Abstract

In order for communication to take place, there must be a set of core concepts that are universal to all speakers. Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) has proposed an inventory of these concepts, called semantic primes, and uses them as universal concepts in the explication and exploration of cultural values. The English semantic primes, while the majority are Anglo-Saxon, contain words that have been borrowed from Latin, Old Norse, and French. Borrowing lexical items into core vocabulary has many implications. First, the primes are not entirely stable or immune to foreign influence, even the Anglo-Saxon primes have been susceptible to the processes of language change. Second, the primes do not reflect the trends of borrowing in English as a whole. And finally, because the primes are core vocabulary, this study opens up a new aspect of English as a mixed language.

Degree

MA

College and Department

Humanities; Linguistics and English Language

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2013-10-01

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd6531

Keywords

English, core vocabulary, Natural Semantic Metalanguage, language change, semantics, universal concepts, Old English

Included in

Linguistics Commons

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