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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 Change, Shift and Variations in South Asia
Author: Mohammad Jahangeer Warsi
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~anell/
Institution: Washington University, St. Louis
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Abstract: The last decade has seen an unprecedented growth in the study of language contact, shift and variations associated partly with the linguistic effects of globalization and increased migration all over the world. Language change and shift are culturally normal, and all combinations of known languages can be heard in rural contexts, with language choice in daily communication being based foremost on traditional language protocol. It is argued that variations is common in this geographical area, conceding that shift can also occur, but that the idea of a linguistic area is certainly fundamental to the notion of diffusion.

More than three hundred languages are spoken in South Asia than in any other region of the world. Many of these languages are however only dialects of a parent language. Language attitude examines the way external factors have influenced and are influencing language change, focusing on how changing social contexts are reflected in language use. Language change explores the attitudes, values and assumptions that shape the way we use language. Focus in this study may also be given to looks at how language change operates within different genres.

Selected papers will address how social, geographical, economic, cultural, educational or gender factors influence language variation and change. Analyzing social discourse would give us an idea that in what way language is used in the world of social discourse. Written over a decade on the South Asian Linguistics by many leading scholars cover a broad range of topics. Offering a sociolinguistic perspective on language contact, shift and variations, this volume will present a broader spectrum in understanding the complex linguistics phenomena of South Asia.

The volume will also look at the way languages change and shift offers an insight into the nature of language itself, and how it is acquired and used. Accordingly, the phenomenon of language contact will be approached from a variety of perspectives by the invited linguists and scholars of many different orientations.
Type: Collection
Status: In Progress


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