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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: Language as a representation of Mexican American identity
Author: Carmen Fought
Institution: Pitzer College
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Demographic data indicate that the English of Mexican Americans is destined to play a key role in the sociolinguistic study of language variation in the United States. In fact, Mexican American speakers are reported to account for more than 12.5% of the U.S. population. In 2003, the U.S. Census released data showing that Latinos and Latinas had replaced African Americans as the largest minority ethnic group in the U.S., and by 2007, 29.2 million Americans listed their ancestry as Mexican (Pew Hispanic Center, 2009). Moreover, in addition to the large numbers of Mexicans (first generation) and Mexican Americans (second generation) living in the Southwest, we are now seeing a new representation of these ethnic groups in other areas, such as the South. For example, between 1990 and 2000, North Carolina experienced a higher percentage of growth in its Mexican American population than any other state (Wolfram, Carter & Moriello, 2004).
These statistics are important with respect to language because they reveal that a large and increasing population of English speakers in the U.S. are Latinos and Latinas of Mexican origin. Our notion of American English, then, must be extended to include the variety traditionally spoken by the children of Mexican immigrants in the U.S., generally referred to in the literature as Chicano English. In addition, if we look at the Mexican American population as a whole, we will find a number of other varieties of English spoken.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in English Today Vol. 26, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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