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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: Substrate influence: from spelling pronunciation to pronunciation spelling – a growing trend among university students in Kenya
Author: Serah Waitiki
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Abstract: The development of African varieties of English has been attributed to a variety of factors, and the emergent forms of English spoken in various African countries have been the subject of study for several decades now. Among the factors mentioned as leading to the ‘Africanness’ of African Englishes is the exposure to written language, which tends to lead to the observation of linkages between spelling and pronunciation in some of these varieties of English (Schmied, 1991a, 2006). The argument has been that due to exposure to the written word, second language learners reproduce elements of written language in speech, leading, for example, to the pronunciation of silent letters in words such as ‘heir’, ‘tomb’ etc. This phenomenon of ‘spelling pronunciation’ is more pronounced in some varieties than in others, and the practice may not be confined to non-native environments. In general, spelling pronunciation has been shown to lead to cross-cultural miscommunication and therefore has implications for English as a global language.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in English Today Vol. 29, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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