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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

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Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: A milestone study: Structured variability as the key to unraveling (contact-induced) language change
Author: Rena Torres Cacoullos
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis; Sociolinguistics
Abstract: Despite increasing attention to bilingualism – conferences, publications, grants – linguists are as far as ever from reaching consensus. Is code-switching the alternation between two equally activated languages or is it the insertion of elements from a source language into a recipient language? Can and should we distinguish borrowing and code-switching of single words? Is there grammatical convergence between bilinguals’ two languages and does code-switching promote it? Since the first accounts of the structure of code-switching in the 1970s, the same questions have been readdressed with astoundingly little, if any, cumulative advances. Scientific progress has been obstructed by polemic debate, often fueled by elicited judgments, which may display random error (Labov, 1996), or reports of the behavior of stray individuals, which are uninterpretable in the absence of knowledge of the systematic community pattern (Labov, 2006/1966, p. 5).


This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 15, Issue 2.

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