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Population ageing and language change

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses several problems concerning language and ageing. The essence of the chapter can be summarized as follows. Population ageing is a phenomenon owing to medical and hygienic improvements, but it is reflected as economic and cultural phenomena in contemporary society; its relation to language is a cultural phenomenon and higher social mechanisms are influential. The progress of population ageing influences linguistic surveys. The chapter analyses the relation between acceptance of new linguistic phenomena and population ageing. It focuses on neologisms, fashionable expressions and honorific language. The chapter analyses the perception that the Japanese language is deteriorating and its relation to elderly people is studied. To conclude, at present population ageing does not have the effect of impeding or slowing down language change. Language changes generally proceed over a time span of more than 100 years.

Keywords: elderly people; language change; linguistic survey; population ageing

10.1163/ej.9789004154773.i-1199.187
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