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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: The Segmental Phonology of Nineteenth-century Tristan da Cunha English: convergence and local innovation
Author: Peter Trudgill
Institution: Universitet i Agder
Author: Daniel Schreier
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.es.unizh.ch
Institution: Universit├Ąt Z├╝rich
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This article looks into convergence processes that involve distinct phonological systems in dialect contact situations, exemplified by the variety of English that developed on Tristan da Cunha, an island in the South Atlantic Ocean. Based on a discussion of the community's social history and an auditory analysis of the segmental phonology of late nineteenth-century Tristan da Cunha English, this article reconstructs the early contact scenario and looks into both phonological convergence and independent innovative mechanisms that accompany new-dialect formation. The data presented here show that dialect contact gives rise to mixing of several inputs (so that 'new' dialects draw features from several ancestral varieties), that the interaction of transplanted dialects may also trigger independent, variety-specific mechanisms, and that the interplay of feature retention, input mixing, and local innovation lead to distinctive and (on occasion) endemic varieties of English.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in English Language and Linguistics Vol. 10, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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