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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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Academic Paper


Title: Markedness, participation and grammatical paradigms: Jakobson and Hjelmslev revisited
Author: Eva Skafte Jensen
Institution: Roskilde University
Linguistic Field: Syntax
Subject Language: Danish
Abstract: The topic of this paper is markedness theory as initially developed in early works by Jakobson and Hjelmslev. The aim is to show how this early theory is (still) useful in the analysis of language-particular grammatical paradigms, and, further, to investigate which aspects of this early theory of markedness might still benefit from further refinements. One major point of this paper is to reinforce the notion of participation (a term originally suggested by Hjelmslev) as crucial in the understanding of markedness theory. Another major point is to show how the markedness relations of a paradigm depend not only on the members of the paradigm in question but also on the contexts in which the members of the paradigm are being used. Examples from Modern Danish grammar are given as illustration. The approach is functional-structural in the sense of Engberg-Pedersen et al. (1996).

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This article appears in Nordic Journal of Linguistics Vol. 35, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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