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In this 2005 interview, Peter Ladefoged, Distinguished Professor of Phonetics Emeritus at UCLA and USC Adjunct Professor, spoke candidly about his long and distinguished career as a scholar and instructor, as a former President of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), and as an editor of the Journal of the International Phonetic Association (JIPA). Professor Ladefoged died on 24 January 2006, and numerous tributes to him have since appeared, including in JIPA 36.1 (June 2006). Among the topics treated in this interview are: the history and future of phonetics, the founding and growth of the UCLA Phonetics Laboratory, and Ladefoged's views on scholarly writing and on the place of phonetics both within linguistics and within humanistic and social scientific disciplines, more broadly. Professor Ladefoged had read proofs of the interview and approved the text, which was completed in the fall of 2005. The text of this interview was originally published in Semiotica 158 (2006) and is reprinted here with permission from Mouton de Gruyter.
Two inter-related essays deal with matters of current English usage. The first is on an orthographic theme, while the second is on a lexical one. (1) On the letters ‘ph’ in English, (2) On Beedham on Pinker on ‘computer mouse’
An account of consonantal ‘twinning’ in English and other languages.
THIS ESSAY concerns itself with gemination in English, but more specifically, it asks whether English has consonantal gemination (CG), as has been reported by some in the literature. Gemination is usually defined as a phonetic doubling (cf. Latin geminus ‘twin’); however, phonetic length (as opposed to a single or nongeminated segment) is a more accurate designation (see Matthews 1997:141, who cites Italian atto [at[Length mark]o] ‘act’, making reference only to ‘doubling’). It has long been known that English does not have contrastive CG as is recognized, say, from the phonemic difference between Classical and Modern Standard Arabic kasara (‘he broke’) and kassara (‘he smashed’) or darasa (‘he studied’) and darrasa (‘he taught’).
A survey of terms inherited from Persian, often through intermediate languages. ENGLISH may be considered a typical case of a European language indebted to Persian, often through the intermediary of another language, a point with which this survey seeks to deal. A comprehensive list of such loanwords, direct and indirect, can be found in Cannon and Kaye (2001), to which the reader is referred for the full list of the 811 items, including their etyma. One hundred and thirty three of these are distant loans, as with the word azure (‘a light purplish blue’), which comes into English through Old French, probably through Old Spanish azur ∼ azul, which comes in turn from Arabic lazaward ∼ lazuward, and ultimately from Persian lajuvard (‘azure; cobalt blue’). This thematically-organized article provides a general review of the field.
The author focuses on the approach to word origins widely known as ‘folk etymology’, which he regards as ‘alive and kicking in America's leading daily newspapers, duping many a gullible reader’. To do this, he considers the etymology of the phrase ‘so long’ when used to mean ‘good-bye’.