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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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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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Academic Paper


Title: Aspects of identity in a second language: ING variation in the speech of Polish migrants living in Manchester, UK
Author: Rob Drummond
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.robdrummond.co.uk
Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This study uses variationist methods in an L2 context to investigate ING variation in the English speech of UK-based Polish migrants. The results suggest that such variation is as consistent in an L2 context as it is in an L1 context, with several of the expected L1 factors emerging as statistically significant constraints. However, two social factors emerge as particularly worthy of further discussion: the reversal of the typical gender pattern (in this case women are more likely to use the alveolar variant than men), and the question of whether the speaker intends to return to Poland in the future. Gender is discussed from the perspective of contexts of language use (occupation), and future plans is discussed in terms of its role in the construction of identity. There is a strong indication that the intention to return to Poland encourages the use of an ING variant, [ɪŋk], that signals this allegiance to the L1 identity.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Language Variation and Change Vol. 24, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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