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"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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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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Academic Paper


Title: Construing confrontation: Grammar in the construction of a key historical narrative in Umpithamu
Author: Jean-Christophe Verstraete
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://perswww.kuleuven.be/~u0005010/jcv/
Institution: University of Leuven
Author: Barbara De Cock
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Université Catholique de Louvain
Linguistic Field: Morphology; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language: Umbuygamu
Abstract: This study provides a linguistic perspective on the structure and the interpretation of a key historical narrative in Umpithamu (a Pama-Nyungan language of Cape York Peninsula, Australia), against the background of a larger corpus of narrative texts in Umpithamu. The analysis focuses on the role of participant tracking devices in the macro-structure of the narrative, and the role of case marking in the build-up of narrative motifs. It is argued not only that marked types of participant tracking serve to mark the boundaries of episodes, as often noted in the literature, but also that some types have additional functions within episodes, which leads to a proposal for refinement of Fox's (1987) Principle of Morphosyntactic Markedness. On a micro-structural level, it is shown how a rare system of case marking is used by the narrator to construe white–Aboriginal interactions as events in which the Aboriginal participants experience an extreme lack of control.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Language in Society Vol. 37, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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