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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?

By: Tim William Machan

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: Dialect divergence and convergence in New Zealand English
Author: Molly E. Babel
Institution: University of British Columbia
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis; Sociolinguistics
Abstract: Recent research has been concerned with whether speech accommodation is an automatic process or determined by social factors (e.g. Trudgill 2008). This paper investigates phonetic accommodation in New Zealand English when speakers of NZE are responding to an Australian talker in a speech production task. NZ participants were randomly assigned to either a Positive or Negative group, where they were either flattered or insulted by the Australian. Overall, the NZE speakers accommodated to the speech of the AuE speaker. The flattery/insult manipulation did not influence degree of accommodation, but accommodation was predicted by participants' scores on an Implicit Association Task that measured Australia and New Zealand biases. Participants who scored with a pro-Australia bias were more likely to accommodate to the speech of the AuE speaker. Social biases about how a participant feels about a speaker predicted the extent of accommodation. These biases are, crucially, simultaneously automatic and social. (Speech accommodation, phonetic convergence, New Zealand English, dialect contact)

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Language in Society Vol. 39, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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