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Linguistics: A Complete Introduction: Teach Yourself

David Hornsby

Top 10 Best Quotes

“…the idea of morphemes with constant phonetic and semantic identity is fully appropriate only to the agglutinative languages. Morpheme analysis, therefore, is essentially an attempt to mould all languages (including those that are inflectional) into the form of the agglutinative”

“the word man originally meant ‘person’ but acquired the meaning ‘male person’, an etymology which leads some people to object to terms such as chairman as gender-exclusive.”

“the change in British English which saw the wh- sound [ʍ] pronounced like [w] had the consequence that such word pairs as which/witch, whales/Wales and while/wile are no longer distinguished by most British English speakers.”

“our knowledge of Sanskrit likewise derives largely from descriptions designed to preserve religious texts from the Vedic period (1200–1000 BCE).”

“linguistic value judgements have a social rather than linguistic basis”

“languages of Europe (but not beyond) the Port-Royal Grammar presented the six-case structure of Latin noun declension as a universal framework, realized in a variety of ways by different languages (in the Romance languages, for example, much of the grammatical work which had been done by Latin case-endings was now performed by prepositions).”

“in the first millennium BCE the first alphabet in the modern sense of the term was adapted by the Greeks from Phoenician script.”

“in our first language. However, it is just as difficult, and sometimes worse, to learn sounds which are phonemically contrastive in the language we are learning, but allophones of a single phoneme in our native system.”

“case in point is English following the Norman Conquest, which borrowed heavily from Norman French: estimates have suggested that around 30–40 per cent of modern English vocabulary is ultimately of French origin.”

“around 30 per cent of English words are ultimately of French or Norman French origin, the vast majority of which pass unnoticed.”

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