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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: Regional differences in perceiving vowel tokens on Southerness, education, and pleasantness ratings
Author: Valerie M. Fridland
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Nevada at Reno
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This study investigates the role of regional dialect experience on the social awareness of synthesized vowel tokens to regional in-group and out-group members. For the study, speakers from Reno, NV, were given the same perception test used in a previous study in Memphis, TN. Comparing the Reno results to those found in Memphis, the study examines whether differences in regional vowel norms affect how Westerners rate Southern-shifted and non-Southern-shifted vowel variants on Southernness, education, and pleasantness scales. The study also looks at how Reno raters interpreted shifted back vowel variants, found productively in their local community, compared to front vowel shifts found exclusively in the South. Finally, the paper explores how the results suggest that regional dialect exposure attunes listeners to attend to different aspects of vowel quality than those outside the region. In examining how regional dialect experience affects listener recognition and evaluation of local and nonlocal vowel norms, the paper begins to explore how much the production/perception relationship is mediated by speakers' participation in locally constructed and defined speech communities.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Language Variation and Change Vol. 20, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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