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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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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: /u/ Fronting and /t/ Aspiration in Māori and New Zealand English
Author: Margaret L. Maclagan
Institution: University of Canterbury
Author: Catherine I. Watson
Institution: University of Auckland
Author: Ray Harlow
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.waikato.ac.nz/wfass/subjects/linguistics/ray/index.shtml
Institution: University of Waikato
Author: Jeanette King
Institution: University of Canterbury
Author: Peter J. Keegan
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Auckland
Linguistic Field: Phonetics
Subject Language: English
Maori
Abstract: This article examines the relationship between the frontness of /u/ and the aspiration of /t/ in both Māori and New Zealand English (NZE). In both languages, these processes can be observed since the earliest recordings dating from the latter part of the nineteenth century. We report analyses of these developments for three groups of male speakers of Māori spanning the twentieth century. We compare the Māori analyses with analyses of related features of the speakers' English and of the English of monolingual contemporaries. The occurrence of these processes in Māori cannot be seen simply as interference from NZE as the Māori-speaking population became increasingly bilingual. We conclude that it was the arrival of English with its contrast between aspirated and unaspirated plosives, rather than direct borrowing, that was the trigger for the fronting of the hitherto stable back Māori /u/ vowel together with increased aspiration of /t/ before both /i/ and /u/.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Language Variation and Change Vol. 21, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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