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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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FYI: All Birchbark Letters Online

Author: Peter Houtzagers

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Language Documentation

FYI Body: My colleague Jos Schaeken asked me to draw your attention to a website that
was launched very recently and on which you can find a wealth of
information on the birchbark letters from Novgorod and other Russian towns,
which, as we all know, for the past few decades have been changing the face
of East Slavic historical linguistics.

The address of the site is http://gramoty.ru (without www). It contains not
only photographs, ''prorisi'' and translations of all published birchbark
letters, including recently excavated ones, but also historical,
archeological, bibliographic and linguistic comments on almost every one of
them. I personally think it is very impressive, not to say amazing.

The site forms part of the INTAS project “Birchbark Literacy from Medieval
Rus: Contents and Contexts”. You will find more information on the project
and team involved in it on the site.


Peter Houtzagers

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