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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: Australian Languages
Subtitle: Classification and the comparative method
Edited By: Claire Bowern
Harold Koch
URL: http://www.benjamins.com/cgi-bin/t_bookview.cgi?bookid=CILT_249
Series Title: Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 249

This book addresses controversial issues in the application of the comparative method to the languages of Australia which have recently come to international prominence. Are these languages ‘different’ in ways that challenge the fundamental assumptions of historical linguistics? Can subgrouping be successfully undertaken using the Comparative Method? Is the genetic construct of a far-flung ‘Pama-Nyungan’ language family supportable by classic methods of reconstruction? Contrary to increasingly established views of the Australian scene, this book makes a major contribution to the demonstration that traditional methods can indeed be applied to these languages. These studies, introduced by chapters on subgrouping methodology and the history of Australian linguistic classification, rigorously apply the comparative method to establishing subgroups among Australian languages and justifying the phonology of Proto-Pama-Nyungan. Individual chapters can profitably be read either for their contribution to Australian linguistic prehistory or as case studies in the application of the comparative method.

Table of contents

Acknowledgements vii
Map viii
Contributor’s addresses ix
Lyle Campbell xi
Introduction: subgrouping methodology in historical linguistics
Claire Bowern and Harold Koch 1
A methodological history of Australian linguistic classification
Harold Koch 17
Pama-Nyungan as a genetic entity
Luisa Miceli 67
The coherence and distinctiveness of the Pama-Nyungan language family within the Australian linguistic phylum
Geoffrey O’Grady and Kenneth L. Hale 77
Pama-Nyungan: phonological reconstruction and status as a phylogenetic group
Barry Alpher 105
The Arandic subgroup of Australian languages
Harold Koch 143
The Ngumpin-Yapa subgroup
Patrick McConvell and Mary Laughren 169
Thura-Yura as a subgroup
Jane Simpson and Luise Hercus 197
The Yarli languages
Luise Hercus and Peter Austin 227
Evolution of the verb conjugations in the Ngarna languages
Gavan Breen 245
Diagnostic similarities and differences between Nyulnyulan and neighbouring languages
Claire Bowern 295
Revisiting Proto-Mirndi
Ian Green and Rachel Nordlinger 319
Stem forms and paradigm reshaping in Gunwinyguan
Brett Baker 343
Combined references 375
Language index 397
Subject index 405
Appendices 409

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
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: Hardback
ISBN: 9027247617
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xii, 377 pp.
Prices: Europe EURO 125.00
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1588115127
ISBN-13: 9781588115126
Pages: xii, 377 pp.
Prices: U.S. $ 169