Symposium in Honor of Emmon Bach

This year, Emmon Bach turns 85 years old. To celebrate this occasion, Emmon the person, and his career and accomplishments as a linguist, a symposium will be held in his honor in the Eisenhower Room of  Goethe-University Frankfurt. The Eisenhower Room was General Eisenhower’s office when he led the military government of Germany and is the most representative room of the University of Frankfurt.

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Language Change

by Assif Am-David, Frankfurt a.M.

One of the most intriguing and widely studied topics in linguistics is the nature of language change. It is a well-known fact that natural languages of all types keep changing constantly. Language change can be studied from several angles: One can reconstruct extinct languages, classify languages to language families, recognise trends in lexical and grammatical changes and draw historical conclusions from language change. However, perhaps the most prominent question regarding language change is why it happens in the first place. Continue reading Language Change

Graduate School “Nominal Modification”

Application closed!

Starting October 1, 2014, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany, offers full funding for 12 graduate students who aim for a PhD in the domain of nominal modification. These 12 PhD positions will be part of the newly approved graduate program “Nominal Modification“, funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

Application for the program is open till June 30.

Find more information on the program and the application requirements on the graduate school’s website.

Resources on english-linguistics.de

We are happy to announce that the following resources are hosted on www.english-linguistics.de:

We will try to update the resources.

We hope that these resources are useful for your work – they certainly have been for ours.

Manfred Sailer, Frank Richter.

 

Honorifics: Types, Data, and Importance for Linguistic Theory

by Assif Am David, Frankfurt a.M.

Honorifics are a linguistic encoding of social relations in a discourse. Therefore, they are closely related to pragmatic and sociolinguistic phenomena. On the other hand, unlike the latter, they are often highly grammaticalised and require not only pragmatic, but also formal consistency.

Honorifics can be divided into three different axis depending on whose honour (or disrespect) is expressed by the utterance. Comrie first introduced the different axes honorifics can refer to: Continue reading Honorifics: Types, Data, and Importance for Linguistic Theory

Animal communication

by Assif Am David, Frankfurt a.M.

It is commonly assumed in linguistics that language is a phenomenon unique to humans. It is normally associated with the Great Leap Forward, an anthropological revolution which took place about 50,000 years ago and gave rise to the behavioural modernity. Language is considered a core factor in this revolution which resulted in a more complex, abstract thought and in larger intricate social organization, possibly by allowing social constructivism, which is a conventional postulation of abstract social entities.

The study of language in animals, often referred to as biolinguistics, attempts to refute this idea. Continue reading Animal communication