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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?

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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: Linguistic Syncretism and Language Ideologies: Transforming Sociolinguistic Hierarchy on Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
Paper URL: http://www.anthrosource.net/doi/abs/10.1525/aa.2004.106.3.529
Author: Miki Makihara
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://qcpages.qc.cuny.edu/ANTHRO/makihara/makihara.html
Institution: Queens College (CUNY)
Linguistic Field: Anthropological Linguistics
Subject Language: Rapanui
Subject Language Family: Austronesian
Abstract: Recent work in linguistic anthropology highlights the role of linguistic ideology, or cultural conceptions of language, in transforming social relations and linguistic structure and use. This paper examines the links between language attitudes and uses in their institutional and interactional contexts on Rapa Nui, a Polynesian island community that is part of the Chilean nation-state. By the 1970s, a sociolinguistic hierarchy and functional compartmentalization of languages between Spanish and Rapa Nui – what I will describe as colonial diglossia – had become established in the community, which was rapidly becoming bilingual. Language shift toward Spanish has continued to advance since then. However, rising Rapa Nui syncretic language practice and consciousness, combined with the political successes of a local indigenous movement and changes in the local economy, are now contributing to the breakdown of colonial diglossia, generating better conditions for the maintenance of the Rapa Nui language.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: http://www.anthrosource.net/doi/abs/10.1525/aa.2004.106.3.529
Publication Info: 2004. American Anthropologist 106(3):529–540.
URL: http://www.anthrosource.net/doi/abs/10.1525/aa.2004.106.3.529


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