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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: Rapa Nui Ways of Speaking Spanish: Language Shift and Socialization on Easter Island
Author: Miki Makihara
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://qcpages.qc.cuny.edu/ANTHRO/makihara/makihara.html
Institution: Queens College (CUNY)
Linguistic Field: Anthropological Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Spanish
Rapanui
Abstract: The paper examines evolving linguistic practices in the Spanish–Rapa Nui (Polynesian) bilingual community of Easter Island, Chile, and in particular the transformation of Rapa Nui Spanish speech styles. The island’s rapid integration into the national and world economy and a vibrant indigenous movement have profoundly influenced the everyday lives of island residents over the last few decades. Although a community-wide language shift toward Spanish has been evident over the last four decades, the Rapa Nui have in this period also expanded their speech style repertoire by creating Rapa Nui Spanish and syncretic Rapa Nui speech styles. Predominantly Spanish-speaking Rapa Nui children who have imperfect command over Rapa Nui are today adopting a new Rapa Nui Spanish style. Using ethnographic and linguistic analysis of recorded face-to-face verbal interactions I analyze the development, structure and social significance of Rapa Nui Spanish varieties and locate them within the complex process of language shift. (Keywords: language shift, language socialization, bilingualism, language variation, ethnic identity, communicative style, Polynesia)
Type: Individual Paper
Status: In Progress
Publication Info: forthcoming, Language in Society 34(5), November 2005


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