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Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule

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Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.

New from Brill!


Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin

Query Details

Query Subject:   orient vs. orientation
Author:   John Esposito
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Historical Linguistics

Query:   Hello,

I'm looking for insights into the choice of ''orientate'' over ''orient''
by a fairly polished writer of British English who is probably also fluent
in (at least) French and Italian. In particular, I'm looking for historical
As everyone knows, ''orient'' is the standard verbal root and stem of
''orientation'', and ''orientate'' is a backformation; but a quick sampling
of bilingual dictionaries with English and another European langauge shows
a preference for ''orientate.'' The OED says that ''orient'' has been
around longer, but it seems to me that at some time & place, ''orientate''
may have been standard.

I'd like to know if ''orientate'' was standard at some time in British
English (and if possible, precisely when and where), or whether a
preference for ''orientate'' might come from another major European
language. French and Italian don't have the ''-ate'' suffix on this word,
and German has ''-ieren''; the only alternative explanation that occurs to
me is that this is a leftover from the author's schoolboy Latin.

John Esposito
San Diego State Univ.
LL Issue: 15.3227
Date posted: 17-Nov-2004


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