Mammoths are extinct though

Click here for the Article.

Name: De-Extinction: The Mammoth Walks Again
Date: 11/8/14
Author: Piotr Gąsiorowski

Key Ideas:

  • New words aren’t replacing old words, New language is replacing old language. Because there are whole new semantic fields for a whole new level of technology and way of life, the old lexicon that we used to use isn’t quite needed anymore.
  • De-extinction can happen sporadically, the word ‘twat’ wasn’t used for a century and came back into existence in the 2000s.
  • A word has a (definable) function if speakers regularly use it to convey a meaning, as long as there is a reason. This keeps a word alive.
Language Features: Language Change, Neologisms,
Course Aspects: Unit 4 - AoS 1 - Language Variation in Australian Society: How English changes over time, how Australian English varies according to geography, including national and regional variation 

Personal Opinion: In this article, Piotr talks about the evolution of language, and I think that his thoughts are interesting, words that are dead that come back to life after time is really cool, and I think the old English used hundreds of years ago is still affecting the change in English today and will continue to do so in the years to come, and the fact that words that were used so long ago now have new meanings is exciting.


  • “A word already dead in spoken language may occasionally come back to life.”
  • “A word which is used frequently will be transmitted to new users more reliably, especially if its function is easy to infer from the way it is used.”
  • “Low-frequency words are prone both to semantic change and to lexical replacement: new speakers may quite accidentally fail to hear them used, or encounter them only occasionally in a context which doesn’t quite clarify their meaning. Word death is mostly due to accidental transmission breaks happening too often.”
  • “We are dealing here with a new system replacing an older one, not just a series of lexical replacements.”
  • “If historical linguists had any say in the matter, I’m sure that time-honoured words, priceless as evidence of language history, would enjoy special protection, and every care would be taken that they should be saved for posterity”

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