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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?

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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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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

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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.


Academic Paper


Title: A real-time window on 19th-century vernacular French: The Récits du français québécois d'autrefois
Author: Shana Poplack
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Ottawa
Author: Anne St-Amand
Institution: University of Toronto
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language: French
Abstract: This article describes the construction of a corpus of spoken French with a time depth of a century and a half, the Récits du français québécois d'autrefois (RFQ). The folktales, local legends, and interviews constituting the RFQ were produced by speakers born between 1846 and 1895. They spoke the French of 19th-century rural Québec, a variety shown to be replete with the vernacular structures and inherent variability of contemporary dialects. The authors review the advantages and drawbacks associated with this type of diachronic material, and argue that, exploited judiciously, it effectively represents an earlier stage of spoken French. They show how systematic comparison of the RFQ with contemporary vernaculars can help pinpoint the existence, date, and direction of language change.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Language in Society Vol. 36, Issue 5, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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