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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: Urban rejection of the vernacular: The SVS undone
Author: Robin Dodsworth
Institution: North Carolina State University
Author: Mary Kohn
Institution: University of North Carolina
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: In Raleigh, North Carolina, a Southern U.S. city, five decades of in-migration of technology-sector workers from outside the South has resulted in large-scale contact between the local Southern dialect and non-Southern dialects. This paper investigates the speed and magnitude of the reversal of the Southern Vowel Shift (SVS) with respect to the five front vowels, using Trudgill's (1998) model of dialect contact as a framework. The data consist of conversational interviews with 59 white-collar Raleigh natives representing three generations, the first generation having reached adulthood before large-scale contact. Acoustic analysis shows that all vowels shift away from their Southern variants across apparent time. The leveling of SVS variants begins within the first generation to grow up after large-scale contact began, and contrary to predictions, this generation does not show wide inter- or intraspeaker variability. Previous studies of dialect contact and new dialect formation suggest that leveling of regional dialect features and the establishment of stable linguistic norms occurs more quickly when children have regular contact with one another. Dialect contact in Raleigh has occurred primarily within the middle and upper classes, the members of which are densely connected by virtue of schools and heavy economic segregation in neighborhood residence.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Language Variation and Change Vol. 24, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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