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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 Linguistic Time-Capsule: Afro-Hispanic and Afro-Portuguese historical texts
Author: Fernanda L Ferreira
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://webhost.bridgew.edu/fferreira
Institution: Bridgewater State College
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics
Subject Language Family: Romance
Abstract: In his book A History of Afro-Hispanic Language: five centuries/five continents, Lipski (2005a) discusses in great detail the nature and scope of Afro-Iberian language spoken by Blacks starting from the 15th to the 20th century. He does so using historical textual data. The present article narrowly focuses on pluralization patterns found in the texts originally compiled by that author.

The dating of phonological changes before the advent of recording technology has been a methodological problem for dialectologists and historical linguists. One of the methods employed to circumvent this problem is the analysis of historical texts in order to shed light on phonological as well as morphological and syntactic changes in language. There are other methods also employed to study the development languages, namely, the study of related varieties (i.e. Sephardic Spanish). However, in the absence of conservative linguistic systems that present evidence of particular consonantal changes, researchers need more examples of what one may call "a linguistic time capsule". Just as with time capsules left by previous generations to inform future ones of the details of the past, written texts may provide partial evidence of the intricacies of language left by authors of the past.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: Creole Language Series
Publication Info: John Benjamins


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