1. Using an example, explain the following statement: “analogy involves a relation of similarity”
Although analogy is one of the most frequent types of language change, there is no clear and precise definition of this phenomenon. What the various definitions share is that analogy involves a relation of similarity. This means that in analogical change, one piece of the language changes to become more like another pattern in the language where speaker perceives the changing part as similar to the pattern that it changes to be more like.
For example, the PDE words sorry and sorrow used to be distinct, but in the past sorry has undergone a change under the influence of sorrow to become more like sorrow. Sorry has its origin in OE sárig. The original á changed to ó, which was then shortened to o under the influence of similarly soudning sorrow, although these two words do not share the same historical origin.
2) Explain the Relationship between the operation of sound change and analogy.
Both analogues and sound change creates new forms in the language. The basic difference between them is that sound changes are often regular, but create irregular patterns, whereas analogy is irregular and unpredictable but it leads regularity:
sound change: it is possible to create rules that applies for any instance; it can change one form within a paradigm creating irregularity:
Plural: Brother + en > brethren because of the regular sound change called umlaut - it is different from its singular, it can be considered an irregular plural
analogy: it is not possible to create rules since it does not occur in some specific conditions; it changes form and in a paradigm to make it similar to another one, creating regularity:
Plural: Brethren > brothers because of the analogs on the basis of the forms sister / sisters - it is possible to see analogues that made the regular plural form (-s ending)
3. Explain the relation between analogical extension and levelling.
- Analogical Levelling
- Causes a form to have less allomorphs, it is a tendency of a language to become more uniform, with more regular forms
- For instance, English irregular verbs tend to become regular over time (e.g. help)
- Or old-elder-eldest (now only in specific contexts) -> PDE old-older-oldest
- Partial Levelling – switching to a different pattern that is still irregular
- E.g. break-brake-broken -> PDE break-broke-broken, based on analogy, because the past and past participle forms of many irregular verbs have the same vowel in the root
- Analogical extension
- A less common form substitutes a more common one – a step backwards in terms of complete regularization of a language
- E.g. the past form of dive is regular, but can also be dove, based on analogy with verbs like drive-drove, ride-rode, strive-strove (strived), write-wrote
5. Explain the relation between immediate and non‐immediate analogy (analogical models).
- Immediate analogy
- The analogy occurs because of the nearness in context, the words that are to become analogous appear next to each other frequently
- E.g. earlier femelle [fə'mel] changed in spelling and pronunciation to PDE female ['fi:meil] mainly due to its constant co-occurence with male
- Non-immediate analogy
- Analogy where the involved forms do not appear together frequently
- E.g. an irregular verb can change into a regular one, even though it does not necessarily have to share its context with other regular verbs