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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: Variation, Selection, Development
Subtitle: Probing the Evolutionary Model of Language Change
Edited By: Regine Eckardt
Gerhard J├Ąger
Tonjes Veenstra
URL: http://www.degruyter.de/cont/fb/sp/detailEn.cfm?id=IS-9783110198690-1
Series Title: Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs [TiLSM] 197
Description:

Can language change be modelled as an evolutionary process? Can notions
like variation, selection and competition be fruitfully applied to facts of
language development? The present volume ties together various strands of
linguistic research which can bring us towards an answer to these questions.

In one of the youngest and rapidly growing areas of linguistic research,
mathematical models and simulations of competition based developments have
been applied to instances of language change. By matching the predicted and
observed developmental trends, researchers gauge existing models to the
needs of linguistic applications and evaluate the fruitfulness of
evolutionary models in linguistics. The present volume confronts these
studies with more empirically-based studies in creolization and historical
language change which bear on key concepts of evolutionary models. What
does it mean for a linguistic construction to survive its competitors? How
do the interacting factors in phases of creolization differ from those in
ordinary language change, and how - consequently - might Creole languages
differ structurally from older languages? Some of the authors, finally,
also address the question how different aspects of our linguistic
competence tie in with our more elementary cognitive capacities.

The volume contains contributions by Brady Clark et al., Elly van Gelderen,
Alain Kihm, Manfred Krifka, Wouter Kusters, Robert van Rooij, Anette
Rosenbach, John McWhorter, Teresa Satterfield, Michael Tomasello and
Elizabeth C. Traugott.

The book brings together contributions from two areas of research: the
study of language evolution by means of methods from artifical
intelligence/artificial life (like computer simulations and analytic
mathematical methods) on the one hand, and empirically oriented research
from historical linguistics and creolisation studies that uses concepts
from evolutionary theory as a heuristic tool in a qualitative way. The book
is thus interesting for readers from both traditions because it supplies
them with information about relevant ongoing research and useful methods
and data from the other camp.

Publication Year: 2008
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): Computational Linguistics
Historical Linguistics
Sociolinguistics
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 311019869X
ISBN-13: 9783110198690
Pages: 408
Prices: U.S. $ 145.00
Europe EURO 98.00