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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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Title: Object Shift in the Scandinavian Languages
Subtitle: Syntax, Information Structure, and Intonation
Written By: Mayumi Hosono
URL: http://www.lotpublications.nl/index3.html
Series Title: LOT Dissertation Series

Scandinavian Object Shift is a movement phenomenon where a weak, unstressed object pronoun moves across a sentential adverb. An object pronoun can move only when verb movement takes place (Holmberg’s Generalization). No movement phenomenon other than Object Shift in which movement of a sentential element is dependent on that of another sentential element has been found. Due to this property, Object Shift has long been one of the most controversial issues in generative syntax. The thesis discusses the constructions relevant to Object Shift from the intonational perspective, by presenting experimental data from all the Scandinavian languages. It is shown that downstep typically occurs in the Object Shift construction but does not occur in the constructions where Object Shift cannot occur. A new hypothesis on Scandinavian Object Shift is presented: the object pronoun moves to cause downstep. Holmberg’s Generalization is accounted for as follows: When main verb movement takes place, an object pronoun moves and causes downstep to eliminate a focal effect on the sentential element(s) after the main verb. In the environments in which downstep must not occur, i.e. in the constructions where the final pitch peak occurs on the (in-situ) main verb, Object Shift does not occur either. It is also shown that whether Object Shift is obligatory, optional or absent depends on whether a Scandinavian variety at issue has an early or delayed pitch gesture. A new generalization on Object Shift is presented: the earlier the pitch gesture occurs, the more likely is Object Shift to occur; the more delayed the pitch gesture is, the more likely is Object Shift to be absent. Object Shift is thus not a dichotomous property, i.e. either present or absent, but a gradient phenomenon in the Scandinavian languages. This thesis targets researchers of various fields of linguistics, (generative) syntax, information structure, and experimental phonetics.

Publication Year: 2013
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Phonology
Language Structure
Language Family(ies): East Scandinavian
West Scandinavian
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9789460931147
Prices: Europe EURO 20.35