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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: Prestige, accommodation, and the legacy of relative 'who'
Author: Alexandra D'Arcy
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://web.uvic.ca/ling/faculty/adarcy.htm
Institution: University of Victoria
Author: Sali A Tagliamonte
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Toronto
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Abstract: This article presents a quantitative variationist analysis of the English restrictive relative pronouns. However, where previous research has largely focused on language-internal explanations for variant choice, the focus here is the social meaning of this erstwhile syntactic variable. We uncover rich sociolinguistic embedding of the relative pronouns in standard, urban speech. The only productive 'wh-' form is 'who', which continues to pattern as a prestige form centuries after its linguistic specialization as a human subject relative. This legacy of prestige is reflected not only in the social characteristics of those with whom it is associated, but also in the patterns of accommodation that are visible in its use. These findings simultaneously demonstrate the tenacious nature of social meaning and the enduring effects of grammatical ideology, both of which influence pronoun choice in the context of face-to-face interaction. (Restrictive relative pronouns, 'who', change from above, age-grading, prestige, accommodation)

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Language in Society Vol. 39, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site .



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