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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.

Query Details

Query Subject:   Seeking recent phonemic neutralizations
Author:   Andrew Wedel
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Historical Linguistics

Query:   We are collecting a database of diachronically recent phonemic
neutralizations (mergers or deletions) in languages for which there
exist reasonably good corpora and associated word-lists. The
neutralizations can be context-sensitive or context-free, but for our
purposes, the neutralization needs to be complete in some dialect of
the language. The corpus needs to have a phonemic transcription (or
the orthography needs to be shallow enough that we can reconstruct
one); it needs to encode the pre-neutralization state of the language
either in the phonemic transcription or the orthography; and it needs to
reflect (other than the neutralization) the phonemic system of the
dialect in which the neutralization has taken place. As an example, for
the LOT~THOUGHT and PIN~PEN mergers that have taken place in
varieties of American English, we can use an American English
phonemic transcription of the English portion of the CELEX database.
To see a regularly updated list of the neutralizations and associated
corpora that we currently have, please point your browser to


We currently have neutralizations in English, German, Dutch, French,
Slovak, Korean and Hong Kong Cantonese. If you have any
suggestions for additions to this list, please contact Andy Wedel at
LL Issue: 22.4495
Date posted: 10-Nov-2011


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