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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: Monosyllabic word merger in Mandarin
Author: Shu-chuan Tseng
Institution: Academia Sinica
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Abstract: Spoken language reduction in spontaneous speech constitutes an important part of the process of language change. Utilizing a Mandarin corpus, this article examines monosyllabic word merger with pronouns in the first syllable position. The shortened form marks a respective vocalic or consonantal element stemming from the source syllables. This article proposes that there exists a target syllable for a pair of monosyllabic words, but it is not unique. Depending on the syllable structure of the source syllables, different lines of developments of target syllables are possible. When the combination of the source syllables allows a development into a well-formed Mandarin syllable, the output is a good candidate for a coalescent compound. Furthermore, when the immediately neighboring vocalic parts constitute a front-back contrast or they are identical, it is likely that word merger is produced. Durational results also show that a monosyllabic word merger is usually longer than a single syllable.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Language Variation and Change Vol. 17, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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