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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.


Academic Paper


Title: Recent changes in the function and frequency of Standard English genitive constructions: a multivariate analysis of tagged corpora
Author: Lars Hinrichs
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Author: Benedikt Szmrecsanyi
Institution: University of Leuven
Linguistic Field: Pragmatics; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This study of present-day English genitive variation is based on all interchangeable instances of s- and of-genitives from the ‘Reportage’ and ‘Editorial’ categories of the ‘Brown family’ of corpora. Variation is studied by tapping into a number of independent variables, such as precedence of either construction in the text, length of the possessor and possessum phrases, phonological constraints, discourse flow, and animacy of the possessor. In addition to distributional analyses, we use logistic regression to investigate the probabilistic factor weights of these variables, thus tracking language change in progress as evidenced in the language of the press. This method, married to our large database, yields the most detailed perspective to date on frequently discussed issues, such as the relative importance of possessor animacy and end-weight in genitive choice (cf. most recently Rosenbach 2005), or on the exact factorial dynamics responsible for the ongoing spread of the s-genitive.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in English Language and Linguistics Vol. 11, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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