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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: New Resource for the History of English: Corpus of Narrative Etymologies (CoNE)

Author: Roger Lass

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English

Language Family: Germanic

FYI Body: The University of Edinburgh is pleased to announce the publication of a Corpus of Narrative Etymologies from primitive Old English to early Middle English (CoNE) and its associated Corpus of Changes (CC). These web-based resources have been produced by staff at the University’s Institute for Historical Dialectology, Linguistics and English Language, under the leadership of Roger Lass, and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. CoNE and the CC are freely available at:


There are over 1200 narrative etymologies in CoNE, each treating a morpheme of Germanic origin. These etymologies are underpinned and explicated by 225 linguistic changes (phonological, morphological and orthographic), each documented in full in the CC. For orientation, there is a short description (‘About CoNE’) accessible from the website’s front page. There is also an ‘Overview’ which describes how to navigate the site, accessible from the Main Page under Read These First. On the Main Page, users will also find a drop-down list containing a suite of CoNE Documents including a full Introduction.

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