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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?

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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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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: Mechanisms of change in areal diffusion: new morphology and language contact
Author: Chia-jung Pan
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: https://plone.jcu.edu.au/researchatjcu/research/lcrc
Institution: James Cook University
Linguistic Field: Morphology; Sociolinguistics; General Linguistics; Computational Linguistics
Abstract: Borrowing, or diffusion, of grammatical categories in language contact is not a unitary process. In the linguistic area of the Vaup‚s in northwest Amazonia, several different mechanisms help create new contact-induced morphology. Languages which are in continuous contact belong to the genetically unrelated East-Tucanoan and Arawak families. There is a strong cultural inhibition against borrowing forms of any sort (grammatical or lexical). Language contact in the multilingual Vaup‚s linguistic area has resulted in the development of similar - though far from identical - grammatical structures. In Tariana, an Arawak language spoken in the area, reanalysis and reinterpretation of existing categories takes place when diffusion involves restructuring a pre-existing category for which there is a slot in the structure, such as case. A new grammatical category with no pre-existing slots may evolve via grammaticalization of a free morpheme - this is how aspect and aktionsart marking was developed. The development of a five-term tense-evidentiality paradigm involves a combination of strategies: reanalysis with reinterpretation accounts for the obligatory tense marking, and the history of visual, inferred and reported evidentials. The nonvisual evidential evolved via grammaticalization of a lexical verb while the most recent, assumed, evidential involves reanalysis and reinterpretation of an aspect marker and grammatical accommodation.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Linguistics Vol. 39, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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