Featured Linguist!

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: Narratives of vicarious experience in conversation
Author: Neal R Norrick
Institution: Saarland University
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis
Abstract: Stories of personal experience have been a staple of research on narrative, while stories of vicarious experience have remained largely ignored, though they offer special insights into issues of epistemic authority, telling rights, and evaluation. This article seeks to show that stories of vicarious experience can fulfill the same functions as stories of personal experience in conversation, illustrating a point in an argument, sharing news, and for their entertainment value. Discrepancies between stories of vicarious experience and stories of personal experience follow from the distinction between third person and first person narrative along with corresponding differences in their participation frameworks in the sense of Goffman (1981): conversationalists cannot deploy third person stories of vicarious experience in functions such as mutual self-disclosure or to display resistance to troubles; conversely, stories of vicarious experience offer greater opportunities for co-narration. (Epistemic authority, evaluation, identity, narrative, participation frameworks, telling rights, vicarious experience)


This article appears in Language in Society Vol. 42, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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