Free Essay

Tracing the Reasons for Semantic Change

In: English and Literature

Submitted By shouporno
Words 2548
Pages 11

Tracing the Nature of Semantic Change Shahrin Akter
Department of English
North South University

Tracing the Nature of Semantic Change
Language never stands still. All living languages are continually changing over the course of time due to social, cultural, environmental, historical and linguistic factors. Semantic change is one of the major phenomenon of language change. Basically, semantic change deals with the change of the original meaning of a word as well as the development of a new word which is reflected in the way the words are being used. This paper mainly puts an insight to the major causes of semantic change as well as trace the traditional classification made by various scholars. According to Varshney, “The main factors responsible for semantic change are vagueness in meaning, loss of motivation, polysemy, ambiguous contexts and the structure of the vocabulary”. (p. 284). Over the passage of time, people use words in a new context. Hence the meanings of the words are changing gradually, often to the point that the new meaning is radically different from the original usage. For instance, the word ‘awful’ originally meant ‘awe-inspiring, filling someone with deep awe’, as in the awful majesty of the Creator. At some point it becomes something ‘extremely bad’, as in ‘an awfully bad performance’, but now the intensity of the expression has lessened and the word is now used informally to just mean ‘very bad’, as in an awful mess. Some words also change semantically, not in their original meanings but change in a way that they acquire additional meanings or are used to refer to other named entities over time. For example, mouse is used originally to refer to small long-tailed animal but it is now also used to refer to a device used to control cursor movement. (Wijaya & Yeniterzi, 2011). The major concern of this paper is to trace the basic nature of semantic change referring how the meaning of some words from Old English (OE) were renewed in Modern English (MnE) over the course of time. This paper basically addresses three exploratory questions: (a) What are the major causes of Semantic Change? (b) What are the basic types of semantic change? (c) What are the ultimate consequences of semantic change?
Major Causes of Semantic Change The meaning of words never change suddenly. It takes time to develop a new meanings and these changed words are undoubtedly related to the previous ones. Moreover, it has been said that vocabulary is the most flexible part of a language and its semantic aspects are effected by every human activity. Multiple factors are responsible for the changing of meaning and development of a new word among which some major causes are discussed below: 1. Linguistic Causes: The linguistic causes of semantic changes are some factors which act within the language system. Hence, it can be addressed as an internal reason of semantic change. In this regard, Varshney (1985) mentioned, “Some semantic changes take place because of the association which words contract in speech. Habitual collocations may permanently affect the meaning of the term.” That means the meaning of words may be changed or transferred to another because a single word might be used in various contexts which ultimately causes semantic change with the passage of time. In fact, it deals with changes due to the constant interdependence of vocabulary units in language and speech, such as differentiation between synonyms, changes taking place in connection of ellipsis and with fixed contexts, changes resulting in ambiguity in certain contexts and some other case. Hence, the linguistic causes of semantic change may be discussed under following sections:
Differentiation of Synonymy: The conflict of synonyms often causes semantic change. When a perfect synonym of a native word is borrowed from other languages. For instance, in old English, the synonymous terms of the word tide were time/ season/ hour borrowed from French. But in modern English tide simply means regular rise and fall of the sea caused by the moon.
Generally, ellipsis refers to a change of meaning when the meaning of a word-combination is given to only one word of this combination. Ellipsis usually occurs in the collocation. For instance, adjective + noun or attributive noun+ noun, the last noun is always omitted, only leaving the previous part to keep the meaning of the whole phrase. For instance, the terms were shortened into General > a general officer and Transistor> transistor radio. In Old English the word to die only meant sterven of hunger but in Modern English starve means to die from hunger. In fact, the word daily usually means happening every day. But afterwards, daily newspaper was shortened into daily. Analogy: Analogy is another major factors in semantic change. It is very obvious that when one member of a synonymic set acquires a new meaning, the other members acquire it too. For instance, when the word catch acquired the meaning to understand; its synonyms get, grasp acquired the new meaning as well. 2. Historical Causes: “Language is the product of society and changes with the development of social history. There continuously occur the new innovations during the process of the transformation of objective world by human beings. Except creating the new words people, people tend to give the new meaning to the old words to express these new things.” (hao yu & chi ren, 2013, pg 63). For instance, the word pencil was derived from a Latin word meant a little tail or a fine brush which was regarded as a writing tool. Later the material of pencil was wood and graphite but the word pencil is still unchanged. In fact, Paper is a Greek word which was named after a plant called Papyrus as it was used for making paper. Although, paper is made from various materials presently, the word ‘Paper’ is still unchanged. In this manner, Varshney (1985) said, “the English word car originates from Latin Carrus which meant a four-wheeled wagon. Though the modern cars bear a little resemblance to the old Celtic wagons, yet the label has not been replaced and the word has remained phonetically unaltered. 3. Environmental Causes: “Semantic changes are also caused by environmental changes such as social, cultural, geographical, political, religious, physical and economic”. (Varshney, 1985, p. 285). One of the examples cited by him is the word winter which symbolizes cruelty or difficulty in western countries but conversely winter is treated as a more pleasant season in India. Moreover, in Hindi and Sanskrit the word hans standing for swan can be used for scholar, critic etc. but in English it cannot convey the same meaning. That means the meaning of words often vary due to environmental differences. 4. Human Psychological Causes: Some psychological factors are also responsible for semantic change. It has been said that the meaning of a words often change or a new word may develop in people’s subconscious mind. For example, the term to trash is a good example of erasing files or e-mails from computer. People decide to use for that purpose because it is “convincing”; the persuasive power of this metaphor lies in the clear-shaped similarity between the concept throwing waste into the garbage can and to erase data. “As a consequence of adoption, the semantic innovations become lexicalized”. (Andreas Blank & Peter Koch, 1999, pg 62). Varshney (1985) referred some examples in this manner such as clothes-horse, horse- fish, horse-tail, horse-sense, horse-power etc. which have come out of the horse, because something had a vague resemblance to horse- in shape, situation or character. Similarly, words such as chicken-hearted, henpecked etc. are the result of semantic changes caused by psychological factor. The psychological causes of semantic changes can be discussed under two sections such as: Emotive factors: Most figure of speech especially metaphors and similes are motivated by emotive factors. For example, in the sentence ‘This information throws some light in this question’ where light means clarity instead of brightness. The word head is another good example which refers to the top part of a living creature’s body. But this word can be used metaphorically while using the expressions like head of the department.
Taboo Replacement: Generally, the word taboo means prohibition or restrictions. In civilized world, people usually avoid dirty words which make them feel a little awkward. Taboo replacement and avoidance of obscenity are another reason for semantic change. In semantic studies, there have been discussed about three types of taboos such as: (a) Taboo of fear : God > the Master, the Lord (b) Taboo of delicacy: legs (among ladies) > limbs (c) Taboo of Propriety: to die> pass away

5. Foreign Influences: Foreign words often put a great emphasize on semantic change. The influence of foreign words or substratum is one the major causes of semantic change. According to Campbell (1998), the substratum theory of linguistic change involves the idea that if people migrate into an area and their language is acquired by the original inhabitants of the area, then any changes in the language can be put down to the to the influence of the original language. For instance, in Old English pig, goat, ox were used not only to express the name of animal but also the flesh. But since the Norman conqueror named these flesh as pork, mutton and beef; those words are only used to express the name of animals. 6. The need for a New Name: When a new object is invented or new idea arises, we feel the need for a new name. In this case people do one of the three things: (a) Form a new word from existing elements. (b) Borrow a term from a foreign language or some other sources. (c) Alter the meaning of an old word.

For instance, the words such as rocket, missile, satellite, internet, hypertext, e-mail, selfie which are the new words emerged by new things or new tradition. That means, semantic change frequently occurs due to new tradition as well as new inventions. 7. Semantic Shift: The most neutral way of referring to change is simply to speak about semantic shift. For instance, the word gentle was borrowed in Middle English in the sense of born of a good-family, with a higher social standing. Later the sense courteous and kind, mild in manners developed because these qualities were regarded as qualities of the upper class.
Classification of Semantic Change Linguists have traced various types of semantic changes. In fact, Varshney says that there is a considerable disagreement among scholars on the classification and terminology of semantic change. He mentioned about the classification of semantic change stressed by Meillets such as changes due to linguistic reason, changes due to historical reason and changes due to social stratification. On the other hand, Prof. Sperber classifies these changes into two categories such as non-affective changes which deals with ellipsis and affective changes which deals with expansion, attraction and euphemism. According to Varshney, Stephen Ullmann classified semantic changes more comprehensively in his book The Principles of Semantic in which he tries to fuse the logico-rhetorical, generic, causal, eclectic empirical and functional approaches. According to Saussure, there are four types of semantic changes Similarity of Senses (metaphor), Contiguity of Senses (metonymy), Similarity of Names (popular etymology) and Contiguity of Names (ellipsis). But the most acceptable classification of semantic change has been made by Lehmann. According to him, semantic change occurs due to: 1. Reduction in Context: Occurs when the contexts of words is reduced. 2. Expansion in Context: Occurs when the words expand in possibility of context. 3. Alternation in Context: Occurs when the meaning of words totally change by alteration due to geographical, technical and social dialects. (Nerlich, 1992, P. 143).
The Consequences of Semantic Change Semantic change effectively changes the meaning of lexical items in multiple ways. As a result, the consequences of semantic change have enough importance which have been discussed in the following manner:

Narrowing or Restriction of Meaning: Due to semantic change, the meaning of words are often narrowed. For instance, the word hound was originally the general word for dog but today it only marks its hunting breeds. Here, the new meaning is more precise, covers only the part of the original meaning. Moreover, the English word meat was used for food in general but now it is restricted for a type of food only.
Widening or Extension of Meaning: Extension of meaning is another remarkable result of semantic change. Although it is somehow less common than restriction which is again observable diachronically. For instance, the English word rubbish only meant broken-stones but now it means all kinds of unwanted or left-over property. So, the expression of this word has become wider than before. Transfer or Shift of Meaning: Semantic change often results a complete shift or transfer of meaning. In ancient times, the word fee originally meant cattle because they were once used as payment but now fee means all kinds of payment instead of cattle. Similarly, the word pen meant quill or feathers as it was made of goose quills or feathers but at present it no longer means in this way. This is how, meanings of many words were completely shifted as a result of semantic change. Conclusion The job of linguists is to establish a diachronic study of language change. They have been tracing the origin, structure, historical development of all living languages of the world as well as studying the types and reasons of language change very precisely. At present, discussion about semantic change has received much significance since it has been traced as one of the major types of language change. Semantic change not only adds a new meaning to a word but also change the meaning entirely. It has been found out that the meaning of words are greatly affected by social, cultural, technological, environmental and political circumstances. William B. Hollmann (2009) says, “While semantic change was, due to its apparently complete unpredictability, for a long time the black sheep of the family of areas of language change, as a result of recent developments, it is now very well respected and as such is likely to attract a lot more research in the future”. In fact, different scholars have discussed about semantic change and classified it differently which ultimately shows a considerable disagreement among them. In this paper, the types, reasons and consequences of semantic change have been discussed to understand semantic change more precisely which may undoubtedly play a significant role to master more vocabulary and trace the historical development of language.

Blank, A & Koch, P. (1999). Historical Semantics and Cognition. Language Arts and Disciplines. (p. 62)
Campbell, L. (1998). Historical Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hollmann, W. H. (2009). English Language: Description, Variation and Context. (Ch. 35, p. 536).
Nerlich, B. (1992). Semantic Theories in Europe. Language Arts and Disciplines. (p. 143).
Yu, H & Ren, C. (2013. Analysis of English Semantic Change. Higher Education of Social Science. (p. 63).
Varshney, R.L. (1985). An Introductory Textbook of Phonetics and Linguistics. (Ch.19, p. 284-289).
Wijaya, D.T., & Yeniterzi, R. (2011). Understanding Semantic Change. Language Technologies Institute.…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay


...CURRICULUM MAJOR: ENGLISH COURSE DESCRIPTION 1. General Info: - Course: English Semantics - Code: LI005 - Credits: 2 - Option: Compulsory - Prerequisite: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing from 1 to 3 - Requirements: Students are required to attend the class fully, to participate in class activities such as exercises, mini-tests, discussion, etc. based on their self-study in accordance with their lecturers’ guidance and assignment. - Credit hours: + Lecture: 30 periods + Self-study: 45 hours - Department: Department of Foreign Languages – Linguistics Division 2. Objectives - Knowledge: to introduce students to all the main elements of Semantics in a simple step-by-step fashion. - Skills: to provide students with an opportunity to discover the value and fascination of studying Semantics, and move on to such topics as sense and reference, basic sense relations, simple logic, word meaning, and interpersonal meaning. - Attitude: to provide students with an opportunity to develop and promote their apt selfstudy and scholarship 3. Course summary This course has been carefully planned to introduce students to most of the main elements of Semantics. Students begin by discovering the value and fascination of studying Semantics, and move on to such topics as sense and reference, basic sense relations, simple logic, word meaning, and interpersonal meaning. Each unit of the course book used “Semantics A Course book” by James R. Hurford and Brendan Heasley includes short......

Words: 576 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Reason Why People Resist Change

...Top Ten Reasons People Resist Change: 1. THE RISK OF CHANGE IS SEEN AS GREATER THAN THE RISK OF STANDING STILL Making a change requires a kind of leap of faith: you decide to move in the direction of the unknown on the promise that something will be better for you. But you have no proof. Taking that leap of faith is risky, and people will only take active steps toward the unknown if they genuinely believe – and perhaps more importantly, feel – that the risks of standing still are greater than those of moving forward in a new direction. Making a change is all about managing risk. If you are making the case for change, be sure to set out in stark, truthful terms why you believe the risk situation favors change. Use numbers whenever you can, because we in the West pay attention to numbers. At the very least, they get our attention, and then when the rational mind is engaged, the emotional mind (which is typically most decisive) can begin to grapple with the prospect of change. But if you only sell your idea of change based on idealistic, unseen promises of reward, you won’t be nearly as effective in moving people to action. The power of the human fight-or-flight response can be activated to fight for change, but that begins with the perception of risk. 2. PEOPLE FEEL CONNECTED TO OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE IDENTIFIED WITH THE OLD WAY We are a social species. We become and like to remains connected to those we know, those who have taught us, those with whom we are familiar – even......

Words: 2304 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Reasons for the Change to African Slave Labor in the Caribbean

...As the change from tobacco to sugar cane production began to take place, so did the change in slave labour. It is said that the Amerindians were unfit for harsh labour and were in turn decimated. The Europeans then had to rely on the convicts, bondservants and prisoners of war to exploit resources and spread agricultural systems. This proved to be futile as the men that were taken were from cities and towns back in Europe. Originally, slavery had taken place among the different tribes in Africa, but in 1518, a shipload of slaves was brought from the African Coast to the Caribbean. After Portugal had succeeded in establishing sugar plantations in northern Brazil in 1545, Portuguese merchants on the West Coast of Africa began to supply enslaved Africans to the sugar planters. There are said to be many reasons African slaves were brought to work on thee plantations. There are two theories that aim to either support or disregard these reasons; racism and economical factors. Firstly, the plantation owners were said to have been guaranteed a steady supply of African slaves as opposed to the uncertain flow of bondservants, convicts and prisoners of war from Europe. This was undoubtedly true. Only so many people were convicted or taken a prisoner. It was indeed a lot but not when compared to the amount of Africans that were carried to the Caribbean through the slave trade. The Europeans came to the realization that slavery was already present. From excerpts that were......

Words: 887 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Identify and Explain 3 Reasons for Population Changes in Developing Countries

...Identify and explain 3 reasons for population changes in developing countries (9marks) Looking at population changes in the developing world, in a sociological way, means looking into demography, sociologist believe that It is important to study demographic trends such as, birth, fertility, infant mortality, death and migration, because they can produce ‘insights into why societies experience social changes’. The main population change in developing countries is its rapid growth. In 1999, the UN declared that the population of the world had reached 6 billion people, compared to only 2 billion people in 1925. Most of this increase has occurred in the developing world, with less developed regions of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean taking up 99% of the world’s population increase, which are about 83 million people. Theories on this included Malthus, who argued that ‘populations increase in size at a much faster rate than the ability of those same populations to feed themselves’, he concludes with, that theses limits on food supply would lead to ‘natural checks’ on population such as famine and malnutrition, and maybe the possibility of the out break of war, because countries would fight over what little food there is left. Such checks limit population because there is an increased death rate. He also argued that we should attempt to avoid overpopulation, by delaying marriage and abstaining from sex. A biologist, who’s ideas where adopted from Malthus, Paul Ehrlich...

Words: 514 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Reasons for Program Changes accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, an increase of 12 percent in the past year (” The greater number of recipients receiving these benefits the higher the demand is going to be for retailers. One of the most controversial topics that are discussed about this program is why the program continues to change instead of being given a specific set of guidelines and stick with it. The most common reason is the abuse some recipients are committing to the program which in return, causes things to become more difficult to qualify for. Some of the reasons for the constant changes include fraudulent activities, program exhaustion as a result of being overly used, along with the abuse. Fraudulent activities are usually when someone does not report a change in their living circumstance when a loved one passes away or a “undercover criminal” which is someone that commits crime but has not gotten caught yet, uses someone else’s identity and presents themselves to be the person they are representing, also known as identity theft. There is always room for variation so each of these reasons could change on a situational circumstance. Program exhaustion primarily comes from when the recipient stops using an alternative program, such as the food bank, pantries, open kitchens, etc which all offer food to those in need. So those programs continue to be funded as they have been whether anyone is using the service or not whereas, the total amount of......

Words: 580 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Assess the Reasons for the Changes in Marriage and Cohabitation

...Over the last forty years there have been dramatic changes in the patterns of marriage and cohabitation. Marriage refers to the legal contract between individuals that creates kinship. Yet, cohabitation is when two people live together as a couple without being married. The patterns of marriage have transformed a lot over the past forty years. In 1972 480,000 couples got married; however since then the number of marriages in England and wales has declined with only 244,710 couples marrying in 2005. Similarly, the patterns of cohabitation have varied as in 1986 only 12% of women were in a cohabitating couple, and now around 2.2 million families are cohabitating couples both with and without children. These patterns have changed for several reasons such as expenses, less social expectations, job opportunities, higher rates of divorce and major changes to people’s attitudes towards marriage. Financial issues are a contributing factor as to why the rate of marriages is declining and why cohabitating is become even more popular. Initially, the average cost of a wedding is £25,000 which is often a drawback for couples deciding to marry, hence why there is an increase in couples cohabitating. However there are even more financial issues for married couples, if the couple decide to part it means the divorce will have to go through a legal system which is both time consuming and costly. Unlike a marriage, if a cohabitating couple choose to go their separate ways there aren’t any......

Words: 949 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay


... CASE COUNSELING REPORT I. IDENTIFYING DATA: NAME : Mark Wendel A. Murillo AGE : 18 y/o SEX : Male STATUS : Single NATIONALITY : Filipino LIVING CONDITION : Middle Class MANNER OF DRESSING : Formal, Neat and Clean HEIGHT : 5’4 WEIGHT : 135 lbs BODY BUILT : Fat REFERRED BY : Mother and his grandparents REASON FOR REFERRAL : Depression II. PRESENTING PROBLEM This client was referred with depression due to his problem with his family. He cannot express his real identity because he belongs to a military family. He claimed that being a homosexual is not easy. He cannot show his real feelings because of fear being rejected. He is afraid of rejection towards family. He suffers from worries and depression. III. RELEVANT HISTORY This client claimed that he developed an inferiority complex due to multiple experiences of rejection since he was young. He was the source of ridicule in his family and group of friends. Ironically, his father is a military man and he is the eldest son in the family, yet he became...

Words: 2177 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Examine Reasons for Change in Divorce Rate Since 1970

...Examine the reasons for changes in divorce rate since 1970 Since the 1960’s divorce rate began to increase dramatically but the biggest rise in divorce rate was in 1972 when it doubled and was 120,000. The divorce rate continued to rise and in 1993 reached its peak at 180,000. There has been explanations for the rise in divorce which are: secularisation, changes in law, divorce had become cheaper and also changing attitudes in society especially with women as they had begun to receive more rights. By the times divorce had become a lot more socially acceptable. In the 19th Century divorce was extremely difficult to obtain, more so for women. Eventually in 1923 grounds were equalised for men and women, but this was followed by a sharp rise in the number of divorce petitions from women. Again in 1972, the grounds widened to ‘irretrievable breakdown’ which made divorce easier to obtain and produced a doubling of the divorce rate overnight. The introduction of legal aid for divorce cases in 1949 lowered the cost of divorce. With each change in the law divorce rates have risen. The new right are against the introduction of new laws which make marriage easier as it breaks up the idea of a traditional family which they support. It lead to a trend in single parent households. There were many laws which helped divorce become a lot cheaper and easier to obtain, the most significant law put in place in examining the reasons for changes in divorce rate is the law which was passed in......

Words: 1020 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Examine the Reasons for a Change in Divorce Rate Since 1971

...Examine the reasons for changes in divorce rate since 1971. Divorce has been an increasing trend due to numerous reasons such as changes in attitude, changes in law and changes in the economic position of women. In 1941, the grounds for divorce were widened meaning that ‘irretrievable breakdown’ was allowed as grounds for divorce. Irretrievable breakdown means that a marriage stopped working, but there is no blame on the people within the marriage; the marriage simply broke down and the people within that marriage were no longer happy with each other. This lead to an increase in divorce because previously couples who did not love each other had no specific grounds for divorce, such as adultery, and this is why the divorce rate doubled in 1972. In 1993, divorce rates were at the highest they had ever been, peaking at 180,000. This may have been down to high expectations of what marriage would be like, and these expectations not being met. Functionalists such as Fletcher believe that over the last few centuries, and idea of ‘romantic love’ has become dominant; when the love dies, people see no reason to stay together. The obsession for finding ‘the one’ can be pursued after divorce. Another reason for divorce rate increasing is that the stigma that used to be attached to it is disappearing. People used to view divorce as shameful, the church condemned it and would refuse to marry people who had been divorced. However, divorce us now seen as bad luck for those involved......

Words: 545 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Reasons for Change

...Reasons for Change HRM/310 January 13, 2014 Christine Healy Reasons for Change Lowes is one of several organizations well known as a home store which, draws customers that’s homeowners interested in do it yourself home projects or contractors. According to research Lowes has employed over 238,000 people, with the economy taking a turn for the worst Lowes was also affected. Which caused them to lay off over 1,700 employees in 2010. Many were in manager positions that had been with the company for years and was hired during a time when business was booming. Lowes decided by laying off full time higher paid employees that it would benefit the organization as a whole by replacing them with part time employees. Lowes intended on hiring 8,000 to 10,000 part time sales associates between the 1,725 stores statewide. These workers would be paid less due to their positions being entry level for instance sales associates that would be paid a lot less. Part time employees would not be entitled to any benefits such as: health insurance, 401k, retirement, and etc. Although, most Lowes would possibly lose one manager position the store would be given 4-8 part time workers to compensate for the loss. The manager that lost their jobs would be compensated by receiving severance pay and assistance with job placement. Those workers that wasn’t laid off witness how some employees received pay cuts depending on their position. One of Lowes competitor is Home Depot which was placed in and......

Words: 792 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Reasons for Change

...Change management is defined as the approach of an organization to a desired state. It is something that companies need to experience to become and also remain successful. The world is changing every day with technological advances with time there will come a point where an organization must adapt to keep up with the growing market. This article indentifies the reason Microsoft has fallen from the number one spot in its industry. Microsoft for a long time led the market by generating 20 billion dollars a year in operating income on 50 billion dollars in revenue (Govindarajan & Trimble, 2010). The numbers speak for themselves with how well Microsoft was doing. Within the past years that has all changed. Microsoft has been at a standstill whereas their competitor, Apple, stock prices have multiplied (Govindarajan & Trimble, 2010). Therefore, Apple has taken the lead in the industry with their new and innovative ideas. Microsoft has lacked in the growth department, which the reasoning for their decline. They are unable to come up with new ideas or execute the strategic plans put into place. Microsoft employs some of the top master minds of software but they apparently have not been able to put their talents to use (Govindarajan & Trimble, 2010). Apple has used change management to its advantage, which is why they are number one in the technology market right now. They have come up with ways to make their devices thinner and faster using the latest technology. They recently......

Words: 730 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay


...because English speakers typically used horizontal-oriented spatial metaphors such as ‘forward’ or ‘back’ for temporal relations, they might grow to think about time horizontally. Conversely, because Mandarin speakers commonly used vertical terms such as 上 (shang) and 下 (xia), which means ‘up’ and ‘down’ in English; this mapping may also become habits of thoughts. From her experiments, Boroditsky noted that Mandarin speakers relied on a ‘Mandarin’ way of thinking even when responding to English sentences. The subjects’ RT mirrored their perceived habit of thinking about time with Mandarin speakers demonstrating vertical biases even when thinking in English. Her investigations also suggested that earlier exposure to English decreases this semantic biases. Finally, her findings with English speakers briefly trained in vertical spatiotemporal metaphors indicated that it was language and not cultural differences that directs one’s way of thinking as they produced results similar to the Mandarin speakers (Boroditsky, 2001). Thus, according to Boroditsky, her findings suggest that language does have a strong influence in shaping habitual thoughts (2001), thereby supporting the linguistic relativity claim. J Y Chen (2006) countered Boroditsky’s claim, stating that a repetition of Boroditsky’s testing in Taiwan with native Mandarin and English speakers did not support her claims nor replicate similar findings. Chen’s findings suggested that the use of horizontal spatial metaphors......

Words: 1033 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Examine the Reasons for Changes in the Divorce Rate Since 1969.

...It has been proven that divorce rates have increased rapidly in the least 50 years or so. This can be seen from the actual number of divorces each year and from the increase in the divorce rate. Firstly, one reason for changes in the divorce rate since 1969 is the change in how divorce is perceived by society. For example, 50 years ago divorce was considered to be shameful and dishonourable as it was considered good for society if couples got married and stayed together. However, since then, although divorce is still a personal misfortune, it is no longer seen as a disgrace. The reason for this change is the shift in social norms and values and also the reinforcements of new laws and changes to existing ones. The major change has been the introduction of the Divorce Reform Act in 1969. This particular law allowed the termination of marriage and made the whole process become a lot easier. It also targeted two main areas of the old law that were abolished: the irretrievable breakdown of marriage and the evidence of adultery, separation and poor behaviour having to be provided. Another reason for the change in divorce is the changing opinions of women in society. This is because during the 1950s, women were expected to get married soon after they left school and start a family. If they didn’t meet these expectations, they would have been considered to have failed within society. Sue Sharpe conducted a study in both the 1970s and the 1990s to find what teenage girls aspirations...

Words: 805 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Examine the Reasons for the Changes of Divorce Rate Since 1969

...Examine the reasons for the changes of divorce rates since 1969 In 1969 the idea of an ‘irretrievable breakdown’ was introduces meaning that divorce could be given on these grounds and without having to find blame. In 1971 this idea became law meaning that couples could divorce on the ground of ‘irretrievable breakdown’. As there was no need to find blame it became to easier to become divorced meaning more people who wanted to divorce who wanted to divorce before the law came into action but didn’t due to the long hassling process, were now divorcing increasing the divorce rates. Also during the time of 1971 and 1975 two new laws came into play making women more equal in society. Both the equal pay act and the sex discrimination act gave women more freedom and independence. As a result of these two new laws, a very sharp increase was witnessed in women filing for divorce as they had greater independence and financial stability as they were working and thus earning their own money as well being able to get help from the welfare state. As divorce rates increased the stigma attached to divorce decreased. Pre 1969 to be divorced was seen to be shameful and it was frowned upon. But as society advanced so did the thoughts of people. But today’s society is very influenced by the media and the media like to portray the idea of a ‘prince charming’ and ‘romantic love’ which people live their live by. So when marriages do not live up to expectations and standards set by the......

Words: 389 - Pages: 2

Free Essay


...επινόησε τον παγκόσμιο ιστό το 1989,είχε το όραμα ενός ιστού δεδομένων αυτόματα επεξεργάσιμων από τις εφαρμογές ,βάσει του νοήματος και όχι της μορφής της πληροφορίας Το κέντρο βάρους των περιεχομένων του διαδικτύου μετατοπίζεται συνεχώς από το ελεύθερο κείμενο που είναι πλήρως κατανοητό μόνο από τον άνθρωπο, προς την ημιδομημένη ή/και πλήρως δομημένη πληροφορία η οποία μπορεί να γίνει αυτόματα κατανοητή από διαδικτυακές εφαρμογές ,όπως είναι οι διαδικτυακές υπηρεσίες ή οι ευφυείς πράκτορες. Το Σημασιολογικό Διαδίκτυο αποτελεί πρωτοβουλία της Κοινοπραξίας του Παγκόσμιου Ιστού(W3C) και η σχετική δραστηριότητα (Semantic Web Activity) έχει δημιουργηθεί για να διαδραματίσει έναν ηγετικό ρόλο ,τόσο στο σχεδιασμό προδιαγραφών, όσο και ανοικτή ανάπτυξη της τεχνολογίας μέσω της συνεργασίας. Θα πρέπει να διευκρινιστεί ότι η ακριβής μετάφρασή του αγγλικού όρου Semantic Web είναι Σημασιολογικός Ιστός . όμως η τεχνολογία που αναπτύσσεται και το εύρος των εφαρμογών ,καλύπτουν και άλλους τομείς του διαδικτύου πχ το ηλεκτρονικό ταχυδρομείο. Επίσης, είναι γεγονός πως το διαδίκτυο(internet) γίνεται πλέον αντιληπτό στο χρήστη σχεδόν αποκλειστικά μέσω του παγκοσμίου ιστού. Σαν αποτέλεσμα, οι δύο όροι ιστός και διαδίκτυο χρησιμοποιούνται σχεδόν ταυτόσημα. Για τα παραπάνω, στο εξής θα χρησιμοποιείται ο όρος Σημασιολογικό Διαδίκτυο. 2.Το όραμα του Σημασιολογικού Διαδικτύου Το Σημασιολογικό Διαδίκτυο αποτελεί μια επέκταση του υπάρχοντος διαδικτύου, στην οποία η πληροφορία που......

Words: 10061 - Pages: 41

or Learn More | Lang Nha Bảng | Congo, The Democratic Republic