chapter  1
Internal/external
Context and language change
Pages 14

Broadly speaking it is possible to explore ideas about language change by looking at what Suzanne Romaine (1998) calls the internal history of a language and the external history of a language. Traditionally the topic of language change has tended to be approached via the internal route, looking at the way new words have been formed, the influence of dictionaries on spellings and meanings and so forth. This process is described as internal because it looks at what has happened in a language without referring to any other outside factors.