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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"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

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

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

   

Title: Creole and Dialect Continua
Written By: Geneviève Escure
URL: http://www.benjamins.com/jbp/index.html
Series Title: Creole Language Library 18
Description:

Although there is a substantial amount of linguistic research on standard language acquisition, little attention has been given to the mechanisms underlying second dialect acquisition. Using a combination of function-based grammar and sociolinguistic methodology to analyze topic marking strategies, the unguided acquisition of a standard by speakers of nonstandard varieties is examined in two distinct linguistic and geographical situations: in a Caribbean creole situation (Belize), with special attention to the acquisition of acrolects by native speakers of basilects, and in a noncreole situation (PRC), documenting the acquisition of standard Chinese (Putonghua) by speakers of nonstandard varieties represented in Cultural Revolution literature, Wuhan Chinese, and Suzhou Wu story-telling style. In both cases psychosocial factors, linguistic bias toward nonnative renderings of the standard varieties, the social status of their speakers, and related political and educational consequences play an important role in the development of second dialects. The broad-ranging analysis of a single feature of oral discourse leads to the formulation of cross-linguistic generalizations in acquisition studies and results in an evaluation of the putative uniqueness of creole languages. Related issues addressed include the effect of linguistic bias on the development and use of language varieties by marginalized groups; the interaction of three major language components - semantics, syntax, and pragmatics - in spontaneous communication; and the development of methods to identify discourse units. The ultimate goal underlying the comparison of specific discourse variables in Belizean and Chinese standard acquisition is to evaluate the relative merits of substratal, superstratal, and universal explanations in language development.

Publication Year: 1998
Publisher: John Benjamins
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): Sociolinguistics
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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Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1556191731
ISBN-13: 9781556191732
Prices: U.S. $ 162
 
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027252408
ISBN-13: N/A
Prices: NLG 214.00