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Oxford Handbook of Corpus Phonology

Edited by Jacques Durand, Ulrike Gut, and Gjert Kristoffersen

Offers the first detailed examination of corpus phonology and serves as a practical guide for researchers interested in compiling or using phonological corpora

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The Languages of the Jews: A Sociolinguistic History

By Bernard Spolsky

A vivid commentary on Jewish survival and Jewish speech communities that will be enjoyed by the general reader, and is essential reading for students and researchers interested in the study of Middle Eastern languages, Jewish studies, and sociolinguistics.

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Indo-European Linguistics

New Open Access journal on Indo-European Linguistics is now available!

Query Details

Query Subject:   orient vs. orientation
Author:   John Esposito
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Historical Linguistics

Query:   Hello,

I'm looking for insights into the choice of ''orientate'' over ''orient''
by a fairly polished writer of British English who is probably also fluent
in (at least) French and Italian. In particular, I'm looking for historical
As everyone knows, ''orient'' is the standard verbal root and stem of
''orientation'', and ''orientate'' is a backformation; but a quick sampling
of bilingual dictionaries with English and another European langauge shows
a preference for ''orientate.'' The OED says that ''orient'' has been
around longer, but it seems to me that at some time & place, ''orientate''
may have been standard.

I'd like to know if ''orientate'' was standard at some time in British
English (and if possible, precisely when and where), or whether a
preference for ''orientate'' might come from another major European
language. French and Italian don't have the ''-ate'' suffix on this word,
and German has ''-ieren''; the only alternative explanation that occurs to
me is that this is a leftover from the author's schoolboy Latin.

John Esposito
San Diego State Univ.
LL Issue: 15.3227
Date posted: 17-Nov-2004


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