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328 Study Questions: Baugh Chapter One: "English Present and Future"


Vocabulary: plagiarism, cognate, loan word, dead language, linguistic analogy, linguistics, first language, lingua franca, artificial language, loan words, inflection, grammatical gender, idiom, orthography

1.2 According to the introductory chapter, what event in 597 brought England into contact with "Latin civilization"?
What was the result of the Scandinavian invasions?
After the Norman Conquest in 1066, English became mainly the language of what sort of social class?

1.3 According to Baugh, what makes Latin a dead language, as opposed to a living language like English?
List three ways living languages tend to change over time.

1.4 According to Baugh, what makes a language important? Do you buy this argument, or do you find it debatable? Why?

1.5 How many English speakers exist in the world who speak English as their first language, according to Baugh?
What language has the most speakers in the world, according to Baugh?
In addition to the number of people who speak a language, and the extent of geographic area in which a language is spoken, Baugh suggests at least two other factors indicate how important a language is. What are these two other factors?

1.6 What factors according to Baugh would make one initially think that English is going to go into a decline after four centuries of expansion? What factors according to Baugh make this unlikely on further reflection?

1.7 What are Volapük and Esperanto?
What factors make it unlikely that any artificial language will become an international standard language?

1.8 (none)

1.9 The English language is normally classified as what sort of language? (a) Germanic, (b) Romance, (c) Volapük, (d) Hellenic, (e) semi-Gothic.

What advantage does English have in its vocabulary over many other languages, according to Baugh?
Give an example of a word English has borrowed from each of the following languages: (To really impress your teacher, consult a dictionary for etymological entries and give any one example of a word English has borrowed from the following languages that Baugh doesn't list):

  • Italian?
  • Spanish?
  • Greek?
  • Russian?
  • Persian?
1.10 What is a second valuable asset English has in comparison to other languages when we consider English's grammatical inflections?
The evolution of English within known history has been a story of what, according to Baugh?
In terms of nouns, what are the only the only two types of inflections remaining in most English nouns?

1.11 What is a third valuable asset English has in comparison to other languages regarding gender? How many grammatical genders do most modern Romance languages have? How many grammatical genders do most modern Germanic languages have? How many grammatical genders does Modern English have (trick question!)?

How closely does grammatical gender coincide with "natural" or "biological" gender?

When did English "strip away" inflections for grammatical gender (i.e., during what period of English)?

1.12 What disadvantage does English have for foreign speakers in comparison to other languages regarding idiomatic expressions?

What disadvantage does English have in regards to its spelling system?
What would characterize an ideal system of alphabetic writing?
What are some examples of how English as a written language does not match this ideal?

 

 

 

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