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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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Discussion Details

Title: Language and Environment
Submitter: Louis Hillman
Description: On December 14th, on National Public Radio, I heard an essay by Andre
Codrescu about translation. Here is a link:


If anyone else heard it, I would be interested in your reaction to it.

I was astonished to hear Codrescu claim that the physical environment in
which humans live was at least partially responsible for their language. I
remember some 45 years ago reading a similar statement about the emergence
of the dialect of South African English, in which it was claimed that the
difference between that dialect and Received Pronunciation in England was
caused by the hotter climate of South Africa.

What have our colleagues in in other academic disciplines learned about
Date Posted: 22-Dec-2006
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
LL Issue: 17.3797
Posted: 22-Dec-2006

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