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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: Is there linguistic life after high school? Longitudinal changes in the bilingual repertoire in metropolitan Barcelona
Author: Kathryn A. Woolard
Institution: University of California, San Diego
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Catalan-Valencian-Balear
Spanish
Abstract: Do linguistic identities formed in high school endure after adolescence? Do age-related linguistic differences represent community trends over historical time, or are they age-graded practices that change over biographical time? Catalan advocates worry that perceived Castilian dominance in adolescents' peer relations and media consumption forecasts the community's sociolinguistic future. To investigate the possibility of change in bilingual repertoires after adolescence, participants in a 1987 ethnographic study of high school students in metropolitan Barcelona were reinterviewed after twenty years. The reinterviews of L1 Castilian-speakers showed increased mastery and use of Catalan even among those who had been functionally monolingual and most resistant to Catalan in high school. Higher education, the workplace, romance, cosmopolitan travel, and parenthood were triggers of such postadolescent change in the linguistic repertoire. Informants produce a common narrative attributing linguistic transformations to maturational processes that reduce the shame and intolerance of difference that inhibit adolescent second language use. (Bilingualism, second language acquisition, longitudinal research, language and identity, adolescence, Catalan, Catalonia)

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Language in Society Vol. 40, Issue 5, which you can read on Cambridge's site .



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