Advancing the Scientific Study of Language since 1924

Advancing the Scientific Study of Language since 1924

  • Annual Meetings & Institutes
  • What is Linguistics?
  • LSA Publications
  • Annual Meetings & Institutes
  • What is Linguistics?
  • LSA Publications

Is English changing?

Yes, and so is every other human language! Language is always changing, evolving, and adapting to the needs of its users. This isn’t a bad thing; if English hadn’t changed since, say, 1950, we wouldn’t have words to refer to modems, fax machines, or cable TV. As long as the needs of language users continue to change, so will the language. The change is so slow that from year to year we hardly notice it, except to grumble every so often about the ‘poor English’ being used by the younger generation! However, reading Shakespeare’s writings from the sixteenth century can be difficult. If you go back a couple more centuries, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales are very tough sledding, and if you went back another 500 years to try to read Beowulf, it would be like reading a different language.

Why does language change?

Language changes for several reasons. First, it changes because the needs of its speakers change. Continue reading “Advancing the Scientific Study of Language since 1924”