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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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Academic Paper


Title: Pre-aspiration and post-aspiration in Scottish Gaelic stop consonants
Author: Claire Nance
Institution: University of Glasgow
Author: Jane Stuart-Smith
Institution: University of Glasgow
Linguistic Field: Phonetics
Subject Language: Gaelic, Scottish
Abstract: This paper aims to describe pre-aspirated and post-aspirated stops in an endangered language, Scottish Gaelic. Our small-scale study investigates several acoustic parameters of Scottish Gaelic stop consonants designed to measure the duration and noisiness of aspiration of the stop in its immediate phonetic context. Our study expands on previous phonetic descriptions of phonemic (pre-)aspiration in three ways: firstly, we provide a more complete durational description of Scottish Gaelic than previous work in the literature; secondly, we apply a new measure, band-pass filtered zero crossing rate (Gordeeva & Scobbie 2010), in order to examine the noisiness of aspiration in addition to durational characteristics. The results from this measure are presented in tandem with durational results in order to assess its usefulness for future research. Thirdly, we consider the possibility of change in the Scottish Gaelic stop system by examining data from older and younger speakers. Results suggest that band-pass filtered zero crossing rate is a useful tool and should be considered in future research on aspiration. Also, durational and zero crossing results indicate that younger speakers have shorter and less noisy pre-aspiration than older speakers. We discuss these results as a possible sound change in progress.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of the International Phonetic Association Vol. 43, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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