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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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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

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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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Query Details

Query Subject:   Chinese Historical Syntax
Author:   Keith Slater
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Historical Linguistics
Language Family:  Chinese Subgroup

Query:   Dear Linguists,

A friend of mine is doing some work in historical syntax, and is interested
in references to syntactic stability/change in literary Chinese over
periods of several centuries. His question is:

''I was wondering if anyone knows much about the relative stability of
classical literary Chinese (lexically, syntactically, or general
stylistics). Does classical Chinese have any kind of literary stability
during any 600 year period from c.400 BC to c.1912? Reference to either
prose or to the poets would be helpful, although the syntax and stylistics
of poetry are a bit shaky even at a fixed point in time,
cross-linguistically. Are you aware of any authors on this subject whom I
could look up or quote?''

If you can make any recommendations for research sources, please send them
to me. I'll post a summary of responses.

LL Issue: 16.2294
Date posted: 30-Jul-2005


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