Like the old joke about
This one could not be more different in style
to the last: it is as formal and European as John McWhorter's was informal and
American (the author, Tore Janson, is a distinguished Swedish linguist who
retired last year from his post as Professor of African Languages at
His canvas is language and history, in two facets: the history of language, and the effect of language on history. Early chapters cover prehistory; the grouping of languages into families; the invention of writing; the growth and influence of Greek and Latin; the development of the Romance languages (such as French, Occitan and Italian) from Latin after the end of the Roman Empire; the creation of English through cultural mixing and political changes; the reasons why the European national languages grew in importance in medieval and post-medieval times compared with Latin.
That quick summary shows that the earlier and larger part is not a short history of languages in general, but of European languages. It's true that accidents of history, such as colonisation and trade, have given these languages - in particular English - an importance well above their geographical or cultural weight (the reasons why are explored in a later chapter). But in this respect, Tore Janson's book is narrower in focus than John McWhorter's.
Two later chapters move into other areas. The first focuses on one way that new languages appear: through pidgins and creoles. The second looks at the cultural and political factors that cause them to vanish. The last two chapters show how it is that English has become so dominant, especially as a lingua franca, and what the language landscape might look like at various points in the future (though a writer has to be especially brave to feel able to say anything useful about a time two million years hence!).
Within its comparatively limited geographical scope, this is a useful overview of the development and transformation of languages through cultural and political upheavals over time.
This bibliography was compiled from responses on HEL-L, an electronic discussion group on the history of English. Most of the entries come from: Clinton Atchley
Amsler, Mark. 'From Standard Latin to Standard English.' Language Variation in North American English: Research and Teaching. Ed. Wayne A. Glowka and Donald M. Lance. New Yourk: MLA, 1993.
Cable, Thomas. 'Rise of
Written Standard English.' The Emergence of National Languages*. Ed. Aldo
Christianson, C. Paul.
'Chancery Standard and the Records of
Crowley, Tony. Standard English
and the Politics of Language.
Dobson, E.J. 'Early Modern
Standard English.' Approaches to English Historical Linguistics: An
Anthology*. Ed. Roger Lass.
Dykema, Karl W. 'How Fast Is Standard English Changing?' American Speech 31.2 (1956): 89-95.
Fisher, John H. 'Chancery and the Emergence of Standard Written English in the Fifteenth Century.' Speculum* 52.4 (1977): 870-99.
---. 'Chancery Standard and Modern Written English.' Journal of the Society of Archivists 6 (1979): 136-44.
---. *The Emergence of Standard
Fisher, John H., Malcolm
Richardson, and Jane L. Fisher. *AN Anthology of Chancery English*.
Gorlach, Manfred. *New Studies
in the History of English*.
---. *Studies in the History of
the English Language*.
Lucas, Peter J. 'Towards a Standard
Written English? Continuity and Change in the Orthographic Usage of John
Capgrave, O.S.A. (1393-1464).' English Historical Linguistics 1992. Ed.
Francisco Fernandez, Miguel Furster, and Juan Jose Calvo.
Poussa, Patricia. 'The Evolution of Early Standard English: The Creolization Hypothesis.' *Studie Anglica Posnaniensia* 14 (1982): 69-85.
richardson, Malcolm. 'Henry V, the English Chancery, and Chancery English.' Speculum* 55 (1980): 726-50.
Sandved, Arthur O. 'The
Rise of Standard English.' *Papers from the First Nordic Conference for
English Studies*. Ed. Stig Johannson.
Shaklee, Margaret. 'The
Rise of Standard English.' *Standards and Dialects in English*. Ed.
Timothey Shopen and Joseph M. Williams.
Wright, Laura. 'On the
Writing of the History of Standard English.' *English Historical
Linguistics 1992*. Ed. Francisco Fernandez, Miguel Furster, and Juan Jose
Atchely notes: For newcomers, John Fisher and his argument for Chancery English as the motivating force behind the rise of standard English is still the one to read first.
William Labov's The Study of Non Standard English
James Sledd, 'Product in Process: From Ambiguities of Standard English to Issues that Divide Us,' English Journal (Dec. 1969): 1307-16; 1329
James Sledd, 'Product in Process: From Ambiguities of Standard English to Issues that Divide Us,' _College English_ 50 (1988): 168-176.
James Milroy and Leslie Milroy, 'Standard English and the complaint tradition, in their book _Authority in Language: Investigating language prescription and standardisation_ (London: Routledge & Keegan Paul, 1983).
David L. Shores & Carole P.
Hines, eds. _Papers in Language Variation: SAMLA-ADS Collection_ (
Purpose and Objectives: In Europe the biennial conferences known as ICEHL (International
Conference on English Historical Linguistics) have served the field of English
Language Studies well, giving the field both focus and recognition that it
almost certainly would not have achieved otherwise. These conferences have
taken place at leading English Language research centers over the past twenty
years, each conference organized and managed by the faculty of the conference
What we hope to do by organizing SHEL is begin to provide
the same kind of focus for English Historical Linguistics in North America as
the focus achieved in Europe by the ICEHL series, in North America for Germanic
Linguistics by GLAC (Germanic Linguistics Annual Conference), for American
Dialectology by the American Dialect Society, for Social Dialectology by NWAVE,
and of course for General Linguistics by the LSA. We are not in competition
with any of these series or organizations; we believe, however, that a weekend
meeting dedicated entirely to linguistic issues in the History of English will
be an energizing and useful academic experience. We begin modestly: a
non-existent budget, no organization, just a conference. Anne Curzan is
organizing a pedagogical worshop at SHEL-1, parallel with the research-oriented
sessions, and will host SHEL-2 in
Richard Bailey (
The year 2000 is a good time to take stock: in additional to the general
historical English language topics addressed at the meeting, we have asked our
featured speakers, and we hereby ask all our participants, to focus on the
accomplishments and failures in their areas in the past hundred years, and also
to direct their attention toward problems the field has failed to solve and
that therefore remain for the 21st century. In that sense, we are convening a
'millennium' event in the hope that it will energize and possibly
redirect the course of historical English language research in
The first Studies in the History
of the English Language Conference (SHEL-1), organized by Donka Minkova and
Robert Stockwell and held at UCLA in May 2000, brought together many of the top
scholars in English historical linguistics, as well as promising new scholars,
for a fascinating and wide-ranging program highlighting exciting developments
in the field. The conference proved a successful first step in fostering
conversation and energy around the research in this field in North America, and
we look forward to an equally exciting SHEL-2 conference in
By way of background: In Europe the biennial conferences
known as ICEHL (International Conference on English Historical Linguistics)
have served the field of English Language Studies well, giving the field both
focus and recognition that it almost certainly would not have achieved
otherwise. These conferences have taken place at leading English Language
research centers over the past twenty years, each conference organized and
managed by the faculty of the conference site:
With the meeting of SHEL-1 at UCLA in May 2000, this all
began to change. SHEL offers the possibility of providing the same kind
of focus for English Historical Linguistics in North America as the focus
SHEL Advisory Committee: Richard W. Bailey, Susan Fitzmaurice, Donka Minkova,
Michael Shapiro, Miceal Vaughan, and Alicia Beckford Wassink. The first Studies in the History of the English Language
Conference (SHEL-1), organized by Donka Minkova and Robert Stockwell and held
at UCLA in May 2000, brought together many of the top scholars in English
historical linguistics, as well as promising new scholars, for a fascinating
and wide-ranging program highlighting exciting developments in the field. The
conference proved a successful first step in fostering conversation and energy
around the research in this field in North America, and we look forward to an
equally exciting SHEL-2 conference in
By way of background: In Europe the biennial conferences
known as ICEHL (International Conference on English Historical Linguistics)
have served the field of English Language Studies well, giving the field both
focus and recognition that it almost certainly would not have achieved otherwise.
These conferences have taken place at leading English Language research centers
over the past twenty years, each conference organized and managed by the
faculty of the conference site:
With the meeting of SHEL-1 at UCLA in May 2000, this all
began to change. SHEL offers the possibility of providing the same kind
of focus for English Historical Linguistics in North America as the focus
SHEL Advisory Committee: Richard W. Bailey, Susan Fitzmaurice, Donka Minkova, Michael Shapiro, Miceal Vaughan, and Alicia Beckford Wassink.
Spoken language is central to human communication and has significant links to both national identity and individual existence. The structure of spoken language is shaped by many factors. It is structured by the phonological, syntactic and prosodic structure of the language being spoken, by the acoustic enviroment and context in which it is produced---e.g., people speak differently in noisy or quiet environments---and the communication channel through which it travels.
Speech is produced differently by each speaker. Each utterance is produced by a unique vocal tract which assigns its own signature to the signal. Speakers of the same language have different dialects, accents and speaking rates. Their speech patterns are influenced by the physical environment, social context, the perceived social status of the participants, and their emotional and physical state.
Large amounts of annotated speech data are needed to model the affects of these different sources of variability on linguitic units such as phonemes, words, and sequences of words. An axiom of speech research is there are no data like more data. Annotated speech corpora are essential for progress in all areas of spoken language technology. Current recognition techniques require large amounts of training data to perform well on a given task. Speech synthesis systems require the study of large corpora to model natural intonation. Spoken languages systems require large corpora of human-machine conversations to model interactive dialogue.
In response to this need, there are major efforts underway worldwide to collect, annotate and distribute speech corpora in many languages. These corpora allow scientists to study, understand, and model the different sources of variability, and to develop, evaluate and compare speech technologies on a common basis.
Recent advances in speech and language recognition are due in part to the availability of large public domain speech corpora, which have enabled comparative system evaluation using shared testing protocols. The use of common corpora for developing and evaluating speech recognition algorithms is a fairly recent development. One of first corpora used for common evaluation, the TI-DIGITS corpus, recorded in 1984, has been (and still is) widely used as a test base for isolated and connected digit recognition [Leo84].
In the United States, the development of speech corpora has been funded mainly by agencies of the Department of Defense (DoD). Such DoD support produced two early corpora: Road Rally for studying word spotting, and the King Corpus, for studying speaker recognition. As part of its human language technology program, the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the DoD has funded TIMIT [GLF93,FDGM86,LKS86], a phonetically transcribed corpus of read sentences used for modeling phonetic variabilities and for evaluation of phonetic recognition algorithms, and task related corpora such as Resource Management (RM) [PFBP88] and Wall Street Journal (WSJ) [PB92] for research on continuous speech recognition, and ATIS (Air Travel Information Service) [Pri90,Hir92] for research on spontaneous speech and natural language understanding.
Recognition of the need for shared resources led to the creation of the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC) in the U.S. in 1992 to promote and support the widespread development and sharing of resources for human language technology(see section for contact addresses). The LDC supports various corpus development activities, and distributes corpora obtained from a variety of sources. Currently, LDC distributes about twenty differerent speech corpora including those cited above, comprising many hundreds of hours of speech. Information about the LDC as well as contact information for most of the corpora mentioned below is listed in the next subsection.
The Center for Spoken Language Understanding (CSLU) at the Oregon Graduate Institute collects, annotates and distributes telephone speech corpora. The Center's activities are supported by its industrial affiliates, but the corpora are made available to universities worldwide free of charge. Overviews of speech corpora available from the Center, and current corpus development activities, can be found in: [CNB94,CFNL94]. CSLU's Multi-Language Corpus (also available through the LDC), is the NIST standard for evaluating language identification algorithms, and is comprised of spontaneous speech in eleven different languages [MCO92].
Europe is by nature multilingual, with each country having their own language(s), as well as dialectal variations and lesser used languages. Corpora development in Europe is thus the result of both National efforts and efforts sponsored by the European Union (typically under the ESPRIT (European Strategic Programme for Research and Development in Information Technology), LRE (Linguistic Research and Engineering), and TIDE (Technology Initiative for Disabled and Elderly People) programs, and now for Eastern Europe under the PECO (Pays d'Europe Centrale et Orientalle)/Copernicus programs).
In February 1995 the European Language Resources Association (ELRA) was established to provide a basis for central coordination of corpora creation, management and distribution in Europe. ELRA is the outcome of the combined efforts of partners in the LRE Relator project and the LE MLAP (Language Engineering Multilingual Action Plan) projects: SPEECHDAT, PAROLE and POINTER. These projects are responsible, respectively, for the infrastructure for spoken resources, written resources, and terminology within Europe. ELRA will work in close coordination with the Network of Excellence, ELSNET (European Network in Language and Speech), whose Reusable Resources Task Group initiated the Relator project.
Several ESPRIT projects have attempted to create multilingual speech corpora in some or all of the official European languages. The first multilingual speech collection action in Europe was in 1989, consisting of comparable speech material recorded in five languages: Danish, Dutch, English, French, Italian. The entire corpus, now known as EUROM0 includes eight languages [FHBH89]. Other European projects producing corpora which may be available for distribution include: ACCOR (multisensor recordings, seven languages, [MH93]); ARS; EUROM1 (eleven languages); POLYGLOT (seven languages [LIM94]); ROARS; SPELL; SUNDIAL; and SUNSTAR.
The LRE ONOMASTICA project [Tra95] is producing large dictionaries of proper names and place names for eleven European languages. While some of these corpora are widely available, others have remained the property of the project consortium that created it. The LE SPEECHDAT project is recording comparable telephone data from 1000 speakers in eight European languages. A portion of the data will be validated and made publicly available for distribution by ELRA.
Some of the more important corpora in Europe resulting from National efforts are: British English: WSJCAM0 [RFP95], Bramshill, SCRIBE, and Normal Speech Corpus; Scotish English: HCRC Map Task [ABB91,TAB93]; Dutch: Groningen; French: BDSONS [CDE84], BREF [LGE91,GLE90,GL93]; German: PHONDAT1 and PHONDAT2, ERBA and VERBMOBIL; Italian: APASCI [ABF93,ABF94]; Spanish: ALBAYZIN [MPB93,DRP93]; Swedish: CAR and Waxholm.
Some of these corpora are readily available (see the following section for contact information on corpora mentioned in this section); and efforts are underway to obtain the availability of others.
There have also been some recent efforts to record everyday speech of typical citizens. One such effort is part of the British National Corpus in which about 1500 hours of speech representing a demographic sampling of the population and wide range of materials has been recorded ensuring coverage of four contextual categories: educational, business, public/institutional, and leisure. The entire corpus is in the process of being orthographically transcribed with annotations for non-speech events. A similar corpus for Dutch is currently under discussion in the Netherlands, and the Institute of Phonetics and Verbal Communication of the University Munich has begun collecting of a very large database of spoken German.
The Translanguage English Database (TED) [LSF94] is a corpus of multi-dialect English and non-native English of recordings of oral presentations at Eurospeech'93 in Berlin. TEDspeeches contains data ranging in style from read to spontaneous, under varying degress of stress. An associated text corpus TEDtexts contains written versions of the proceedings articles, which can be used to define vocabulary items and to construct language models. Two auxilliary sets of recordings were made: one consisting of speakers recorded with a laryngograph (TEDlaryngo) in addition to the standard microphone, and the other a set of Polyphone-like recordings (TEDphone) made by the speakers in English and in their mother language. This corpus was partially funded by the LRE project EuroCocosda.
Other major efforts in corpora collection have been undertaken in other parts of the world. These include: Polyphone, a multilingual, multinational application-oriented telephone speech corpus (co-sponsored by the LDC); the Australian National Database of Spoken Language (ANDOSL) project, sponsored by the Australian Speech Science and Technology Association Inc. and funded by a research infrastructure grant from the Australian Research Council, is a national effort to create a database of spoken language; the Chinese National Speech Corpus supported by the National Science Foundation of China designed to provide speech data for the acquisition of acoustic-phonetic knowledge and for the development and evaluation of speech processing systems; and corpora from Japan such as those publicly available from ATR, ETL and JEIDA.
Challenges in spoken language corpora are many. One basic challenge is in design methodology---how to design compact corpora that can be used in a variety of applications; how to design comparable corpora in a variety of languages; how to select (or sample) speakers so as to have a representative population with regard to many factors including accent, dialect, and speaking style; how to create generic dialogue corpora so as to minimize the need for task or application specific data; how to select statistically representative test data for system evaluation. Another major challenge centers on developing standards for transcribing speech data at different levels and across languages: establishing symbol sets, alignment conventions, defining levels of transcription (acoustic, phonetic, phonemic, word and other levels), conventions for prosody and tone, conventions for quality control (such as having independent labelers transcribe the same speech data for reliability statistics). Quality control of the speech data is also an important issue that needs to be addressed, as well as methods for dissemination. While CDROM has become the defacto standard for dissemination of large corpora, other potential means need to also be considered, such as very high speed fiber optic networks
The research carried out in the Spoken Language Processing Group aims to understand the speech communication processes and to develop models for use in automatic speech processing. The results of this research are validated in a variety of areas including text-to-speech synthesis, speech-to-text transcription of audio and video broadcasts, dialog systems, and speaker and language identification. Three complementary activities support the main research areas: the design and production of corpora, the evaluation of models and systems, and technology transfer.
Speech analysis research, considered simultaneously from the views of speech perception and signal processing, is directed at the analysis and perception of voice quality (timbre) and tonality, on the acoustic analysis of the vocal source and effort, and on time-frequency representations of the speech signal. For text-to-speech synthesis, studies address signal processing techniques for transforming and modifying the voice quality, prosodic modeling, automatic selection of elementary units, and linguistic analysis of the texts to be pronounced.
Research in speech recognition is oriented towards continuous speech transcription of spontaneous speech in multiple languages, the identification of non-linguistic speech features, and spoken language understanding. An application of particular interest is the transcription and indexation of radio and television documents, which is being carried out in the multilingual context of the OLIVE project. Advances in speech recognition are based on research carried out in acoustic-phonetic modeling, lexical modeling and language modeling.
Combining natural language processing and spontaneous speech recognition, spoken language understanding systems are being developed for information retrieval. The human-machine interaction can rely entirely on speech (as in use over a telephone such as in the ARISE project), or can be associated with other means of interaction, such as a touch screen (as in an information kiosk, as explored in the MASK project). Dialog management plays a central role in spoken language systems.
In 1998, the group had 26 members -- 11 permanent CNRS, 6 research associates, 4 contractual research staff, and 5 doctoral students. In 1997 and 1998 the members of the group published 72 articles (8 in journals, 2 chapters in books, and 62 conference papers, of which 6 were invited presentations) and over 30 contract reports. The group's teaching activities include graduate courses in speech processing at the University of Paris XI.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain is situated on
the islands in the northwest of Europe.The Atlantic ocean is on the north of it
and the North Sea to the east.The English Channel (21 miles)separates it from
the continent.Great Britain is the largest island.The three main parts of it
are Scotland,England and Wales.The population of the United Kingdom is about 60
million and its capital is London.The United Kingdom is a higly developed
country.Its main cities are London,Birmingham,Manchester and Glasgow.
The official name for the country whose language we study is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has several different names.Some people say 'Great Britain',or 'Britain',or ' the United Kingdom',or just 'the U.K'.and'G.B'.Great Britain it is large island.It is 500 km wide and nearly 1000 km long.
The English Channel,which is about 21 miles,separates the U.K.from the continent.Its closest continental neighbours are France and Belgium.Recently the chanel Tunnel,which links France and England,has been built.There are four countries in the United Kingdom:England,Scotland,Wales and Northern Ireland.Scotland is in the north.Edinburgh is Scotland's capital,it is one of the most beautiful cities in Britain.Wales is in the west.The capital city of Wales is Cardiff.
Great Britain together with Northern Ireland constitutes the United Kingdom (U.K.).The capital city of Great Britain is London which is situated in the south-east of England.London is more than a thousand years old.
The climate of the British Isles is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean.Winters are not so cold as they can be on the continent,but summers are not so warm as they usually are on the other side of the Channel.In other words Great Britain has a mild climate.England is famous for its beautiful lawns with flowers.They stay green all the year round.Many people say that England looks like a large well-kept park.
If you want to know more about Britain, please click here.
The United States of America (USA) is located in North America.It is one of the largest countries in the world.The population of the USA is about 250 million people.The USA has 50 states.Its capital is Washington D.C. (the District of Columbia).Its main cities are New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston.It is a highly developed country.People of very many nationalities live in the USA.
The American flag is often called 'The Stars
and Stripes'.There are three colours on the flag of the United States-red,
white, and blue.As there are fifty states in the United States,there are fifty
stars on the American flag: one star for each state.The American flag has
thirteen stripes.The stripes are red and white.The flag has seven red stripes
and six white stripes.There is one stripe for each of the first thirteen
colonies of the United States.People must know many things about the flag, for
example: you should display it only during the day and you should fold it in a
special way.In some schools there is a flag in each classroom, and children
stand in front of the flag every day.You can see the American flag in shops and
offices, in the streets and squares, in small towns and in big cities.You can
see pictures of the American flag in newspapers and magazines.Americans are
pround of their flag and display it in many places.
One of the most famous simbols of the USA is the Statue of Liberty.France gave the statue to America in 1884 as a symbol of friendship.The Statue is in New York on Liberty Island.It is one of the first things people see when they arrive in New York by sea.
The eagle became the official national symbol of the country in 1782.It has an olive branch (a symbol of peace) and arrows (symbols of strength).You can see the eagle on the back of a dollar bill.The United States of America has an official song too.It is called 'The Star-Spangled Banner'.Every state in the USA has its own flag, its own symbol and its own song too.
If you want to know more about America, please click here.
Canada is situated in North America. Three oceans surround it: the Atlantic, the Arctic and the Pacific. The capital of the country is Ottawa. About 30 million people live in Canada. It is a great industrial country. Its main cities are Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.
Commonwealth of Australia occupies the continent of Australia and a number of islands (the main one of which is Tasmania). It includes 6 states and 2 territories with a population of about 20 million people. Its capital is Canberra and the main cities are Sidney and Melbourne.
New Zealand consists of several large and many smaller islands. Its population is about 4 million people. The capital is Wellington. The chief cities are Auckland, Dunedin, and Nelson. It is a highly developed aqricultural country.
Wales is a country of hills and mountains, with
deep rivers and valleys. Cardiff is the capital of Wales. The most important
towns and cities are Swansea and Newport. Wales has been united with England
for seven hundred years. Prince Charles became the Prince of Wales in 1969.
Wales has its own Welsh language. About 20% of the people in Wales speek Welsh
and children learn it in Welsh schools.
Wales is famous for its production of coal and steel. Wales is an important centre for electronics and steel production. The main activities are sheep and cattle rearing, and dairy farming. Wales attracts many tourists. There are three National Parks there. The most popular sport in Wales is rugby.
THE NATIONAL EMBLEM OF WALES:
On the first of March each year one can see people
walking around London with leeks pinned to their coats. A leek is the national
emblem of Wales. The many Welsh people who live in London-or in other cities
outside Wales-like to show their solidarity on their national day. The day is
actually called Saint David's Day, after a sixth century abbot who became
patron saint of Wales. David is the nearest English equivalent to the saint's
The saint was known traditionally as the Waterman, which perhaps means that he and his monks were teetotallers. A teetotaller is someone who drinks no kind of alcohol, but it does not mean that he drinks only tea, as many people seem to think. In spite of the leeks mentioned earlier, Saint David's emblem is not that, but a dove. No one, not even the Welsh, can explain why they took leek to symbolise their country. After all, they can't pin a dove to their coat!
In area Scotland is more than half as big as
England. The principal cities are: its capital Edinburgh and the main
industrial centre Glasgow. Scottish towns look very different from English
towns. Scotland was an independent Kingdom, often at war with England until
In 1603 King James 6 of Scotland became the King of England too, as James 1, and from that time the countries were under the same monarch. In 1707 the Act of Union incorporated Scotland with England in the United Kingdom. Although Scotland has its own language-Gaelic, most Scottish people speak English. The English language is spoken all over Scotland with a variety of regional accents, but all of these can be at once recognized as Scottish, with the sounds pronounced more nearly as written than in standart English. The sport of golf originated in Scotland.
WHY IS SCOTLAND'S NATIONAL EMBLEM THE THISTLE?
Different countries have different national
emblems, or symbols. For Scotland, the thistle has been the national emblem
since it was adopted by King James 3, in the 15th century.
There is a legend that, in the 8th century, an army of invading Danes were creeping up at night to attack Stirling castle, the ancient seat of the Scottish kings. The Scots sentries had no idea that an enemy was close until one of the barefoot Danish raiders stepped on a thistle and let out a yell of pain. The noise alerted the Scots, who rushed out of the castle and defeated the Danes in the battle that followed.
Cambridge is situated at a distance of 70 miles
from London. It is one of the most beautiful towns in England. The dominating
factor in Cambridge is its well-known University, a centre of education and
learning. Newton, Byron, Darwin and many other scientists and writers were
educated at Cambridge. It has 27 colleges. A college is a place where you live
no matter what profession you are trained for: so students studying literature
and those trained for physics may belong to one and the same college. Every
college is headed by a dean.
Cambridge University, founded in 1209, is still one of the two best places to study in England; Oxford is the other. Students work very hard to obtain a place at 'Oxbridge'-either at Oxford or at Cambridge. There is great rivalry between these two ancient universities: each wants to be better than the other, but in reality both are equally good. Today, Cambridge is famous not only for its university but also because it is a very picturesque and ancient city. Many of its buildings are very old: some were built about 700 years ago. Some of the older buildings are covered with beautiful plants such as ivy. Many are surrounded by green lawns and multicoloured flower-beds. Although all the colleges belong to the same university, each has its own character and style. In 1440 King Henry 6 founded King'a College, hoping that this would make people remember him. It is still the most famous college in Cambridge because its chapel is one of the finest churches in Western Europe. There are also many beautiful bridges across the Cam including the Mathematical Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs.
Sport plays a large part in university life. As Cambridge is on the river Cam, rowing seems to be the most popular sport. There are 'boathouses' all along the river bank and early in the mornings you'll see many students rowing, whatever the weather. The best of them are preparing for the famous annual boat race against their rivals from Oxford. This race attracts much attention: thousands of people line the banks of the Thames in London to cheer both teams on, and the race is broadcast on television in many different parts of the world.
If you want to know more about Cambridge, please click here.
Oxford is one of the great English universities too. Cambridge and Oxford are almost identical. They trace their long history back to the same period. by the end of the thirteenth century both universities already had colleges. Oxford and Cambridge are associated with the higher ranks of society. They have always been universities for gentlemen.
Is very large in size cuontry in our world. It
is-Russia. Imagine yourself in a plane flying over its territory. You will see
wonderful sights: blue lines of the rivers, blue mirrors of the lakes and seas,
green patches of the meadows, plains and forests and mountains. You will enjoy
every minute of your flight. Russia is remarkable for its wealth. There is
gold, platinum, diamonds, coal, nonferrous metals, peat, oil, gas and wood.
Four beautiful seasons: winter, spring, summer and autumn are distinctly
expressed in Russia.
The national property which makes us proud is its greatness: talented scientists, experts, famous philosophers, outstanding inventors, musicians, writers, artists.
Glory to all of them dead or living!
NATURE IN RUSSIA:
Listen and enjoy yourself. It is dawn. 'The
first appearance of daylight in the morning.' Everything is coming out to
meet the Sun's light. The meadows, forests, rivers, and lakes are feeling happy
at this moment showing their fresh and vital beauty. Flowers, birds, animals
and people-all of them are filling themselves with the great power of the sun
expressing it in their own language. The flowers are showing their colours:
yellow, red, orange, violet, rose, white, pink. The birds are singing their
wonderful songs; the animals are silently observing the surroundings. The
butterflies and bees are dancing in the air. Every creature on earth is
thankful to the Sun. Indeed, there is a lot to be thankful for.
This is beauty. This is joy forever!
If you want to know about all seasons in Russia, please click here.
Ottawa is the capital city of Canada.It is located
on the southern bank of the Ottawa River. Many interesting historical and
cultural buildings are found in Ottawa,such as the Museum of Natural
History,Museum of Man, National Gallery and the National Arts Centre.
However,the most important buildings in Ottawa are the Parliament Buildings.
Here the Canadian federal government discusses and makes laws for Canada.
Ottawa has been called the Tulip City, because every spring the city comes alive with thousands of tulips from the Netherlands. Queen Juliana started sending 15,000 tulips a year to Ottawa in 1946 as a way of thanking the Canadian people for the time she spent in Canada with her daughters during World War 2.
Juliana stayed in Ottawa with her family from 1940 to 1945 after the Netherlands was invaded by Germany. Red and white with single maple leaf flag was adopted.
Sydney is Australia's oldest city. Captain Cook
stopped near here at Botany Bay in 1770. The first Europeans who came to
Australia put up their tents at Sydney Cove. Soon the first houses were built,
and in only 200 years the city grew from nothing into a home for of millions of
Despite the history, Sydney is the most modern place in Australia. Its buildings are the highest, its fashions are the newest and its colours are the brightest. A lot of Australia's exciting cultural life is found in Sydney. Artists, writers, opera singers and film makers all live here. So some people call the city 'the Paris of the Pacific'. But that doesn't seem quite right. Paris hasn't got all that sea, sand, sun and surf. Sydneysiders, as well as many visitors to Australia, come to Bondi Beach to relax and take a rest. Some of them really relax. Others are too busy-they're jogging, swimming, or riding the great waves on their surfboards.
Moscow, the capital of Russia, is one of the
largest cities in the world. It stands on the bank of the Moskva River. About
ten million people live in the city. Moscow is famous for its historical and
architectural monuments that were built by the outstanding architects and
sculptors: Kazakov, Bazhenov, Bove, Mikhailov, Martos, Opekushin and others.
The best starting point of the tour around the city is Red Square, the central and the most beautiful square in Moskow. It is the place of parades, meetings and demonstrations. Here one can see the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed, or St. Basil's cathedral,erected by architects Postnic and Barma to commemorate Russia's conquest of the Kazan Kingdom in 1552. It is a masterpiece of Russian architecture. Tourists can see the monuments to Minin and Pozharsky. It was designed by Ivan Martos in 1818 in memory of the Russian victory over the Polish invaders in 1612. The History Museum in Red Square is a magnificent builing besides, it is one of the major scientific and educational institutions where we can folow the life of Russian people since ancient times.
The heart of Moscow is the Kremlin, a wonderful architectural ensemble with three magnificent cathedrals, the Bell Tower of Ivan the Great, palaces, fortress walls and 20 towers. On the five tops of the Kremlin towers one can see shining ruby stars. The clock that strikes every quarter of an hour is on the Spassky Tower. The Kremlin with golden domes and towers attracts everybody's attention and makes a strong impression on tourists and quests of the capital.
The Alexander Garden is situated near the Kremlin wall. In 1967 the Memorial architectural ensemble was set up over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. There are always a lot of flowers at the foot of the monument, especially on Victory Day.
If you want to know more about Moscow, please click here.
St. Petersburg, one of the most beautiful cities
in the world, was founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and it was called so in
his honour. The city is situated on the Neva River and has become the
'window' to Europe. It was built by the prominent European and
Russian architects. St Petersburg was the capital of Russia from 1712 till
1918. St Petersburg is an industrial, cultural and scientific centre. There are
over 80 museums, about 20 theatres, exhibitions, clubs, a university, colleges,
schools, libraries and parks. The Pushkin Drama Theatre, the Bolshoi Gorky
The Hermitage, one of the oldest art museums in Russia, occupies the Winter Palace and four other buildings. There one can see masterpieces of the outstanding artists: Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Rembrandt and other unique works of art.
The streets and squares in St. Petersburg are very beautiful. Nevsky Prospect in the main street of the city, where there are amazing buildings, shops, hotels and the remarkabe Kazan Cathedral with a colonade and monuments to M.Kutuzov and Barclay de Tolly.
A lot of bridges cross the Neva, the Fontanka, the Moika and the canals, but the Anichov Bridge is the most beautiful one. St Petersburg inspired many of our great poets, writers, painter, composers and actors. Much of the life and work of Lermontov, Pushkin, Lomonosov, Repin was connected with the city.
English is a Germanic Language of the Indo-European Family. It is the second most spoken language in the world.
It is estimated that there are 300 million native speakers and 300 million who use English as a second language and a further 100 million use it as a foreign language. It is the language of science, aviation, computing, diplomacy, and tourism. It is listed as the official or co-official language of over 45 countries and is spoken extensively in other countries where it has no official status. English plays a part in the cultural, political or economic life of the following countries. Majority English speaking populations are shown in bold.
This compares to 27 for French, 20 for Spanish and 17 for Arabic. This spectacular domination is without parallel in history. Although speakers of French, Spanish and Arabic may disagree, English is well on its way to becoming the unofficial international language of the world. Mandarin (Chinese) is spoken by more people, but English is by far the most widespread of the world's languages.
Half of all business deals are conducted in English. Two thirds of all scientific papers are written in English. Over 70% of all post / mail is written and addressed in English. Most international tourism and aviation is conducted in English.
The history of the language can be traced back to the arrival of three Germanic tribes to the British Isles during the 5th Century AD. Angles, Saxons and Jutes crossed the North Sea from what is the present day Denmark and northern Germany. The inhabitants of Britain previously spoke a Celtic language. This was quickly displaced. Most of the Celtic speakers were pushed into Wales, Cornwall and Scotland. One group migrated to the Brittany Coast of France where their descendants still speak the Celtic Language of Breton today. The Angles were named from Engle, their land of origin. Their language was called Englisc from which the word, English derives.
An Anglo-Saxon inscription dated between 450 and 480AD is the oldest sample of the English language.
During the next few centuries four dialects of English developed:
During the 7th and 8th Centuries, Northumbria's culture and language dominated Britain. The Viking invasions of the 9th Century brought this domination to an end (along with the destruction of Mercia). Only Wessex remained as an independent kingdom. By the 10th Century, the West Saxon dialect became the official language of Britain. Written Old English is mainly known from this period. It was written in an alphabet called Runic, derived from the Scandinavian languages. The Latin Alphabet was brought over from Ireland by Christian missionaries. This has remained the writing system of English.
At this time, the vocabulary of Old English consisted of an Anglo Saxon base with borrowed words from the Scandinavian languages (Danish and Norse) and Latin. Latin gave English words like street, kitchen, kettle, cup, cheese, wine, angel, bishop, martyr, candle. The Vikings added many Norse words: sky, egg, cake, skin, leg, window (wind eye), husband, fellow, skill, anger, flat, odd, ugly, get, give, take, raise, call, die, they, their, them. Celtic words also survived mainly in place and river names (Devon, Dover, Kent, Trent, Severn, Avon, Thames).
Many pairs of English and Norse words coexisted giving us two words with the same or slightly differing meanings. Examples below.
In 1066 the Normans conquered Britain. French became the language of the Norman aristocracy and added more vocabulary to English. More pairs of similar words arose.
Because the English underclass cooked for the Norman upper class, the words for most domestic animals are English (ox, cow, calf, sheep, swine, deer) while the words for the meats derived from them are French (beef, veal, mutton, pork, bacon, venison).
The Germanic form of plurals (house, housen; shoe, shoen) was eventually displaced by the French method of making plurals: adding an s (house, houses; shoe, shoes). Only a few words have retained their Germanic plurals: men, oxen, feet, teeth, children.
French also affected spelling so that the cw sound came to be written as qu (eg. cween became queen).
It wasn't till the 14th Century that English became dominant in Britain again. In 1399, King Henry IV became the first king of England since the Norman Conquest whose mother tongue was English. By the end of the 14th Century, the dialect of London had emerged as the standard dialect of what we now call Middle English. Chaucer wrote in this language.
Modern English began around the 16th Century and, like all languages, is still changing. One change occurred when the th of some verb forms became s (loveth, loves: hath, has). Auxillary verbs also changed (he is risen, he has risen).
The historical influence of language in the British Isles can best be seen in place names and their derivations.
Examples include ac (as in Acton, Oakwood) which is Anglo-Saxon for oak; by (as in Whitby) is Old Norse for farm or village; pwll (as in Liverpool) is Welsh for anchorage; baile (as in Balmoral) is Gaelic for farm or village; ceaster (as in Lancaster) is Latin for fort.
Since the 16th Century, because of the contact that the British had with many peoples from around the world, and the Renaissance of Classical learning, many words have entered the language either directly or indirectly. New words were created at an increasing rate. Shakespare coined over 1600 words. This process has grown exponentially in the modern era.
Borrowed words include names of animals (giraffe, tiger, zebra), clothing (pyjama, turban, shawl), food (spinach, chocolate, orange), scientific and mathematical terms (algebra, geography, species), drinks (tea, coffee, cider), religious terms (Jesus, Islam, nirvana), sports (checkmate, golf, billiards), vehicles (chariot, car, coach), music and art (piano, theatre, easel), weapons (pistol, trigger, rifle), political and military terms (commando, admiral, parliament), and astronomical names (Saturn, Leo, Uranus).
Languages that have contributed words to English include Latin, Greek, French, German, Arabic, Hindi (from India), Italian, Malay, Dutch, Farsi (from Iran and Afganistan), Nahuatl (the Aztec language), Sanskrit (from ancient India), Portuguese, Spanish, Tupi (from South America) and Ewe (from Africa).
The list of borrowed words is enormous.
The vocabulary of English is the largest of any language.
Even with all these borrowings the heart of the language remains the Anglo-Saxon of Old English. Only about 5000 or so words from this period have remained unchanged but they include the basic building blocks of the language: household words, parts of the body, common animals, natural elements, most pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions and auxiliary verbs. Grafted onto this basic stock was a wealth of contributions to produce, what many people believe, is the richest of the world's languages
The UBC ELI Corpus of Spoken English will be a database of spoken English as
it's used by native and near-native speakers on the campus of the University of
British Columbia. The English Language Institute intends to assemble this
corpus for the purpose of English language training, ELT materials development,
and research relating to ELT.
Preliminary Phase (to be completed in May 2002):
a) 60,000 words (approx. eight hours of
recordings) of the English Language Institute's cultural assistants (CAs) in
their planning meetings. In these meetings they plan and prepare for ELI's
socio-cultural activities (trips, sports activities, social activities,
performances, etc.) Students will not be present when recordings are done, so
no one should be simplifying their speech.
Rationale: The CAs are in the same age range as the students and their language is of great interest to them. Because ELI students spend time with the CAs, their study of the recordings will be reinforced. It also complements the more formal language which teachers use in class. The decision making and informal negotiating that the CAs do when planning is similar to what students will need if they work in an English-language milieu. The fact that students are familiar with the CAs' work will make the recordings uniquely authentic.
b) 30,000 words (approx. two times four hours) in each of two university
faculties (tentatively Agricultural Science and Commerce) which students from
the ELI move on to (approx. 8 hours of recordings). These will include
lectures, seminars, meetings between faculty and students, etc. We will consult
with those faculties to ensure a representative sampling of types of
Rationale: Academic preparation is normally treated as a generic set of skills and knowledge in the field of ESL. However there is increasing evidence that learners can profit from a more specialized focus on their own academic discipline. Our hope is that these sub-corpora can be used to produce lexically-focussed listening/speaking activities and materials which meet students' needs more efficiently than non-lexically-focussed generic ones are able to.
Access: the corpus will be available through the English Language Institute website with an online concordancer for anyone on the web who is interested. We also intend to make our methods of data collection and our technical specifications as openly available as possible.
Sound Files: Full and easy access to
sound files from on-screen citations will be the flagship feature of the
UBC-ELI Corpus. When looking at a citation on screen, the user can click a
button and hear the corresponding 6-10 second sound file in its original
Corpora and their role in English Language Teaching
In the past fifteen years ELT researchers have used large-scale corpora to
investigate language as it is actually used. These corpora have dramatically improved
the quality of teaching reference materials. Rather than providing information
about what people could say in English, these references report and analyze
precisely and confidently what people actually do say. Of particular note are
the new corpus-based learners' dictionaries (e.g. Longman, Oxford, Collins),
and a re-assessment of English descriptive grammar (e.g. in the Longman Grammar
of Spoken and Written English, published in 2000.)
The most striking results of this reassessment of English grammar have been in the area of spoken English, which when spoken fluently turns out to be more different from written English than teaching materials have ever acknowledged. Once they are identified with the aid of corpora, these features of spoken English can, using materials and procedures which take them into account, be taught.
At the same time, in the past ten years an
approach to language learning has emerged in which students sometimes work with
'raw' information taken directly from corpora. It is called DDL, or
data-driven learning. It is based on evidence that students can effectively
acquire language when they are encouraged to follow an
observe-hypothesize-experiment model, i.e. when they form their own conclusions
about word/phrase meanings and grammar rules based on examination of authentic
linguistic evidence. This inductive approach supplements the more prevalent
deductive approach, sometimes known as present-practice-produce, in which
students obtain rules and definitions from teacher explanations and reference
(Working with corpora does not necessarily entail students sitting at computer terminals. The printed results of concordance searches can be incorporated into handouts, books, etc. and used in classrooms teaching.)
Meanwhile, the role that speaking and listening play in memory, the acquisition of grammar and even in reading skills is gaining importance. Thus, giving students access to spoken corpora where they can hear as well as read the material, and training them to use it effectively, should combine all of these benefits. (Again, this process isn't limited to computer labs. Spoken material can be recorded onto tape for classroom use.)
The University of British Columbia English Language Institute hopes to become involved in this area of ESL by assembling a corpus of this kind.
How are spoken corpora actually used for teaching and learning?
1. Learners can examine groups of citations
themselves, directly. Citations from corpora enable students, with guidance
from teachers, to formulate their own conclusions about many aspects of
language: word meanings from real contexts, collocation patterns, grammar
rules, etc. There is research evidence that learners encouraged to formulate
their own understandings will acquire language faster and more effectively than
those who are fed 'rules' (which may not be accurate anyway.) And
when learners do this together there is a great deal of valuable negotiation
Experience (and common sense) suggest it is best to introduce learners to this process in controlled stages to ensure success and continued enthusiasm. Therefore, students should be introduced to hand-picked citations in printed handouts with carefully thought-out procedures to follow. Later, they can handle the unpredictability of 'live' concordancing on the Internet and begin to formulate their own questions.
2. The UBC-ELI Corpus of Spoken English will be a useful source of
unscripted, authentic spoken language relevant to learners' interests and
needs. There are surprisingly few ESL materials based on authentic, spontaneous
speech. The conversations featured in ESL materials are often contrived and
while grammatically 'correct,' bear little linguistic relation to how
English is actually spoken. Likewise TV and movie scripts, while full of
colourful informal language, are ultimately highly contrived.
Our contention is that the so-called 'dysfluencies' of spoken language-the pauses, the repetitions, the fillers, the grammatical deviations from written text-are precisely what make fluent speech possible. Therefore students should benefit from audio recordings (and materials derived from them) which have all these features.
An excellent introduction to the teaching value of corpora can be found on the ICT4L (Information and Communications Technology for Language Teachers) project website: Module 2.4. Its Section 4 presents fourteen examples of classroom activities which use concordancing and corpus citations, beginning (from learners' point of view) at an introductory level. Section 5, Preparing yourself and your students to work with concordancers, is also valuable.
Ultimele referate adaugate
- Mihai beniuc - „poezii"
- Mihai eminescu - student la berlin
- Mircea Eliade - Mioara Nazdravana (mioriţa)
- Chirita in provintie de Vasile Alecsandri -expunerea subiectului
- Dragoste de viata de Jack London
|Ion Luca Caragiale
- Triumful talentului… (reproducere) de Ion Luca Caragiale
- Fantasticul in proza lui Mircea Eliade - La tiganci
- „Personalitate creatoare” si „figura a spiritului creator” eminescian
- Enigma Otiliei de George Calinescu - geneza, subiectul si tema romanului
- Arta literara in romanul Ion, - Liviu Rebreanu