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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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Title: Semantic Reanalysis and Language Change
Author(s): Regine Eckardt
Journal Title: Language and Linguistics Compass
Volume: 5
Issue: 1
Page Range: 33-46
Publication Date: Jan-2011
Abstract: Reanalysis is a well-known process of language change in morpho-syntax. However, the semantic composition of sentence meanings can also undergo reanalysis and lead to meaning changes for parts of the sentence. The article provides the basic notions of compositional semantics/pragmatics that underlie semantic reanalysis, surveys possible constellations and causes of reanalysis, and contrasts the process to other ways of semantic change. I will, moreover, illustrate semantic reanalysis on basis of a case study which highlights some of its typical features.

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