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#148910 - 10/14/05 10:26 PM meaning drift/shift  
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tsuwm Offline
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this too shall pass
amongst Linguists, is there a difference made between meaning drift and meaning shift?

or is there another formal term used to describe what has happened to, e.g., the word decimate, or the word sanction?

#148911 - 10/14/05 11:05 PM Re: meaning drift/shift  
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decay, rot, degrade, succumb to misuse, fall victim to ignorance ... what did you have in mind?

#148912 - 10/14/05 11:15 PM Re: meaning drift/shift  
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Te Ika a Maui
Quote:

decay, rot, degrade, succumb to misuse, fall victim to ignorance ... what did you have in mind?




Shame on you! You really should at least try to make your bait a little more subtle.

How about "evolve", "morph", "transcend rigid dogmatism", "grow"?

#148913 - 10/15/05 12:09 AM Re: meaning drift/shift  
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Quote:

decay, rot, degrade, succumb to misuse, fall victim to ignorance ... what did you have in mind?




That's nice.

#148914 - 10/15/05 12:20 AM Re: meaning drift/shift  
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this too shall pass
oh, for heaven's sake. did I really come across as asking for a bunch of garden-variety púcilonyms?!

#148915 - 10/15/05 12:40 AM Re: meaning drift/shift  
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R'lyeh
I've always heard it called semantic change. Edward Sapir wrote about drift in his Language but he was talking about the tendency of languages to start changing (semantically, morphologically, syntacticly) and then head in a certain direction (or a set of similar changes cross linguistically.

[Edited typo.]

Last edited by zmjezhd; 10/15/05 01:01 PM.

Ceci n'est pas un seing.
#148916 - 10/15/05 12:42 AM Re: meaning drift/shift  
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R'lyeh
Quote:

decay, rot, degrade, succumb to misuse, fall victim to ignorance




Interesting. As a judge what do you call the natural change seen occuring in other cultural artifacts, such as the law? How about the legality or illegality of slavery? Or usuary?


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
#148917 - 10/15/05 12:43 AM Re: meaning drift/shift  
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"poecilonym: synonym; one of a variety of names for a thing "

Phrontistery

I will go now into my study and attempt to assign myself an appropriate penance.

#148918 - 10/15/05 12:49 AM Re: snow drift/shift  
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Quote:

"grow"




you rang?


formerly known as etaoin...
#148919 - 10/15/05 12:58 AM Re: meaning drift/shift  
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what do you call the natural change seen occuring in other cultural artifacts, such as the law? How about the legality or illegality of slavery?

There are several schools of jurisprudence which ask questions about how the law changes over time (and from place to place). They are remarkably similar to the schools of prescriptivism and descriptivism in linguistics. In analytic jurisprudence, the emphasis is on what the law is, not what it ought to be. It is neutral on issues of morality. As regards slavery, analytic jurisprudence would say something about which legal systems promote it, which tolerate it and which prohibit it (and how) without asking the question "Is slavery a good thing or a bad thing?" This school, it seems to me, is the jurisprudential equivalent of descriptivism. In normative jurisprudence, the emphasis is on what the law ought to be, not what it is. As regards slavery, normative jurisprudence would assert some values or first principles -- e.g. the dignity of every human being, the legal equality of every human being -- and reason from them that slavery is wrong. This school, it seems to me, is the jurisprudential equivalent of prescriptivism. A legal system which moves from permitting slavery to prohibiting it would be seen as improving, from a normative perspective, but only changing, from an analytic perspective. I have oversimplified both of these schools, but one ought not hog too much space in a thread which is not really about jurisprudence.

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