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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

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: English Focus Inversion
Author: Peter W. Culicover
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.ling.ohio-state.edu/~culicove
Institution: Ohio State University
Author: Susanne Winkler
Institution: Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Syntax
Abstract: Besides the canonical Subject–I–VP structure, English has several inversion constructions in which the subject follows the inflected verb. The most familiar is Subject Auxiliary Inversion (SAI) which is analyzed as an instance of Head Movement (I–to–C-movement across the subject) in the generative tradition. In this paper we investigate Comparative Inversion (CI), which appears to be a special case of SAI in which ellipsis is required (Merchant ). Contrary to this analysis, we show that the subject can stay low in a noncanonical position, violating the Extended Projection Principle (EPP) in exactly those instances where it is under comparison and therefore heavily accented and contrastively focused. Our analysis shows that the non-application of the EPP is tied to regular interactions of syntax with phonology and syntax with semantics. We extend this in depth analysis to other English focus inversions and provide evidence that phonological highlighting and focus on the low subject can suspend the EPP. Thus, our analysis supports research programs which assume minimal syntactic structure and operations in interaction with interface constraints that are independently required for explanation.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Linguistics Vol. 44, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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