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"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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Query Details

Query Subject:   Language Games, re http://linguistlist.org/issues/8/8-1079.html
Author:   Dr James M Scobbie
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Sociolinguistics

Query:   Apologies for posting to lists I don't normally read; I'm asking here
on the suggestion of a friend who does read them -- please send
replies directly by email, and thanks.

The question is on behalf of another friend who is working on a
dissertation (not on a linguistics topic, it's social history of a
sort); she wants to describe a situation in which the usage of one
word (in a particular context, by a small group of people) has
diverged enough from its standard usage that it has become
interchangeable with another word, normally either different or
unrelated in meaning. My friend believes there is a word for this
phenomenon, but nobody we've asked so far has been able to identify it
... does anyone out there know?

Jonathan Gilbert
LL Issue: 8.1107
Date posted: 29-Jul-1997


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