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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: Transatlantic variation in English adverb placement
Author: Cathleen Waters
Institution: University of Toronto
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics; Syntax; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This study examines the placement of an adverb with respect to a modal or perfect auxiliary in English (e.g., It might potentially escape / It potentially might escape). The data are drawn from two large, socially stratified corpora of vernacular English (Toronto, Canada, and York, England) and thus allow a cross-dialect perspective on linguistic and social correlates. Using quantitative sociolinguistic methods, I demonstrate similarity in the varieties, with the postauxiliary position generally strongly favored. Of particular importance is the structure of the auxiliary phrase; when a modal is followed by the perfect auxiliary (e.g., It might have escaped), the rates of preauxiliary adverb placement are considerably higher. As the variation is chiefly correlated with linguistic, rather than social factors, I apply recent proposals from Generative syntax to further understand the grammar of the phenomenon. However, the evidence suggests that the variability seen here is a result of postsyntactic, rather than syntactic, processes.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Language Variation and Change Vol. 25, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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