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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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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.

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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

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This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.

Book Information

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Title: Diachronic Change in Erzya Word Stress
Written By: Dennis Estill
URL: http://www.sgr.fi/sust/sust246.html
Series Title: Mémoires de la Société Finno-Ougrienne 246

Mordvin is a Finno-Ugrian language pair that is considered to be more
closely related to the Saami and Finnic groups than any other language.
Nevertheless, Erzya-Mordvin has word stress that does not conform to any
previously described system, and which cannot be categorised as either
fixed or free stress in the conventional meanings of these terms. No
comprehensive diachronic description of Erzya word stress has yet been
published. In investigating word stress in Erzya the historical analysis
in this study has been based on documentary evidence extant from the late
18th century, specifically the Damaskin Dictionaries commissioned for
Catherine the Great and ashort catechism, both of which documents are
marked for word stress, and the modern state of word stress has been
determined using auditory and acoustic methods. For the present day
analyses modern material was supplemented, for comparison purposes, with
extracts from the Damaskin Dictionaries and the Short Catechism. For the
interim period reference has been made to the work of Heikki Paasonen,
collected approximately 100 years ago. The results have shown that (1)
word stress in Erzya was and is based on the speaker's individual
preferences, (2) speakers generally prefer to stress the initial syllable
today whereas 200 years ago the second syllable was usua11y stressed, (3)
Moksha has probably undergone a similar development, (4) Mordvin cannot be
convincingly used to support theories of initial stress in Proto- Finno-
Ugrian, and (5) in modern Erzya, contrary to what is generally considered
of most other languages, it is intensity when combined with duration
rather than fundamental frequency that seems to be the main acoustic
parameter of word stress.

Volumes for sale at Tiedekirja (http://www.tsv.fi/engl/bookstor.html)

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher: Finno-Ugrian Society
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Subject Language(s): Erzya
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9525150801
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 249
Prices: Europe EURO 25