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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?

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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: Ah-prefacing in Kiswahili second pair parts
Author: Sigurd D'hondt
Institution: Ghent University
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis; Pragmatics
Subject Language: Swahili
Abstract: This article presents a conversation-analytic account of the various usages of the Kiswahili particle ah as it is routinely employed in naturally occurring Kiswahili conversation. Adopting a strategy reminiscent of the one Heritage and others adopted for English oh, it is argued that the seemingly disparate uses of this “language-specific object” represent various context-specific particularizations of a single semantic core. The basic claim is that ah constitutes a response cry that indexes to the other interlocutors the speaker's negative evaluative stance toward a particular issue. In this capacity, it frequently occupies the turn-initial position of a second pair part. Depending on the specifics of the sequential environment, the “object” of the indexed stance is traceable to either the particular item that is being talked about or the action performed in the preceding first. In the former case, the particle is used to demonstrate the speaker's affiliation with the previous speaker. In the latter case, it is used to demonstrate his disaffiliation with the previous speaker. (Kiswahili, particle, stance, second pair parts, turn-initial position, conversation analysis, comparative perspective)

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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