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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: Questioning the universality of the syllable: evidence from Japanese
Author: Laurence Labrune
Institution: Université Bordeaux 1
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Typology
Subject Language: Japanese
Abstract: This paper reexamines the issue of the mora, the foot and the syllable in Tokyo Japanese, and shows that whereas the mora and the foot are indisputably present and active, the evidence for the syllable is inconspicuous and disputable. Building on this observation, I claim that Tokyo Japanese makes no use of the syllable. Instead, two types of mora are distinguished: regular CV moras and weak (deficient) moras. Weak moras include the moraic nasal, the first part of a geminate and the second part of a long vowel, as well as moras containing an onsetless vowel, a devoiced vowel or an epenthetic vowel. I further argue that feet obey a set of structural constraints stipulating that they be properly headed by a regular full mora. With this enriched notion of mora type, the paper argues that neither the syllable nor any other level of the prosodic hierarchy is obligatory in all languages.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Phonology Vol. 29, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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