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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.


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Title: Language and Power in the Creation of the USSR 1917--1953
Written By: Michael B. Smith
Series Title: Contributions to the Sociology of Language 80
Description:

This is the first comprehensive history of language planning in the USSR, covering the formative period under Lenin and Stalin. Based on party and state archival materials only recently made available, it explores the tension between linguistic russification and nativization of the Soviet experience. The author argues that from the moment of its greatest victory in the Russian Revolution to the difficult days of reconstruction after World War II, the government was locked into a hegemonic imperative which required a measure of dependence upon the rural Russians and peripheral non-Russian peoples as much as domination over them. Language issues help to understand how the Soviet state structure was a machine of centrifugal, as well as centripetal, force. To prove this point, the author examines such unprecedented initiatives as the simplification of the Russian spelling system; the 'latinization' of the Arabic alphabets of the Muslim peoples; and the reform of school grammars and teaching curriculums. He also offers new interpretations about the various linguistic trends which informed these projects, from G.G. Shpet's remarkable `structural' phenomenology, to N.Ia Marr's 'Marxist' school of linguistics, to Stalin's infamous linguistic essay of 1950. He reveals how the Communist Party micro-managed language reform in Muslim Central Asia, and how it dealt with decades of failure rates on the countrywide Russian language examinations. The result is an original reading of sociolinguistics and Soviet history, weaving together the scientific contributions of linguists, the political imperatives of the party-state, and the everyday responses of various social and ethnic groups.

Publication Year: 1998
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
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
Subject Language(s): Russian
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Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 3110161974
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 294pp
Prices: DM 178,-/approx. US$ 111.00