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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: Colonization, population contacts, and the emergence of new language varieties: A response to Peter Trudgill
Author: Salikoko S Mufwene
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://humanities.uchicago.edu/faculty/mufwene/
Institution: University of Chicago
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics; Linguistic Theories; Sociolinguistics
Abstract: Peter Trudgill's account of new-dialect formation is uniformitarian, a position I have embraced explicitly since Mufwene 2001. In Mufwene 2006, I show how similar the mechanisms involved are to those that account for the emergence of creoles, the basic difference lying in the composition of the contact setting's feature pool (see also below). The position I defend is even less moderate, as I argue that in the history of humankind language speciation has basically been a consequence of how internal variation within a language has been affected by migrations of its speakers and additionally by the different contacts the relevant populations have had among themselves (Trudgill's position) and with speakers of other languages in their new, colonial ecologies (Mufwene 2005, 2007, 2008). The reader should not be surprised to see in this response comments that are primarily intended to support and complement the position of the target article.

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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