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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: Gradient auxiliary selection and impersonal passivization in German: an experimental
Author: Frank Keller
Institution: University of Edinburgh
Author: Antonella Sorace
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.ling.ed.ac.uk/~antonell
Institution: University of Edinburgh
Linguistic Field: Linguistic Theories; Syntax
Subject Language: German
Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to provide experimental evidence that two syntactic reflexes of split intransitivity in German - the selection of perfective auxiliaries and the impersonal passive construction - are sensitive to an aspectual-thematic hierarchy of verb classes. We show that there is a split between 'core' verbs that elicit categorical intuitions from native speakers, and 'intermediate' verbs that exhibit gradience. Furthermore, crossdialectal differences between northern and southern German with respect to auxiliary selection tend to occur only with intermediate verbs. We argue that these findings lend support to the view that the unaccusative-unergative distinction is considerably more unstable than often assumed, and suggest that projectionist theories of the lexicon-syntax interface such as those directly derived from the Unaccusative Hypothesis may not be able to account for the systematic variation exhibited by the data.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Linguistics Vol. 39, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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