Specializations > Phonetics and Phonology
Folkchange and Rational Systematic Allophonic Shifts
I'd like to write an essay on fast paced linguistic innovation affected by phenomenologically induced "folkchanges" through public planning and public policy language planning efforts. I'm not actually trying to attempt this. I'm really just interested in how community language organizations could apply festive occasions to administer allophone relationships with morphological insight into a language like American vernacular to, according to the thesis and linguistic theory, allophonically transform 1 phoneme, say annually, as an innovative and philologically relative scientific promotative public event so that these phonemic shifts can happen systematically all across the American vernacular language without to much discrepancy. And, finally, all of this so that, theoretically, over the course of roughly 26-30 years what we call American vernacular today would result in a language development dialectic phase or stage that becomes completely alien in mutual intelligibility to the language zones commonly referred to as English? I've already attended to some IE. phonological charts and references, but I would like to formulate a very technical and intricate discussion around this kind of linguistic development and generate a list of some very serious phonological rules and lists of realistic phonological shift.
Why? Generally languages cannot be controlled. Small changes can sometimes propagate through prescriptivism, but only then with some substantial support via standardization, and over the course of one or more generations, not individual years. I can imagine what you describe, but I can't think of it actually occurring.
Languages can change rapidly through contact. Languages can also be suppressed (by teaching children another language and punishing them for speaking their own). Speakers can be killed, and languages along with them. But all of this takes place on the scale of a generation or more, and it's not something that anyone has ever controlled to the level of changes to individual sounds in any general way. Languages, if speakers continue speaking them, are resilient.
The closest thing I can think of is extreme cases of taboo where in some societies for example the name of a recently deceased person might be avoided, and again in the most extreme cases sometimes a particular phoneme from that name, which could potentially result in a long term change in the language. So you could look into some research on the topic of taboo. What is crucial there, though, is that the speakers are willing participants in avoiding that name (or sound), and that also correlates with this being an important and unusual event, not just something that happens every year because it's on the calendar.
The way to do this is to become extremely popular for a very long period of time, whereby you persuade people to emulate your speech. If you can control your speech by applying made-up allophonic rules, you might move things in the direction that you're aiming for. However, you probably would have to live for a few hundred years. Valley-speak had an influence that extended beyond its geographical origin, but many of the affectations of that speech style were transient. Also compare movies of the 30's and 40's, which used temporarily trendy speech patterns (nobody talks like that anymore).
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