help Ss know how words are classified.
Focal Points and difficulties:
The chronological order of the development of English
The reasons leading to the newest development of English
Teaching Methods & Aids: Lecturing; discussion; Q & A; PPT
1. Review the seven types of senses by asking Ss to identify the different senses of
the word BREAD
2. Show the contents of the new chapter by drawing Ss’s attention to pre-questions:
How did the Norman Conquest and the Renaissance influence the English vocabulary?
Where did the majority of English loan words come from?
What are the main causes for the newest development of the English vocabulary? What are the fundamental features of English vocabulary?
What do content and function words mean?
3. Discuss the development of English vocabulary
(1) Old English/Anglo-Saxon Period
The history of English language begins with the conquest and settlement of what is now England by the Angles, Saxons and the Jutes from about 450. The vocabulary of Old English contains some fifty or sixty thousand words, which were chiefly Anglo-Saxon with a small mixture of Old Norse (the Scandinavian language in its early stage) words as the result of the Scandinavian or the Danish conquest of England in the ninth century.
During this period, the vocabulary is of Germanic characteristic, distinguished by
compounding, which can be illustrated by the epic Beowulf’s having 1069 compounds
in 3183 lines.
The unstressed elements in the compound become affixes gradually, thus derivation is generally adopted. There are at least 24 noun suffixes and 15 adj. suffixes such as –dom, -hood, -ship, -ness, -ful, -ish, etc. coming from this period. Alliteration is applied to form expressions such as might and main, friend and foe, a labor of love, etc.
An ability to develop new words out of the existing Germanic word-stock instead of borrowing foreign words, e.g.
modcraeft (mind-skill) = intelligence
eorthcraeft = geometry
fotadl (foot-disease) = gout痛风病
fiellesseocnes (falling-sickness) = epilepsy癫痫症
However, the first batch of Latin loan words carried by Rome culture and Christianity came into English vocabulary with Augustine, a priest from Rome in 597. (2) Middle English Period
English is characterized by the strong influence of French following the Norman
Conquest in 1066. Since the French-speaking Normans were the ruling class, French was used for all state affairs and for most social and cultural matters; English ceased to function as official language, but the masses continued to speak English. Only towards the end of the fifteenth century did English become once again the language of the whole country.
However, English showed great changes in its vocabulary; the loss of a large part of the Old English words and the adoption of thousands of French words. The French loan words were found in every section of the vocabulary: law and governmental administration (judge, jury, government, parliament, state…),
military affairs (conquest, sergeant, victory, etc.),
religion (baptism, confess, divine, sermon, etc.),
clothing (coat, dress, gown, robe, etc.),
food (beef, mutton, pork, dinner, etc.),
art (beauty, image, design, etc.),
literature (chapter, poet, prose, etc.),
science (medicine, remedy, surgeon) and so on.
At the same time, Latin words continued to flood in.
Some affixes of French and Latin as dis-, en-, inter-, mal-, pre-, semi-, etc. were Anglicized. Characteristics of French compounding, as n. + adj. (knight-errant), and adv. + p.p. (by-gone) were absorbed in English compounding, which was called Romanization of English by linguistic historians.
The meaning of root began to emerge.
(3) Modern English Period
In the early stages of this period (1500-1700), the Renaissance resulted in the wholesale borrowing from Latin. The Latin loan words were mostly connected with science and abstract ideas (chemist, function, scientific, vacuum, area, irony, theory, education, exist, appropriate, precise).
In the last period, Greek came into English via Latin or French, now Greek words came into English vocabulary both indirectly and directly. Greek borrowings were mostly literary, technical and scientific words (drama, comedy, tragedy, lexicon,
criterion, botany and physics)
thFrom the 16 century onward, English borrowed words from an increasing number of European languages such as Italian (concert, duet, piano, solo, tenor, model, studio), Spanish (cargo, cocoa, cigar, vanilla, armada), Portuguese (caste, pagoda), German (bismuth, cobalt, nickel, zinc), Dutch (dock, freight, keel), Russian (vodka, troika, ruble, tsar)
At the turn of the 19th and 20th century, as a result of exploration, colonization and trade, many loan words came in from non-European languages.
After World War ?, the borrowing slowed down, neologisms (new words or new
meanings for established words) swept in at a rate much faster than that of the pre-war period.
4. Ask Ss to summarize English Vocabulary in Different Periods
ODP: EV is of Germanic characteristic, distinguished by
(4) development of new words out of extant Germanic word-stock;
(5) gradual loss of declensions;
(6) first batch of Latin loan words because of Augustine’s preaching from Rome in 597.
MEP: EV is characterized by
(1) loss of a large part of the Old English words and the general adoption of French words due to the strong influence of the Norman Conquest in 1066;
(2) the continued flooding in of Latin loan words;
(3)Anglicization of French and Latin affixes and Romanization of compounding; (4) the appearance of root;
(5) the vanishing of the inflectional system of Old English.
MEP: EV is featured by
(1) the wholesale borrowing from Latin because of the Renaissance;
(2) the direct and indirect introductions of Greek words into English; (3) borrowings from other European languages;
(4) borrowings from non-European languages because of exploration, colonization and trade;
(5) the slowing down of borrowing and the rapid emerging of neologisms.
5. Discuss the Reasons of Its Newest Development
(1) Marked Progress of Science and Technology
The development of science and technology resulted in words such as cybernetics, bionics, chain reaction, radioactivity, neutron bomb, medium-range ballistic missiles, SAM, cosmonaut, countdown, space shuttle, launching pad, software, hardware, input, output, programming, data base, hovercraft (ground effect machine), nano-technology, nanomachine, nanocomputer, lasercomp, fax, camcorder, flat-screen TV, maglev train, warez, short message, cell phone, CRBT, GPS, etc.
(2) Socio-Economic, Political and Cultural Changes
Internal political struggle/Civil Rights Movements in the U.S. gave rise to a large number of new words: sit-in, swim-in, kneel-in, ride-in, smoke-in, stall-in, camp-in in which ―in‖ means ―demonstration‖ or teach-in, eat-in, be-in, sing-in, love-in, and
laugh-in, in which ―in‖ denotes ―public gathering or activities‖.
Women’s Liberation Movement led to the appearance of Ms, chairperson, chairwoman, feminism, malechauvinism, sexism, etc.
Constant economic and political changes cause existence of new words like *euro;
* watergate (a political scandal reminiscent of the Watergate Incident?v. to deal
with in a covert or criminal manner), similarly, Reagongate, Koreagate, Debategate, Pearlgate, harborgate, copygate, sugargate, briefing-gate, nannygate and Clintongate, etc.
* Clintonian;( of or having to do with the policies of Bill Clinton; a person who favors the policies of Bill), Clintonism; Clintonomics;
* Clintonspeak;(the typical language, jargon or vocabulary of Clinton ?the way of
speaking featured by hedging) Similarly, doublespeak, oldspeak, computerspeak, netspeak, artspeak, sportspeak, bizspeak, etc. are added to the English vocabulary, of which –speak means ―specific way of speaking in the first two words‖, ―specific language‖ in the rest five words.
*bushlips: meaning disingenuous political statements of George Bush.
An article On the Internet, entitled Barrack Obama’s Name Inspires Flurry of
New words, drew our attention to the compilation of some buzzwords concerned with Obama in Urban Dictionary and Word Spy, e.g.
*obamation: process of people constantly impersonating or putting themselves in Obama’s shoes, thinking what Obama will think, what Obama will say or using Obama’s quotes like, ―putting lipstick on a pig‖.
*obamatarian: an avid supporter of the newly-elected President, Barack Obama *obamafied: a person of Afro-American descent who has become similar to Barack Obama in manner
*obamacon: a conservative voter who supports Democratic candidate Barack Obama in the election
*baracknophobia: fear of an African-American President ; negative feelings about President B.O.
the lost generation(1920s);
the beat generation(1940s);
the silent generation(1950s);
baby boomers(1947-1961)?the Vietnam generation(1960s);
the ―me‖ generation(1970s);
X-ers?the X generation(1990s);
New social habits and new living conditions necessitate the introduction of new words like instant coffee/noodles, snack, credit card, fringe benefit, hire purchase, dress-down Friday, loyalty card, prenup, trophy wife, home shopping, hoffice, golden
Changes in education resulted in open classroom, open university, TV education, distance education, e-education, CAI, CALL, etc.
New entertainment has brought into being such new words as call-in, discotheque, simulcast, folk rock, rock-and-roll, karaoke, hip-hop, DJ, couch potato, mouse potato, etc.
Sports continue their steady production of new vocabulary with new sports and new ways of playing olds ones, e.g. extreme sports, surf-riding, skydiving, bungee jumping, hydrospeeding, extreme biking, skateboarding, wakeboarding, rock climbing, heptathlon, etc.
(3) The Instability of the World Pattern
The instability of the world pattern led to new words such as the Third World, developing countries, underdeveloped countries, non-alignment, shuttle diplomacy, mini-summit, detente, high profile, trade war, G7, G8, G20, terrorist, bioterrorism, etc.
(4) The Influence of Other Cultures and Languages
The influence of other cultures and languages led to
1) loan-words: foreign words which are borrowed into English, which are more or less adapted phonetically, and which are integrated more or less in everyday language use. 2) translation loans(译借词) or calques ( from French, meaning "to copy‖):
literal/direct translations of idiomatic whole expressions or part of it from one language into another, morpheme by morpheme or word by word. Loan translations create new constellations of native morphemes or words ( Weinreich 1968, Hansen & Lund 1994, Andersen 1998).
e.g. black humor, found object, etc. from French, paper tiger, the big leap, Red Guards, the gang of four, let a hundred flowers blossom, four modernizations, brainwashing, one country with two systems, etc. from Chinese.
6. Discuss the main characteristics of English vocabulary
A Heavy Borrower/Heterogeneous
English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European family spoken originally in Britain but now also in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and many other parts of the world, which takes its name from the Angles (who first committed their dialect to writing) and was extended to refer to all the dialects of the vernacular, Saxon and Jutish, too. It is the world’s most widely known and used language. Its
history may be divided into three periods. Each developed in characteristic ways but in general the influence of French after the Norman conquest brought new vocabulary and sound patterns. Modern English was much influenced by the speech of London. English slowly became a relatively uninflected language with great flexibility in the way words may function.
Its vocabulary is about half Germanic and half Romance with many other borrowings. The number of English vocabulary increases at a striking rate, with an increase of at least 850 per year. The total number has reached as many as 2 million up to now (Wang Rongpei 2000:1).
7. Let Ss talk about classification of EV after pair discussion.
(1) By origin: native and loan words
Words of Anglo-Saxon origin or of Old English are native words, while those borrowed from other languages are loan/ borrowed words.
(2) By level of usage: common words, literary words, colloquial words, slang words, and technical words
Common words are connected with the ordinary things or activities necessary to everyday life.
Literary words are chiefly used in writing, in official documents, or in formal speeches. The majority of such words are of French, Latin or Greek origin. There
are two subcategories of such kind: archaic words and poetical words—the former are
words no longer in common use; the latter are words that are traditionally used only in poetry.
Colloquial words are described as everyday words which have been around for a long time and are often used in informal speeches.
Slang words are every-changing set of colloquial words generally considered distinct from and socially lower than the standard language to describe language that is new and fresh, including argot/cant(secret vocabulary of underworld groups). Technical Words include formal specialized language(terminologies) and informal specialized language(jargon) to a trade, job, or group.
(3) By notion: function words and content words
Function words are often short words such as determiners, conjunctions, prepositions, auxiliaries, and so forth. They do not have much lexical meaning and some of them have no lexical meaning of their own; they serve grammatically and generally do not have inflective endings, so they are called grammatical words or closed-class words. Content words, also called lexical words or open-class words, are used to name objects, qualities, actions, processes or states and have independent lexical meanings and inflective endings generally. They are nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs, numerals and interjections.
(4) By time: archaic words, obsolete words and neologisms/ buzzwords
Archaic words are words no longer in common use, though retained for special purposes, employed in poetry, business letters, legal documents, religious speeches and prose. Examples are abed = inbed;
behold = see;
belike = probably;
perchance = by chance, possibly;
quoth = say, etc.
Obsolete words are completely out of current use. They are dead because they are no longer needed, just appearing in classics or other ancient works. The obsolescence of horse-drawn vehicles such as chaise, landau, victoria, curricles, coupe, gig, etc. shows
the less frequent use of horse drawing.
Neologisms are newly coined words, keeping pace with the latest development of the society.
Homework: Search the internet and find more words coming into existence due
to the different reasons;
Preview Episode 3.