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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:   Most Conservative Language
Author:   Pete Unseth
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Historical Linguistics

Query:   A reporter recently asked me, "Which of today's languages is most like its ancestor?" What he wanted to know is: speakers of which of today's languages would be able to go back in time the farthest and be able to communicate verbally?

I suspect it is a language with a written heritage. Any speculation would be welcome. If the replies warrant it, I will post a summary.

Pete Unseth

Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics
LL Issue: 16.2215
Date posted: 20-Jul-2005



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