ENG367Y – rough “key”


This “key” contains the basics for respectable answers to the questions, and, where applicable, references to the class readings.


Part A: terminology



Oops -- my special characters didn't translate onto the page. Please ask me in class about these!(a)    ______, (b) p, (c) ______ (d) the "theta" sign. [Crystal 242-245, class lecture]

(b)   (e) /U/, (f) /u/ (or /uw/, (g) I, (h) /i/ (or /iy/ or /ij/ [handout, Crystal 237].



(a) Grandma (subject) has (verb) it (direct object) tough (object complement) this year (adverbial). [Crystal p. 221]

(c)    Grandma (noun) has (verb) it (pronoun) tough (adjective -- though I will entertain reasoned cases for it being an adverb) this (determiner) year (noun). [Crystal chapter 15]



(a)    She (subject) was being (verb) sadistic (subject complement). [Crystal p. 221]

(b)   finite verb = was (past tense, 3rd person singular), [Crystal p. 212]



(a)    Passive.

(b)   This was mean of me. The classic sign of a strong verb is the change of root vowel to mark the change of tense (not present in beat). Another sign is an –en on the past participle: beaten. (cf. drive, drove, driven.)



(a)    kind (free root); un- and –ness (derivational affixes); -es (inflexional affixes – the plural marker). [Class notes]

(b)   hap(p)- (bound root: cf. happy, hapless, but no *hap); -en (derivational affix, cf. lighten); -ing (inflexional affix, cf. the –ing form in “She is speaking”). [Class notes]



(a)    affixation, (b) metaphor, generalization, extension, (c) back formation, (d) blend. [Crystal 128-9, 138].


Part B


Read instructions carefully: only (…) SIX of these were required!


B1. Answer should mention such linguistic features as missing articles, noun adjuncts (TERROR BILL), conversion (is LEFT a noun or a verb), abbreviations/initialisms (US), blends (TALIBOSS), use of present tense to report past events (GETS, BOMBS, WAFFLES). Answers should also relate relevant linguistic features to the needs of newspapers (space constraint, attention getting, etc.). [Class discussion]


B2. Answer should account for such linguistic features as: specialist, often classical terminology (geomagnetic, inclination); impersonal style (passive voice in was held constant, non-human subject Previous experiments); lots of nouns (experiments, hatchling, loggerhead, inclination angle, etc. etc.); lots of lexical words; noun phrases with complex structures (noun phrases like magnetic inclination angle containing noun adjunct inclination angle); verbs of exposition (show), manipulation (hold constant, vary); adjectival modifiers (initial, previous); precise/qualified descriptions (could, in principle). [Crystal 372]


B3. Unidiomatic use of the progressive (I am thinking), definite article (in ^ newspaper, lend me the ears), indefinite article (must be ^ student unrest fellow), inappropriate or mixed register (Friends, Romans, Countrymen), loanwords from native languages (goonda), new compounds (student unrest fellow), errors in concord (fellow/ throw) and tense (fellow / throw). [Class discussion; see Millward p. 396]


B4. Nouns often do not use –s to mark a plural (haan), no case distinctions in pronouns (me haan, yu daag), verb negated with a preceding particle (me na go bite), serial verbs (go bite). Simplification of final consonant clusters (haan “hand”), stops/plosives for interdental fricatives (teet “teeth”), non-rhotic (fo “for”, maan ”morn”). Non-standard spelling. [Class discussion, Crystal 345-7].


B5. The recorded speech of a voice mail message: participants are separated spatially and temporally; message can’t be supplemented with gesture, etc., so has to be unambiguous; can be planned, even scripted; likely to be communicating information; often formally structured (e.g. initial identification of speaker); revisable (with digital voice mail rather than answering machine tape!); can be kept, replayed. [Crystal 291].


B6. “Canadian raising” is a term that refers to what is better understood as the “non-lowering” before voiceless consonants of the first elements of the diphthongs /ay/ and /aw/. The Great Vowel Shift diphthongized the high front vowel /i/ to /ay/ in words like wide, and the high back vowel /u/ to /aw/ in words like loud. In Canadian English, before voiceless consonants the first element of the diphthong did not lower to /a/ and is realized as /^/ in words like white and lout.


B7. English has been receptive to loanwords for a long time, sometimes borrowing the same word twice: such pairs are called doublets. Doublets usually differ in meaning and in form from each other: for instance, esteem and estimate differently denote the appraisal of the worth of someone or something. Different forms of the “same” word might arise in different ways. Sometimes the difference results from borrowing different forms of the same Latin word, such as the present form (convince) or the past participle form (convict). Different forms might also arise from borrowing a word from French (typically in the Middle English period) and then later from Latin (typically in the Early Modern period): esteem and estimate fall into this category.


B8. This question relates to the Great Vowel Shift. Words with an <ea> spelling were pronounced /__/ before the GVS, when many of them fell in with <ee> /e/ words and raised to /i/, e.g. Keats, meat, meet. However, some <ea> words raised only to /e/: steak, Yeats; this incomplete merger was characteristically Irish. After the Great Vowel Shift, the sound /i/ could be spelled <ea> (meat), <ee> (meet), and < > in later borrowings like machine and sushi. Because of this variation between <ee> and <  >, loanwords like sari, saree can be spelled in several ways.

B9. Discussed in class, and see Millward 252-252. In the OE and ME periods, the <ng> spelling in words like sing had been pronounced [ŋg], as it still is in the PDE word hunger: /ŋ/ was merely an allophone of the phoneme /n/ with the assimilation of that sound to a following velar (cf. rink /rIŋk/). In the EMODE period, when [ŋg] occurred word-finally /g/ was lost: sing /sIŋg/ became /sIŋ/. The fact that sing and sin were now minimal pairs illustrates that /ŋ/ contrasted with /n/ and was now a phoneme. The loss of /g/ occurred only when ŋg appeared in word-final position: the /g/ in the word hunger is still pronounced because the cluster does not appear word-finally.


B10. Discussed in class. Post-vocalic allophones of /h/ were voiceless fricatives, either velar (after back vowels) or palatal (after front vowels). These have either disappeared (sigh) or have become a voiceless labiodental fricative (enough). English spelling is conservative, preserving the <gh> despite the absence or the change of the initial sound. Word-initially, <h> is sometimes not pronounced: words like heir and honest were borrowed in ME from French, which despite the spelling had lost the sound. In the early modern period, the rising status of written language that came with prescriptivism and mass literacy meant that the /h/ in such words was sometimes restored in some dialects: this is the case with humour and human. “H-dropping” became a sign of illiteracy and low social status. The variation in pronunciation of words like herb (and of words like human in some US dialects) reflects the different outcomes of this phenomenon in different regional varieties of English.


B11. Rules in Lowth’s grammar often reflected a desire to eliminate linguistic variation, to establish a one-to-one correspondence between form and function. It is typical of prescriptive grammars both to label a variant form as an “error” and to assign social significance to linguistic variants: thus, wrote as past participle in I have wrote was no longer an acceptable alternative to written but instead a sign of illiteracy, ignorance, vulgarity, etc. As a dead and therefore invariable language, and a statusful language, Latin was often used as a model for English. Literary authors were also used as models for readers; Lowth was innovative in using literary authors like Shakespeare and Milton as negative models. Lowth was not innovative in using “negative examples”; the grammarian Ann Fisher had imported “exercises of false English” from Latin into English teaching.


B12. As well as emphasizing how scientific and technological developments have enlarged the (mostly specialist) lexicon (what’s an arenavirus?!) and noting the particular characteristics of the 70s (space race, social trends), answers had to assess the extent to which these particular words reflected the PDE tendency to enlarge the vocabulary principally by compounding and affixation, and to observe that strategies like acronyms (Amex and armalcolite have elements of acronymity!) are particularly characteristic of literate culture and thus of modern English.



Part C


Remember to explain the significance of the patterns that you describe! There will be a “make-up” for this section of the test. The introduction to Rigg (and our work describing differences between OE and PDE) will be helpful practice.


Early Modern -> Present-Day English


Patterns should include


Spelling differences

-loss of final <e>: e.g. himselfe againehimself … again (1)

-<I> becomes <J>: e.g. IesusJesus (1)

-<vnto> (3) has <v> representing the vowel word-initially: now represented by <u>

-<haue> (5) has <u> representing the consonant word-medially: now represented by <v>


Semantic change

-change in meaning of lexical words: e.g. wise (1) doesn’t mean “manner” or “way” any more except in words like clockwise

-change in meaning of grammar words like prepositions: on this wise (1) has become in

-change in meaning of prepositions, rise of multi-word prepositions: for the multitude of fishes (6) would have to be replaced with a multi-word preposition like “on account of” or “because of”



-some words have become rare or obsolete, e.g. girt (7)

-PDE has more noun adjuncts, e.g. fire of coales ->charcoal fire (9)

-PDE has more phrasal verbs: I goe -> I am going out (3), the other disciples came -> came on (8)



-more complex verb phrases in PDE:

-e.g., immediate future is expressed not with simple present I goe (3) but with progressive I am going out (3)

-use of DO as auxiliary for negation: e.g., knewe not becomes did not know (4)

                        -negative particle not now follows auxiliary verb

-use of DO as auxiliary for questions: e.g., haue ye (5) could now be realized as do you have

                        -auxiliary verb now inverted with subject

-loss of non-emphatic auxiliary DO: did cast (7) would be simple past (cast)

-use of BE as auxiliary with perfective aspect of intransitive verbs: the morning was now come (4), they were come (9)

-PDE now has only one second-person pronoun: thee (referring to one person) becomes you (3)

-PDE second-person pronoun is you for both object and subject form: ye (5) becomes you (5)



Present-Day English cf. Creole (see Crystal 347, 345)


-different lexis, e.g. pikin (5)

-semantic change, e.g. for beach “on the beach” (4)

-no pronoun case distinction: e.g., his disciples, he disciple (1), them no know (4) “they did not know”

-no noun plurals in –s: e.g., his disciples, he disciple (1)

            -but twins (2)!

-use of be, been as tense markers (1)

-verb negation with preceding negative particle: e.g., no know (4)

-questions: change of intonation (marked in writing with <?>) rather than syntax: (5)

-serial verbs often used: e.g., know, know say (4)



Part D.


Nearly everybody did the “insecticide” question, and very well. The best answers were very specific both about the linguistic properties AND also about the marketers’ purposes in exploiting these properties in order to create specific impressions by the consumer. I’ve just sketched some of the most common points here: the best answers had descriptions and interpretations that were specific and sophisticated. Remember, when you do research, always “interpret” as well as “describe” patterns.


Simple, catchy, distinctive, unique: advertisers want customers to remember the product; products have to have unique as well as memorable names

            Monosyllabic: Raid

            Rhythmic: Creepy Crawly

            Alliterative: Creepy Crawly, Slug & Snail

            Rhyme/assonance: Bug & Slug, Critter Ridder

            Distinctive spelling: Bug-B-Gone, Bug-X


Register: informal terms denoting insects (“Bug”, “Critter”)


            Reassuring: diminishes the insect (and the horror of infestation?!)


Semantics: connotations of violence: speedy results; “human dominion over insects”

            Letter or affix X or –ex: death!

            Monosyllables || speed:


Compounds: spell out clearly what the product does (get rid of/kill bugs)


                        End All

            Bug Killer


Some terms are “plain and to the point”: Crawling insect bug killer, Flying insect bug killer

Compounds: clearly spell out for the consumer what the product does; also categorize (like scientific language, but more transparently!)


Euphemistic names: “cleanliness over barbarity”

            “Gardal” guards roses rather than kills insects.

                        Tend to be the garden products?!


(Pseudo-)Scientific names: have authority, “tested” effectiveness.

            Latin/Greek elements (or pseudo-elements):

                        Roots: Cy- (recalls “cyanide”)

                                    Others not so transparent: Malathion, etc

                        Affixes: -cide

            Letters and numbers: Bugban C, Cygon 2E

            Classification: Flying insect, crawling insect