LINGUIST List 6.1680

Thu Nov 30 1995

Qs: Globalization of English, Russian, Lexical Innovations

Editor for this issue: Ljuba Veselinova <>


  1. David Graddol, The Globalization of English
  2. Linda Formichelli, Native Russian Speakers Needed
  3. MIchal Ephratt, Authorship of lexical innovations - query

Message 1: The Globalization of English

Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 17:32:49 The Globalization of English
From: David Graddol <>
Subject: The Globalization of English

I have four queries arising from research I'm doing for a TV programme
on the 'globalization' of English.

(1) Does anyone know of the existence of a high level computer programming
 language which is NOT based distantly on English. By 'High Level'
 I guess I mean C or above, and I count C as being based loosely
 on English. Is it the case that programmers whose first language
 is not English find they need to learn English to some level of
 proficiency? Or are there hackers out there in places like Japan
 Russia who program without any knowledge of English or who work
 in special local languages which no-one in the west has heard of?

(2) I am examining the increasing tendency of transnational companies
 to disperse their operation across the world, exploiting differences
 in time zones and labour costs. For example, several airlines have
 established 'back offices' (which handle things like frequent flier
 airmiles accounts) in India. Some U.S. companies automatically
 redirect their public telephone enquiries to desks in Ireland
 (apparently the U.S. public are less phazed when they get greeted
 by an Irish accent than by a British one). British Airways reroutes
 enquiries from Europe to their New York office when the British office
 closes for the day. Australian companies seem to be picking up quite a
 bit of teleworking from Singapore and East asia.

 Is English language proficiency needed in order to join this international
 club? Does anyone know of similar transnational operations working
 between francophone countries, for example, or Arabic speaking countries?

(3) Does anyone have an email address for any scholar doing research on
 language and education policies in Papua New Guinea?

(4) Does anyone have any informed view on the liklihood of Chinese, or
 indeed any other language, challenging the role of English as an
 international lingua franca in the foreseeable future?

I would be grateful for any help on these questions or direction to
any relevant work already published by colleagues. The TV programme is
for a distance taught course on the English Language which explores
various aspects of the International role played by English. We
(i.e. the team at the UK Open University) are making a series of eight
TV programmes with the BBC which covers a range of issues such as the
'English Only' movement in the U.S. and English medium education in
India. The materials should become generally available in due course.

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Message 2: Native Russian Speakers Needed

Date: Tue, 28 Nov 1995 21:22:11 Native Russian Speakers Needed
From: Linda Formichelli <>
Subject: Native Russian Speakers Needed

Dear Linguists,

I am writing a paper on a new way of looking at the Russian particles
-to and -nibud', and am looking for native Russian speakers who would
be willing to help me out by completing a short questionnaire. If you
are a native Russian speaker and are interested in helping me with
this project, please send me a note at
and I will e-mail you the questionnaire.

Thank you!

Linda Formichelli
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Message 3: Authorship of lexical innovations - query

Date: Wed, 29 Nov 1995 08:01:49 Authorship of lexical innovations - query
From: MIchal Ephratt <RHLH702UVM.HAIFA.AC.IL>
Subject: Authorship of lexical innovations - query

Dear Netters,

 I am looking now into lexical innovations of a Hebrew scholar.
 In order to formulate a grammar of his innovation, I must first be able
 to discriminate among the innovation that he uses in his publications,
 between those coined by him and the rest.
 I am looking for any theoretical or empirical, linguistic or statistical
 attempts to resolve this issue of attributing authorship for "coinage"
 of lexical innovations.
 Any hints are most welcome, Thanks, MIchal.
 Dr. Michal Ephratt
 Dept. of Hebrew Linguistics
 University of Haifa, Haifa 31 905 ISRAEL
 Tele/Fax. 972-4-9930784
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