It is well known that time changes everything in this universe; thus; it would be strange if language alone does not alter. As the famous linguist Ferdinand de Saussure noted ‘’time changes all things: there is no reason why language should escape thi suniversal law’’ in (Aitchison (ed), 1981: 16).
All living languages are in a constant state of change in the sense that, new words and expressions come into existence, old words are dropped and new pronunciation takes place. This fact is commented on by the German philosopher-linguist Wilhelm Von Humboldt, who stated that ‘’ there can never be a moment of true standstill in language, just as little as in the ceaselessly flaming thought of men. By nature it is a continuous process of development’’ in (Aitchicon (ed), 1981).
Language change contributes greatly to the appearence of phonology, syntax and semantics. So what can we say about semantics ?
a) Semantic change
Semantic change is a change that affects the meaning of a word either by the addition of other possible meanings to the same word, or by the loss of its meaning of its meaning over a period of time.
Polysemous words can be good examples of historical semantic change in that different lexicographers may impose different extensions of meanings on the same words through ages.
This fact- as Sadiqi and Ennaji (1992) noted- helps very much in the explanation of the way lexicographers organize their dictionaries, as well as the type of historical sources they use as a basis for dictionary compiling. As an illustration, the word ‘’service’’ has acquired different meanings from its original one:
* The state of being a servant
* Government employment
* Benefit, advantage
* Worship, prayer
* Complete set of plates
* Playing a ball in tennis
(Sadiqi and Ennaji, 1992: 267)
Another example of semantic change is provided by Aitchison (ed)(1981) who noticed that some words have change their... [continues]
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