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"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: On the Representation of Tone in Alaska Athabaskan Practical Orthographies
Author: Gary Holton
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://go.alaska.edu/gmholton
Institution: University of Alaska Fairbanks
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Writing Systems
Subject Language Family: Athapascan-Eyak-Tlingit
Abstract: This paper examines current and past approaches to representing tone in Alaska Athabaskan orthographies. Representation of tone in Alaska Athabaskan languages is complicated by two structural factors: the relatively low functional load of tone; and the phonological abstractness of the tone systems. A survey of existing orthographies reveals that literacy rates are not necessarily improved by shallower marking of surface pitch distinctions. Several factors are shown to complicate the teaching and acquisition of literacy in shallow tone orthographies. The usefulness of tone marking is evaluated in light of both the phonological and experiential evidence. In many instances, shallow tone marking has served as a barrier to literacy, thus the related goals of literacy and language maintenance may be better served by deeper tone orthographies.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: In Progress
Venue: Athabascan Languages Conference


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