Types of semantic change
=> range of meanings of a word increases so that the word can be used in more contexts than were appropriate before the change
-dog =>1) specific powerful breed of dog => all breeds or races of dog
-cupboard => 1) table upon which cups or vessels were placed, a piece of furniture to display plates => closet or cabin with shelves for the keeping cups and dishes =>AE: small storage cabinet
2. Narrowing (specialisation, restriction)
=> range of meaning is decreased so that a word can be used appropriately only in fewer contexts than before the change
*meat => 'food' in general ;
*hound => OE hund 'dog in general' => species of dog (long eared hunting dog) ;
*wife => OE 'woman' =>'woman of humble rank or low employment' => 'married woman, spouse'
*girl => ME 'child or young person of either sex' =>'female child, young woman'
-involves relationship of perceived similarity
*root (of plant) => > root of plant, root of word, root in algebra, source
*stud => 'good-looking sexy man '(of slang origin) derived from stud 'a male animal used for breeding
*chill => "relax, calm down' of slang origin, original 'to cool'
-inclusion of additional senses which were originally not present but which are closely associated with word's original meaning
-tea => 'drink' => 'evening meal accompanied by drinking tea';
cheek 'fleshy side of the face below the eye' < OE: cēace ' jaw, jawbone'
-kind of metonymy, involves part-to-whole relationship
-hand 'hired hand, employed worker';
6. Degeneration / Pejoration
-sense of a word takes on a less positive, more negative evaluation in the minds of the users
- knave 'a rogue' < OE: cnafa ' a youth, a child' > 'servant' ;
-spinster 'unmarried woman' < 'one who spins' ;
-silly 'foolish, stupid' < ME sely 'happy, innocent' < OE sælig ''blessed, blissful'
-disease 'illness' < 'discomfort' (cf. dis+ease)
7. Elevation /Amelioration
-shifts in the sense of a word in the direction towards a more positive value in the minds of the users
-pretty < OE: prættig 'crafty, sly'
-knight 'mounted warrior serving a king' 'lesser nobility' < OE cniht 'boy, servant' >'servant' > 'military servant';
dude 'guy, person' < in 1883 a word of ridicule for 'man who affects an exaggerated fastidiousness in dress, speech and deportment', a dandy'
8. Taboo replacement and avoidance of obscenity
-ass 'long-eared animal related to a horse' => donkey;
-cock 'adult male chicken' => rooster,
-bloody nose => blood nose/bleeding nose
-toilet : WC, bathroom, lavatory, restroom, loo, john
-shift in meaning due to exaggeration by overstatement
-terribly, horribly, awfully 'very'
- exaggeration by understatement