rate of language change

Larry Trask larryt at cogs.susx.ac.uk
Fri Jan 29 14:41:47 UTC 1999

On Wed, 27 Jan 1999, H. Mark Hubey wrote:

[on change in contemporary French]

> This is interesting. Is it possible it is due to the rising of
> educational levels

Hardly.  Greater education means greater exposure to standard French --
yet spoken French is moving *away from* standard French, not toward it.

> and greater susceptibility of the upper classes
> and movers&shakers (fashion/trendsetters) to the Anglo-American
> culture (dare I say, cultural-imperialism :-))?

No.  French is not changing in a way that makes it more like English.
English words, of course, are pouring into French, but the conspicuous
syntactic changes are, on the whole, making the language *less* like
English than it was before.

Larry Trask
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH

larryt at cogs.susx.ac.uk

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