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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: Degrammaticalization
Written By: Muriel Norde
Description:

Grammaticalization is a well-attested process of linguistic change in which
a lexical item becomes a function word, which may be further reduced to a
clitic or affix. Proponents of the universality of grammaticalization have
usually argued that it is unidirectional and have thus found it a useful
tool in linguistic reconstruction. In this book Professor Norde shows that
change is reversible on all levels: semantic, morphological, syntactic, and
phonological. As a consequence, the alleged unidirectionality of
grammaticalization is not a reliable reconstructional tool, even if
degrammaticalization is a rare phenomenon.

Degrammaticalization, she argues, is essentially different from
grammaticalization: it usually comprises a single change, examples being
shifts from affix to clitic, or from function word to lexical item. And
where grammaticalization can be seen as a process, degrammaticalization is
often the by-product of other changes. Nevertheless, she shows that it can
be described, like grammaticalization, in a principled way, in order to
establish whether a change in a word has been from more to less grammatical
or vice versa, and the stages by which it has become so. Using data from
different languages she constructs a typology of degrammaticalization
changes. She explains why degrammaticalization is so rare and why some
linguists have such strongly negative feelings about the possibility of its
existence. She adds to the understanding of grammaticalization and makes a
significant contribution to methods of linguistic reconstruction and the
study of language change. She writes clearly, aiming to be understood by
advanced undergraduate students as well as appealing to scholars and
graduate researchers in historical linguistics.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Linguistic Theories
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Versions:
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0199207933
ISBN-13: 9780199207930
Pages: 256
Prices: U.S. $ 39.95

 
 
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0199207925
ISBN-13: 9780199207923
Pages: 256
Prices: U.S. $ 99.00