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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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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: Syntactic complexity, discourse status and animacy as determinants of grammatical variation in Modern English
Author: Elena Seoane
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.usc.es/ia303/ElenaSeoane/SeoanePosse.htm
Institution: Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
Linguistic Field: Pragmatics; Semantics; Syntax
Subject Language: English
Abstract: The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the syntactic, pragmatic and semantic determinants of word-order variation in Modern English, exemplified by the specific case of the use of long passives as order-rearranging devices. Word order in English and in most other SVO languages is affected by a number of factors such as animacy, semantic role, discourse status and syntactic complexity (Sornicola 2006). In this article, which analyses the influence of such factors in the use of long passives, I will try to show that their effects are construction-specific; in particular, that factors which are crucial in determining word order in some constructions – factors such as the animacy of the constituents involved – are entirely overruled by others in the case of Modern English long passives. Corpus data presented here will also serve to address issues pertaining to the nature of the determinants of grammatical variation, such as their independent versus epiphenomenal character, their interactions, and the locus of their effects on word order.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in English Language and Linguistics Vol. 13, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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