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The Social Origins of Language

By Daniel Dor

Presents a new theoretical framework for the origins of human language and sets key issues in language evolution in their wider context within biological and cultural evolution


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Preposition Placement in English: A Usage-Based Approach

By Thomas Hoffmann

This is the first study that empirically investigates preposition placement across all clause types. The study compares first-language (British English) and second-language (Kenyan English) data and will therefore appeal to readers interested in world Englishes. Over 100 authentic corpus examples are discussed in the text, which will appeal to those who want to see 'real data'


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Academic Paper


Title: One size fits all? Dialectometry in a small clan-based indigenous society
Author: James N. Stanford
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~linguist/faculty/stanford.html
Institution: Dartmouth College
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Sui
Abstract: In many societies, dialectometry has revealed strong correlations between geographic distances and dialect differences (e.g., Gooskens, 2005; Heeringa & Nerbonne, 2001; Nerbonne, 2009, 2010). But what happens when dialectometry is applied to a small, clan-based society such as the indigenous Sui people of rural southwest China? The Sui results show a strong correlation between dialect difference and geographic distance, thus supporting Nerbonne and Kleiweg's (2007) Fundamental Dialectological Postulate. A new culturally specific computation, “rice paddy distance,” also provides a strong correlation with dialect differences. However, the study finds that some dialectometry patterns of larger societies are not “compressible” into small societies such as Sui. Clan exogamy also poses challenges for dialectometry. Nonetheless, the overall results show that basic principles of dialect variation in space can be generalized cross-culturally, even across very different cultures. This paper also suggests a “lower limit” for dialectology, that is, the smallest distance where regional dialectology may be relevant, all other things being equal.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Language Variation and Change Vol. 24, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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