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The Social Origins of Language

By Daniel Dor

Presents a new theoretical framework for the origins of human language and sets key issues in language evolution in their wider context within biological and cultural evolution


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Preposition Placement in English: A Usage-Based Approach

By Thomas Hoffmann

This is the first study that empirically investigates preposition placement across all clause types. The study compares first-language (British English) and second-language (Kenyan English) data and will therefore appeal to readers interested in world Englishes. Over 100 authentic corpus examples are discussed in the text, which will appeal to those who want to see 'real data'


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Academic Paper


Title: Gender, prescriptivism, and language change: Morphological variation in Hebrew animate reference
Author: Erez Levon
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://homepages.nyu.edu/~eml246
Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Linguistic Field: Morphology; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: Hebrew
Abstract: Beliefs about a language rarely correspond to how it is used. This is especially true for Hebrew, a language that has been subject to continued ideological “preservation” efforts ever since its (re)vernacularization in the early 20th century. Recently, attention has turned to the maintenance of Hebrew gender morphology, which is perceived in both scholarly and popular opinion as threatened by a process of leveling to gender syncretized forms across a range of word classes and inflectional paradigms. In this article, I investigate the extent to which sociolinguistic evidence supports this perception in cases of animate reference. I argue that while the claim of widespread gender neutralization of these forms is descriptively valid, its characterization as a change-in-progress is inaccurate. Rather, I suggest that Hebrew is already fully syncretized for gender in certain relevant morphological contexts and that the perception of an ongoing process of change reflects a prescriptive belief about how Hebrew should be, not how it actually is.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Language Variation and Change Vol. 24, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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