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Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule


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Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.


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Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin


Academic Paper


Title: 'The biggest English corner in China'
Author: ShuangGao
Email: click here to access email
Institution: 'National University of Singapore'
Linguistic Field: 'Sociolinguistics'
Subject Language: 'English'
Abstract: ‘They all speak good English. So how come they are jobless?’ The Spring Festival Gala, broadcast alive on TV across China and among international Chinese communities, is one of the most popular and widely viewed performances for Chinese people on Chinese New Year's Eve. In a situational comedy at the 2012 Gala, one Chinese lady threw out the above remark to her friend with reference to the folk she had met in a foreign country she had just visited. The tone in which she said it was intended to invoke laughter at her sarcastic comment about the presumed almightiness of English. The audience, however, only reacted with a slightly audible mumble, which evidently reflected their ambivalence on this issue. After all, many in the audience – like the general population – are currently convinced that gaining a command of English is a very good thing, if not a national pursuit. To mock their pursuit of English is almost equal to mocking their view of life. This article takes a glimpse into this national craze towards English by presenting a brief ethnography of a new form of English learning in China: ‘English educational tourism’, that is, traveling for the purpose of learning English. By doing this, it explores the relationship between English and political economy, noting how English, the language of imperialism, at its current stage (re)produces new subjectivities among Chinese people as a semiotic form of modern/cosmopolitan imagination. Before outlining this argument and introducing the specific evidence upon which I base my claims, however, it is necessary to position this article with reference to previous theorizations relevant to the English language and the Chinese context.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in English Today Vol. 28, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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