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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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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.


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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