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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: A variationist perspective on discourse-pragmatic change in a contact setting
Author: Stephen Levey
Institution: University of Ottawa
Author: Karine Groulx
Institution: University of Ottawa
Author: Joseph Roy
Institution: University of Ottawa
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: French
Abstract: The emergence of être comme as a quotative verb in Canadian French is easily construed as a case of contact-induced change by virtue of its superficial similarity to the rapidly diffusing be like quotative (Tagliamonte & D'Arcy, 2007). We pursue the inference of contact-induced change by undertaking a quantitative analysis of French and English quotatives recorded from speakers in the bilingual city of Ottawa between 2008 and 2010. A series of real-time cross sections enables the longitudinal development of the quotative system of each language to be tracked. Analysis of the data confirms that être comme is a change in progress, but not a wholesale replication of its English counterpart. Although the results do not refute the role of external causation in the emergence of être comme, the available evidence suggests that an external source is neither the sole, nor even the preferred, motivation for the emergence of this innovation.

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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