Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Wiley-Blackwell Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.


New from Brill!

ad

Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin


Summary Details


Query:   Change of English Usage
Author:  Atsuko Umesaki
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Historical Linguistics
Semantics

Summary:   For Query: Linguist 11.549

With many thanks to those who volunteered to help us, here is a
tentative summary of the survey we conducted on English usage.

1. Sent questionnaire to 46 volunteers, and collected from 36.
2. Breakdowns in terms of:
(a) Nationality: 23 Americans, 8 British, 1 Canadian, 4 Australians
(b) Gender: 19 females, 17 males
(c) Age bracket: (3 -60s), (7 -50s), (5 -40s), (12 -30s), (9 -20s)
3. The sentences asked were:
(1) The police accused him as a murderer. (Meaning the police or
something prosecuted him as a murderer)
(2) He is not easy of access (Meaning he is such an important person
that it is not easy to approach him.)
(3) She was sitting on the chair with her legs across. (Meaning she was
sitting on the chair with her legs crossed.)
(4a) He admonished me that I be punctual.
(4b) He admonished me that I should be punctual.
(Meaning I am often late so that he advised me to be punctual.)
(5) The music is alien from Europe. (Meaning the music sounds exotic and
does not sound like European music.)
(6) He is amorous of the girl. (Meaning he is in love with the girl.)
4. Summary of responses:
figures in the order: OK Possible but (archaic, too formal, etc.)
No
(1) 1-4-31
(2) 0-3-33
(3) 1-0-35
(4a) 8-2-16
(4b) 18-2-5
(5) 1-0-35
(6) 2-4-30
5. A tentative analysis:
Most of these expressions were used in 16-19century English as is found
in OED and in earlier versions of COD, therefore we have no intention to
put blame on English-Japanese dictionaries for retaining such archaic
or impossibly old-fashioned expressions. Many of the
respondents told us that most of those sentences are archaic or
extremely old-fashioned or impossibly formal; some of these seem
to sound foreign or non-native, but we do not find any
significant differences either among nationalities or among age-brackets
or among genders.
We will use this data for the analysis of changes in the English
language during the past one hundred or so period of time.

Atsuko F. Umesaki (Tezukayama College)
Katsumasa Yagi (Kwansei Gakuin Umiversity)

LL Issue: 11.615
Date Posted: 18-Mar-2000
Original Query: Read original query


Back

Sums main page