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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: Spelling reform – a lesson from the Greeks
Author: Michael Bulley
Institution: United Arab Emirates University
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics; Writing Systems
Subject Language: English
Greek, Modern
Abstract: Every now and again a call goes up for the reform of English orthography to make it more user-friendly. After all, it is said, the Spanish, the Germans, and even the French, have accepted changes to their spelling systems. By way of comparison, we could think of the suggestion that the Greeks should abandon their alphabet and adopt the Roman one, to come into line with most other European countries. Thankfully, there seems no serious possibility that this will happen. The reasons against it are solidly linguistic and not ones prompted by blind tradition. The same sorts of reasons should prevail for English. The Greek case, though, can provide some lessons. For there have, in fact, been changes to Greek orthography in recent times. An important one was in 1982, when the variety of diacritic signs was reduced to a single accent.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in English Today Vol. 27, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site .



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