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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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Free Access 4 You

Free access to several Brill linguistics journals, such as Journal of Jewish Languages, Language Dynamics and Change, and Brill’s Annual of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics.


Academic Paper


Title: Corpus evidence of anti-deletion in Black South African English noun phrases
Author: Yolande Botha
Linguistic Field: Text/Corpus Linguistics
Abstract: Black South African English (BSAfE) is now generally regarded as an independent variety of English rather than an interlanguage on the way to Standard English (Van Rooy, 2008: 274, 300 and in this issue). Mesthrie (2006: 115) demonstrates that many of the characteristic features of BSAfE can be ascribed to the overarching tendency of anti-deletion. Anti-deletion is a term coined by Mesthrie (2006: 115) to encompass three kinds of linguistic phenomena that are the opposite of deletion in generative analyses of English, namely undeletion, non-deletion and insertion. Undeletion ‘restores an element that is often assumed to be deleted or to have an empty node in generative analyses of English’ (Mesthrie, 2006: 125), e.g. She made me go (Mesthrie, 2006: 111) in which the infinitive marker to is undeleted. Insertion entails the addition of grammatical morphemes, e.g. can be able (Mesthrie, 2006: 139–40). After examination of a number of undeletion phenomena in interviews with 12 mesolectal speakers of BSAfE, Mesthrie (2006: 129) arrives at the following principle: ‘If a grammatical feature can be deleted in [Standard English], it can be undeleted in [Black South African English] mesolect.’ He points out that such undeletions are not mandatory and adds the following corollary to the principle of undeletion: ‘If a grammatical feature can be deleted in StE, it can also be (variably) deleted in [Black South African English] mesolect, at a lower rate of frequency’ (Mesthrie, 2006: 129).

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in English Today Vol. 29, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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