Very rough outline, so that you can

            -see what is likely to come up

            -give me suggestions for more/different topics



5. Future weekly subjects/topics might include:

Word-formation (affixes taken from Barber, good source is Marchand, in STL):


Suffixes:                        Verbs: -ize, -ate; Nouns: -er, -(i)an, -ist, -ness, -ity; -eer, -ery; Adjectives: -ed, -y, -ic/al

Prefixes:                        anti-, be-, co-, counter-, dis-, im-, in-, mis-, non-, pre-, semi-, trans-, un-


6.      Grammatical variation


-nouns: the rise and fall of the apostrophe

-nouns: plural of rhinoceros and other classical loanwords

-second person singular pronoun: use of thou, thee in C16th and C17th

-second person plural pronoun: replacement of ye with you

-second person plural pronoun: form you was

-second person plural pronoun: you, you all, youse, etc.

-neuter pronoun: replacement of his with its

-third person singular: competition between –s and –th

-second and third person singular: the subjunctive (and its successors)

-contractions like ain’t, he don’t

-forms of verb drink, drank/drunk, drunk(en)

-forms of verbs write, wrote, written/wrote

-forms of verb get, got, got(ten)

-forms of verbs dig and stick



7.      C17th-19th vocabulary; pronunciation and pronunciation dictionaries


-French: beau, brochure, cafe, carte blanche, casserole, civilization, class, connoisseur, decor, ennui, etiquette, faux pas, genteel, liaison, madame, naive, police, rendezvous, repartee, restaurant, salon, soup, souvenir


-industrialization (watch this space): brake, car, coach, engine, factory, gear, key, machine, match, mill, motor, strike, switch, (CP: check vehicle)


-Will be done in week 9:: pronunciation (watch this space: words like ass, herb, Cajun, sergeant, lieutenant)


8. North American, Canadian vocabulary; British/North American synonyms











boss, brave, bush, Canada/Canadian, Canuck, caucus, chesterfield, concession, creek, depot, dollar, Eskimo, muskie, prairie, reeve, riding, shanty, squaw, totem


9. Colonialism: place names, Indian words


-amok, barbecue, bungalow, chow, curry, jungle, kangaroo, pundit, pyjamas, shampoo, swastika, taboo, thug, tycoon, verandah


10. Usage issues/syntax


Usage issues: explain reasons for objections to “the man I gave the book to”, complaints in the TLS about may vs Might, “to boldly go”, "Can I go to the bathroom?" "Yes, you may!", "the reader ... they", etc.

Syntax: explain origins of “the church was being built”, variation between sweetest and most sweet, Get lost!, etc., do in questions, etc.


11. C19th-C20th vocabulary: Science and technology: scientific terminology, semantic change

Affixes: auto-, bio-, eco-, micro-, nano-,
Terms related to AIDS: AIDS, retrovirus, (get more from Ricks volume)



12. Language and society: sociolinguistics, slang, political correctness, euphemisms

C19th coinages homosexual, lesbian, Sapphism
Sociolinguistics: urban dialectology (Labov); Chambers' work on change in progress in pronunciation of Canadian English; social network theory (Milroys)
PC: suffix -ess, chair


13. Business and Technology: internet, brand names

Business: lower case letters (e.g. e (eaton's self-refashioning); ownership of words/domains (e.g. Lindows being sued by Microsoft over property of the word windows); blend words and product names; euphemisms used in the Waste Business industry (that article on sludge/slurry/humanure); use of hip-hop language by marketers