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Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

By David Crystal

Offers a unique view of the English language and its development, and includes witty commentary and anecdotes along the way.


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The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics

By Asya Pereltsvaig and Martin W. Lewis

This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."


Academic Paper


Title: Exploring discourse on globalizing English
Author: Alexander Onysko
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Universität Innsbruck
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Abstract: A case study of discourse on anglicisms in German.

“By recognizing our uncanny strangeness, we shall neither suffer from it nor enjoy it from the outside. The foreigner is within me, hence we are all foreigners. If I am a foreigner, there are no foreigners.” (Julia Kristeva, Strangers to Ourselves (1991)).

Is Kristeva's dissolution of the notion ‘foreign’ also applicable to language? The nature of language as a semiotic system of arbitrarily bound units of meaning and form determines the essential foreignness of signifier and signified. As such, every linguistic unit is indeed intrinsically foreign on the level of designation and, thus, there is no foreign language. On the surface of human communication, however, incomprehensibility among speakers can emerge as a criterion of foreignness. The perception of the foreign in language is particularly tied to situations of contact between different language-cultural areas. Such contact can occur internally in a multilingual speaker or can be observed externally as happening in the speech community. In both ways, crucial to language contact is a perceived intertwining of linguistic units from at least two distant, i.e. incomprehensible, codes culturally rooted in diverse speech communities.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN English Today Vol. 25, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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