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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: The Future of Köho: A Mon-Khmer language of Viêt Nam
Author: Neil H Olsen
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Utah
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics; Writing Systems
Subject Language: Koho
Subject Language Family: Austro-Asiatic
Abstract: Kơho, a Mon-Khmer (Austroasiatic) language, is spoken by approximately 100,000 people located in Lam Dong province in the highland region of Viet Nam. There are also several thousand other speakers who now live in France and the USA. In 1986, and again in 1992, Kơho refugees were resettled in North and South Carolina. Like so many emigrant groups preceding them, the children are not learning the language and cultural traditions are not being preserved. Maintenance of the Kơho language has become an important issue to the relocated community

Since the 1930s, missionaries, government agencies, and educators using several different alphabets have produced scripture, primers, grammars, and dictionaries. After 1975, use of minority languages was discouraged and a Vietnamization campaign emphasized integration of minority peoples into the majority national society. Despite the fact that Kơho has 100,000 speakers, it has the potential to become an endangered language. A challenge to overseas Kơho will be maintaining their “critical mass” of speakers.

This presentation will review the history of the development of orthographies, explore the religious, political, and pedagogical ramifications of orthography choice in the preparation of literacy materials, and review resources for language and cultural maintenance.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: Univ. of N. Carolina, Charlotte.
Publication Info: N. Ostler & B. Rudes, eds. Endangered Languages and Literacy, pp. 43-46. Proc. of the 4th Foundation for Endangered Languages Conference.


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