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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: Myths and Facts about Loanword Development
Author: Shana Poplack
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Ottawa
Author: Nathalie Dion
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Ottawa
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics
Subject Language: French
Abstract: This study traces the diachronic trajectory and synchronic behavior of English-origin items in Quebec French over a real-time period of 61 years. We test three standard assumptions about such foreign incorporations: (1) they increase in frequency; (2) they originate as code-switches and are gradually integrated into recipient-language grammar; and (3) the processes underlying code-switching and borrowing are the same. Results do not support the assumptions. Few other-language items persist, let alone increase. Linguistic integration is abrupt, not gradual. Speakers consistently distinguish lone other-language items from multiword fragments on each of five linguistic diagnostics tested. They borrow the former, and code-switch the latter. Code-switches are not converted into borrowings; instead the decision to code-switch or borrow is made at the moment the other-language item is accessed. We explore the implications of these findings for understanding the processes by which other-language incorporations achieve the status of native items and their consequences for theories of code-switching and borrowing.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Language Variation and Change Vol. 24, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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