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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

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FYI: Mandarin Chinese, New MA/Ling & Child Lang

Author: Robin Sackmann

FYI Body: _______________________________________________________________________

***** News from Integrational Linguistics (#1) *****

The Homepage of Integrational Linguistics is now offering a new service to
the linguistics community: online-summaries of recently published books and

A detailled summary of the following paper has just been added. In order to
see the summary, go to the "selected papers" section of the Homepage a

Sackmann, Robin. 2000. "Numeratives in Mandarin Chinese".
In: Petra M. Vogel, and Bernard Comrie (eds.). Approaches to
the Typology of Word Classes. Berlin etc.: Mouton de Gruyter.
(= Empirical Approaches to Language Typology 23). 421-477.

The class of numeratives in Mandarin Chinese comprises "measures" such as
ping 'bottle' or jin 'pound' on the one hand, and "classifiers" such as
ben, zhang, and tiao on the other. The paper investigates both the
syntactic properties of Chinese numeratives and the structure of
numerative expressions, i.e. of those expressions in which numeratives
typically occur.

Using Integrational Linguistics as a theoretical background, the essay
focuses on three topics:

- the syntactic structure of numerative expressions
- the part-of-speech status of numeratives
- the syntactic basis of Chinese noun classification

A number of key concepts needed for describing any numeral classifier
language are formally defined, in particular, a concept of numeral
classifier language that may be expected to be useful for typological

*** Note: "News from Integrational Linguistics" will from now on appear in
irregular intervals on this list. ***


Sebastian Drude, M.A.
Research and Teaching Assistan
Berlin, Germany
Tel. & Fax +49-30-838-52973
Secretary +49-30-838-54429

New MA in Linguistics and Child Language

This MA program is designed to attract those who have an interest in the
development of children's language from birth. It will have a special (bu
not exclusive) appeal for those with a background in psychology, cognitive
science, linguistics, education, modern languages and for professionals in
the teaching and therapeutic professions. A distance-learning course is a
pre-requisite for those without a linguistic background

Part-time students take either course 1 or 2 and Research Method 1 in
Semester A of Year 1; Theory and the Child in Semester B of Year 1; course
1 or 2 and Research Methods 2 in Semester A of Year 2. Prelinguistic
development and early words will be offered in Semester A of 2000-2001 and
the Child as a Linguist in Semester A of 2001-2002. These are followed by
a dissertation in Semester B and C of Year 2.

Full-time students take Prelinguistic development and early words; the
Child as a Linguist and Research Methods 1 and 2 in Semester A and Theory
and the Child in Semester B. These are followed by a dissertation in
Semester C.

Research Methods 1 & 2
These courses are designed to introduce students to the research methods
used in language acquisition including naturalistic and experimental
methods, transcriptions of child language data, qualitative and
quantitative analyses.

Prelinguistic development and early words
In the last 30 years, research on infants during their first year of life
has shed light on their fast developing ability to perceive and produce
sounds/gestures and on various aspects of their early communicative
behavior. Additionally, research has focussed on the characteristics of
children's first words, including the development of sound patterns,
meaning, inflectional marking and the use of words in context. This course
investigates different cultural backgrounds; signed, as well as spoken
languages; bilingualism and children with disordered communication.

The Child as a Linguis
This course explores in depth the language acquisition of children from
their first year of life until they reach school age. It considers the
identification of stages in child language; the development of various
aspects of language knowledge and use; the relation between language
acquisition and other aspects of development. The course emphasizes the
relevance of cross-linguistic, cross-cultural and cross-modal studies.

Theory and the child: theoretical models of Language Acquisition
The scientific study of language is young and draws on a variety of
disciplines: linguistics, psychology, neuropsychology, anthropology,
education, speech therapy, sociology. The interdisciplinary and
challenging nature of the field explains the variety of theoretical
approaches which underpin each of these approaches with respect to issues
such as the nature/nurture issue, the relation between language acquisition
and cognitive development, the classification and accounts of speech,
language and communication disorders and the sources of empirical evidence
which are used to argue for specific theoretical models and interpretations.

Child Language Dissertation
The overall aim of the dissertation is to provide a secure framework in
which students may plan, research, execute and write up a piece of
independent work.

Isabelle Barriere,
MA Admission Tutor
University of Hertfordshire
Waford Campus
Herts WD2 8AT
Tel: 01707 285 623
Fax: 01707 285 611
E-mail: I.Barriere@herts.ac.uk

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