Featured Linguist!

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.


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Language Documentation & Conservation

Call Deadline: 15-Apr-2013

Call Information:
Call for Papers: How to Study a Tone Language edited by Steven Bird and Larry Hyman to appear in Language Documentation and Conservation

The goal of this special issue is to collect practical wisdom which has been built up over many years of investigating the world’s tone languages. We expect the volume to be a comprehensive collection of the most effective methods for documenting, describing, and analyzing tone languages.

Contributions will focus on the methodology for studying tone languages, including elicitation practice, stages of description, descriptive pitfalls, and so on. Papers that simply present and analyze tone data are out of scope; a substantive methodological contribution must be made.

Appropriate topics and approaches include:

- Management: approaches to elicitation and data management specific to tone; getting started; working with native-speaker linguists
- Documentation: ways to document the tone system of a language which minimally prejudice the later description and analysis; ways to study a tone language using archived materials
- Narrative: an instructive and reflective study of a language
- Computational: computational methods that support tonal investigations
- Typological: how to leverage knowledge about related languages
- Phonetic: how to combine impressionistic and instrumental observations; appropriate ways to incorporate recordings; accountability of transcriptions
- Diachronic: how to study the evolution of tone systems; how to reconstruct a proto tone system
- Development: how to contribute to a linguistic community’s expressed need for support with orthography decisions and effective ways to teach tone marking
- Data: a systematic presentation of tone data which highlights a methodological issue

Additional ideas of topics and approaches may be found at http://www.toneworkshop.org/

This special issue has grown out of two workshops on tone languages (Berkeley February 2011, Canberra December 2011), and it continues the focus of those workshops on methodology. Submissions are invited from workshop participants and non-participants alike.

The deadline for submissions is 15 April 2013. For information about the submission process, please consult the website of Language Documentation and Conservation, at http://www.nflrc.hawaii.edu/ldc/

For updated information about the publication, please see http://www.prosodicsystems.org/howto


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