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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?

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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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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

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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: (Non-)Retroflex Slavic Affricates and Their Motivation: Evidence from Czech and Polish
Author: Marzena Żygis
Institution: Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Author: Daniel Pape
Institution: Aveiro University
Author: Luis M. T. Jesus
Institution: Aveiro University
Linguistic Field: Phonetics
Subject Language: Polish
Czech
Abstract: The Slavic affricate represented by /č/ is tacitly or explicitly assumed to be // for all Slavic languages. In this paper we revise the affricate inventories of Polish and Czech, showing that the symbol /č/ stands for two different sounds: the palatoalveolar // in Czech and the retroflex // in Polish. This conclusion is supported by acoustic results for Polish and Czech data. The fact that COG (centre of gravity) values of frication are not significantly different for Polish and Czech /č/ appears a bit surprising especially in light of the fact that COG is generally seen as a parameter contributing to the distinction of fricatives (including sibilants, see e.g. Gordon, Barthmaier & Sands 2002). Our results show that other parameters such as duration of the frication phase, F1 and F2 of the following vowel as well as spectral slopes are more reliable cues for distinguishing the small differences between affricates examined here.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of the International Phonetic Association Vol. 42, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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