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"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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Academic Paper


Title: Invariant Syllable Skeleton, Complex Segments and Word Edges
Author: Tobias Scheer
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.unice.fr/dsl/tobias.htm
Institution: Université de Nice
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Abstract: San Duanmu's Syllable Structure: The Limits of Variation raises a number of questions that are of general interest for phonological theory. Of special interest here are: the genesis and management of linearity in complex segments, the place of analogy (or paradigm uniformity) in grammar, the role of morphology in accounting for phonological patterns, the balance of static (distributional patterns) and dynamic (phonological processes) evidence for syllable structure, the role of stress in syllabification, and the import of corpus-based data for phonological analysis. In each case, Duanmu's proposals are evaluated according to their intrinsic consistency, the empirical record and the relevant body of literature. Alternative ways of handling the phenomena are offered, and these are fairly traditional in most cases. Duanmu's book is particularly relevant in the current constitution of the field where the see-saw movement between computation and representations seems to swing back in direction of the latter after having long been immobilised on the computational end. Standing clearly on the representational side, the theory exposed in the book aims to show that all surface strings may be reduced to a fixed and invariant syllable template, C(onsonant)V(owel)X. This enterprise is interesting especially in presence of another representationally-oriented theory, CVCV (Lowenstamm 1996, Scheer 2004), which also aims at reducing surface variation to an invariant syllabic skeleton, made of a monotonic sequence of CV units. However, the CVX and the CVCV templates are quite distinct, and the strategies that are used in order to accommodate the surface string are opposite (shrinking in the former case, expanding in the latter).

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Linguistics Vol. 48, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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