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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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Subject: what is emergence of the unmarked
Question: Hello,
I was at a dinner party a few days ago and someone made
a joke with the emergence of the unmarked and everyone
laughed but as I am not a linguist, I didn't understand. I
tried to look it up on-line (on sites like Wikipedia) but it
was still over my head. Will you help me please?

Thank you,
Becca Baker

Reply: Well I've been a professional academic linguist for almost fifty years, but I don't understand it either! It must have been a very select in-crowd ...

Geoffrey Sampson
Reply From: Geoffrey Richard Sampson      click here to access email
 
Date: 26-Aug-2013
 
Other Replies:
  1. Re: what is emergence of the unmarked    Mike Hammond     (26-Aug-2013)
  2. Re: what is emergence of the unmarked    Susan D Fischer     (26-Aug-2013)
  3. Re: what is emergence of the unmarked    Marilyn N Silva     (26-Aug-2013)

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