Historical Development of Word Meaning – Semantic Change

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meanings like to be the cause of, to elicit, to move to action, to exalt and to guide by divine influence. Now if a minister were to speak of Adam as dust inspired, he might mean by that not just that the dust is having life breathed into it (the original etymological meaning), but also that the dust is being exalted and given form, that it is being moved to action, and that it is being divinely guided (these are the metaphorical or extended meanings). In other words, this minister might not mean just one of the definitions of inspired but all of them simultaneously.extended meanings are branches that have split off from the trunk, and our hypothetical minister has simply traced them back to the root.you seek to create a language from an earlier time, you should probably develop a small vocabulary, with it words having much more overlapping of meaning than the vocabularies of modern languages. Imagine a word spiratholmos - an ancient ancestor to Latin inspirare - meaning wind, breath, voice, spirit. A speaker who used the word spiratholmos would regard the wind in the trees as the breath of the earth, the voice of God, the spirit animating each of us.is different way of looking at words, and prompted Tolkien to write, There are no words left to express his staggerment, since Men changed the language that they learned of elves in the days when all the world was wonderful. What Tolkiens elves might have expressed in one word, resonant with meaning, Tolkiens diminutive man cannot express at all.change can be viewed dispassionately as a natural process, but it can also be invested with a spiritual significance, as Tolkien and Suffield have done. A model language is an art form and its crafting can even convey this theme of spiritual isolation. As Ronald Suffield wrote, no word is still the word, but, a loafward has become lord.

word moral experience semantic