SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Language change

Language change is variation over time in a language's features. It is studied in several subfields of linguistics: historical linguistics and evolutionary linguistics; some commentators use the label corruption to suggest that language change constitutes a degradation in the quality of a language when the change originates from human error or is a prescriptively discouraged usage. Modern linguistics does not support this concept, since from a scientific point of view such innovations cannot be judged in terms of good or bad. John Lyons notes that "any standard of evaluation applied to language-change must be based upon a recognition of the various functions a language'is called upon' to fulfil in the society which uses it". Economy: Speech communities tend to change their utterances to be as efficient and effective as possible, while still reaching communicative goals. Purposeful speaking therefore involves a trade-off of benefits; the principle of least effort tends to result in phonetic reduction of speech forms.

See vowel reduction, cluster reduction and elision. After some time a change may become accepted and may end up treated as standard. For instance: going to → gonna or, with examples of both vowel reduction → and elision →, →. Expressiveness: Common or overused language tends to lose its emotional or rhetorical intensity over time. Language contact: Words and constructions are borrowed from one language into another. Geographic separation: When people with one language move away from each other, the language will diverge into separate dialects, due to different experiences. Cultural environment: As a culture evolves, new places and objects enter its language, whether or not the culture encounters different people. Migration/Movement: Speech communities, moving into a region with a new or more complex linguistic situation, will influence, be influenced by, language change. Imperfect learning: According to one view, children learn the adult forms imperfectly, the changed forms turn into a new standard.

Alternatively, imperfect learning occurs in one part of society, such as an immigrant group, where the minority language forms a substratum, the changed forms can influence majority usage. Social prestige: Language may not only change towards features that have more social prestige, but away from ones with negative prestige, as in the case of the loss of rhoticity in the British Received Pronunciation accent; such movements can go forth. According to Guy Deutscher, the tricky question is "Why are changes not brought up short and stopped in their tracks? At first sight, there seem to be all the reasons in the world why society should never let the changes through." He sees the reason for tolerating change in the fact that we are used to "synchronic variation", to the extent that we are hardly aware of it. For example, when we hear the word "wicked", we automatically interpret it as either "evil" or "wonderful", depending on whether it is uttered by an elderly lady or a teenager. Deutscher speculates that "n a hundred years' time, when the original meaning of'wicked' has all but been forgotten, people may wonder how it was possible for a word meaning'evil' to change its sense to'wonderful' so quickly."

All languages change continually, do so in many and varied ways. Marcel Cohen details various types of language change under the overall headings of the external evolution and internal evolution of languages; the study of lexical changes forms the diachronic portion of the science of onomasiology. The ongoing influx of new words into the English language helps make it a rich field for investigation into language change, despite the difficulty of defining and the vocabulary available to speakers of English. Throughout its history English has not only borrowed words from other languages but has re-combined and recycled them to create new meanings, whilst losing some old words. Dictionary-writers try to keep track of the changes in languages by recording the appearance in a language of new words, or of new usages for existing words. By the same token, they may tag some words as "archaic" or "obsolete". In the English language, there occurred a shift from common words towards the use of rarer words, but on a marginal level.

Within over 300 years, the relative frequency of words in samples of English and American newspapers decreased only about three units within a possible theoretical range of 208 units, 1-2%. The concept of sound change covers both phonological developments; the sociolinguist William Labov recorded the change in pronunciation in a short period in the American resort of Martha's Vineyard and showed how this resulted from social tensions and processes. In the short time that broadcast media have recorded their work, one can observe the difference between the pronunciation of the newsreaders of the 1940s and the 1950s and the pronunciation of today; the greater acceptance and fashionability of regional accents in media may reflect a more democratic, less formal society — compare the widespread adoption of language policies. The mapping and recording of small-scale phonological changes poses difficulties, espec

Ernie Regehr

Ernie Regehr, is a Canadian peace researcher and expert in security and disarmament. He co-founded Project Ploughshares, a peace research organization based in Waterloo, with Murray Thomson in 1976 and served as its Executive Director for thirty years. Project Ploughshares is an ecumenical project supported by the Canadian Council of Churches. Regehr has been a Canadian NGO representative and expert advisor at numerous international disarmament forums including UN Conferences on Small Arms. Regehr is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies at Conrad Grebel University College and The Simons Foundation, he serves on the Board of Directors of the Africa Peace Forum in Kenya. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Waterloo in 1968, Regehr worked in journalism and for a member of Parliament, during which time he wrote his first book Making a Killing: Canada’s Arms Industry. Regehr and his wife Nancy served with Mennonite Central Committee in South Africa and Botswana from 1974-1976 before returning to Canada.

Remarking on his experiences in southern Africa, Regehr noted: As newly independent countries and Botswana were determined, as were other newly independent states in Africa, to assemble modern armed forces, with jet fighters and all the rest of the military paraphernalia, assumed to be essential to modern security forces – all supplied by the arms factories of the North. At the same time, it was obvious that the long-term viability of those states would depend on their capacity to provide for the human security of their citizens – education, health care and the economic wherewithal to meet daily needs of food and shelter. Tanks and jet fighters were not going to deliver human security; when we returned to Canada, Nancy and I retained our interest in the issues framed through the African experience and I explored the possibility of doing some research and writing on the theme of militarism and underdevelopment – notably, the role of the international arms trade with the third world as an impediment to social and economic development.

In 1976, Regehr contacted Murray Thompson, the Executive Director of CUSO. The two began a research project on militarism and underdevelopment, co-founded Project Ploughshares as an organizational extension to this research on July 1, 1976. Regehr’s peace and security work has been honoured with a number of awards, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2003, in January 2011 he became the 26th laureate of the Pearson Peace Medal. Regehr was a recipient of the University of Waterloo 50th Anniversary Alumni Award in 2007 and the Arthur Kroeger College Award for Ethics in Public Affairs in 2008. Regehr has written a number of books and articles about security issues, his publications include: Making a Killing: Canada‘s Arms Industry. McClelland and Stewart. 1975. ISBN 978-0771074387. Perceptions of Apartheid: The churches and political change in South Africa. Scottsdale, PA: Herald Press. 1979. ISBN 978-0836118995. Militarism and the World Military Order. World Council of Churches. 1980. Canada and the Nuclear Arms Race.

Co-edited with Simon Rosenblum. James Lorimer and Company. 1983. ISBN 978-0888626356. CS1 maint: others Arms Canada: The Deadly Business of Military Exports. James Lorimer and Company. 1987. ISBN 978-0888629593; the Road to Peace. Co-edited with Simon Rosenblum. James Lorimer and Company. 1988. ISBN 978-1550280395. CS1 maint: others "Canada and the Arms Trade Treaty". Behind the Headlines; the Canadian Institute of International Affairs/The Centre for International Governance Innovation. 64. 2007. Archived from the original on 2012-01-08. Regehr has written numerous articles in newspapers and scholarly journals

Bearded screech owl

The bearded screech owl is a species of small owl in the family Strigidae. It is found in central Chiapas, Mexico, its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. It is threatened by habitat loss. First described by Philip Sclater and Osbert Salvin in 1868, the bearded screech owl is one of more than 20 small owls in the genus Megascops. Adults have a length of 16 to 20 cm and weigh 58–79 g. Females are, on average, heavier than males; the ear tufts are small. There is a light reddish-brown morph; the face veil is light with a thin dark border. The top has brown and black spots, the spots on the upper mantle are a strong white; the shoulder feathers have black-fringed whitish outer flags. The chest has a thick yellow-brown banding. Flanks and belly show dark shaft streaks; the barrel is feathered. The wings extend beyond the short tail; the iris is yellow. The beak is greenish-gray; the toes are pink-gray. Representatives of the reddish-brown patterned morphs are less strong and the markings on the top and bottom are reddish brown.

Their call is a short fast trills 3:00 to 5:00 seconds duration, its volume increases at the beginning and end abruptly drops. The bearded screech owl is found from the highlands of central Chiapas, Mexico to the highlands of central and western Guatemala, it occurs in humid montane forest at elevations above 1,800 m, though it has been recorded as low as 1,350 m. It is thought to be resident, with no migratory movements. Http://www.owling.com/Bearded_Screech.htm