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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: Fighting Language Endangerment
Subtitle: Community Directed Research on Sm'algyax (Coast Tsimshian)
Written By: Tonya N. Stebbins

This book presents a new approach to the documentation of endangered languages, based on the development of materials for Sm'algyax, the endangered language of the Tsimshian Nation, Northwest British Columbia. It deals with issues of particular concern in endangered languages taking the development of the Sm'algyax Learners' Dictionary as a case study. The book describes the community directed approach taken during the dictionary project; identifying strengths and challenges associated with this method. It involves a symbiotic relationship between descriptive, pedagogical and sociolinguistic areas of research, ensuring the preparation of user-friendly materials. As the history of the Tsimshian Nation is closely tied up with the vitality of the language, sociolinguistic factors important to understanding the state of the language today are identified and the typology of the language is described. A number of language planning problems that become particularly acute when working with communities of endangered languages are discussed in depth here. The discussion provides examples specifically relating to Sm'algyax, though the methodologies developed here could be used in similar situations elsewhere. They include: orthography development; dictionary design; and the management of lexical expansion.
Contents: Part One: Community directed language documentation. 1: Responding effectively to language endangerment. Part Two: Sm'algyax: the language of the Tsimshian Nation. 2: History of Sm'algyax and the Tsimshian Nation. 3: Sm'algyax Today. 4: Introduction to Sm'algyax Grammar. Part Three: Community directed language documentation in practice. 5: Dictionary Design for the Sm'algyax Learners' Dictionary. 6: Lexical expansion in Sm'algyax. 7: Representing Sm'algyax words through English. 8: Polysemy and homonymy in the Sm'algyax Learners' Dictionary. 9: Spelling in Sm'algyax. 10: Variation in Sm'algyax. Part Four: Reflections on the community directed approach. 11: Community directed language work: requirements and outcomes. References

Because this text was published by the Endangered Languages of the Pacific Rim Project in Japan, with funding from the Japanese government, it is not available for commercial sale. Instead, copies are available from the author. For more information email t.stebbins@latrobe.edu.au. To obtain a copy send a cheque for US $10 (to cover return postage by airmail) to:

Dr. Tonya Stebbins
Research Centre for Linguistic Typology
La Trobe University
Victoria 3086

Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: The Endangered Languages of the Pacific Rim Project
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
Anthropological Linguistics
Subject Language(s): Tsimshian
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.

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 1346082X
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xvii + 296 p
Prices: $10.00