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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?

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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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Title: Chamic and Beyond
Subtitle: Studies in mainland Austronesian languages
Edited By: Anthony P. Grant
Paul James Sidwell
Series Title: Pacific Linguistics

A collection of papers dealing with issues in the 'Mainland Austronesian
Languages, Chamic, Acehnese and Moken/Moklen-not a single genetic
sub-grouping but a number of related languages that have undergone parallel
typological restructuring away from their Austronesian heritage, converging
on a type that places them on the southern periphery of the broader
Mainland Southeast Asian Linguistic Area. In prehistoric times speakers of
these languages migrated to the Asian mainland from insular Southeast Asia.
Over many years of independent development plus prolonged contact with
mainland languages, they have shifted typologically, particularly towards
reduced word structure, increased phoneme inventory, and more isolating
syntax. The emphasis of the papers is on historical change, particularly in
respect of lexical borrowings and the evolution of phonological systems.
Contributions to this volume:

MARK BRUNELLE: 'A phonetic study of Eastern Cham register' discusses the
Cham synchronic phonology in detail, complete with spectrographic and other
instrumental analyses.

ANTHONY GRANT contributes two papers: 'The Effects of Intimate
Multidirectional Linguistic Contact: The Case(s) of the Chamic Languages'
and 'Norm-referenced Lexicostatistics and the case of Chamic' that examine
issues around the extent of lexical borrowing in Chamic.

PETER NORQUEST: 'Word Structure in Chamic: Prosodic Alignment versus
Segmental Faithfulness' offers an Optimality Theory approach arguing that
various changes that occurred in Chamic following the historical shift to
word-final stress were set in motion by phonetic lengthening of stressed

PITTAYAWAT PITTAYAPORN: 'Moken as a Mainland Southeast Asian Language'
investigates in detail the historical origins of many linguistic features
of Moken that have been attributed to Mon-Khmer influence, and challenges
some of the arguments and assumptions made by scholars concerning these

PAUL SIDWELl: 'Acehnese and the Aceh-Chamic Language Family' argues that
Acehnese should not be treated as a Chamic language, but a sister tongue
that separated and migrated to Sumatra before the emergence of Proto-Chamic.

GRAHAM THURGOOD and ELA THURGOOD's 'The Tones from Proto-Chamic to Tsat
[Hainan Cham]: Insights from Zheng 1997 and from Summer 2004 fieldwork'
illustrates the development of Tsat from non-tonal Proto-Chamic into the
fully tonal (and highly sinicised) language it is today.

Publication Year: 2005
Publisher: Pacific Linguistics
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): Achinese
Cham, Eastern
Language Family(ies): Austronesian
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0858835614
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xvii + 271
Prices: AUS $ 63.00