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"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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Title: Language Acquisition and Language Change: Inter-relationships
Author(s): David Lightfoot , Marit Westergaard
Journal Title: Language and Linguistic Compass
Volume: 1
Issue: 5
Page Range: 396-415
Publication Date: Sep-2007
Abstract: Children acquire a mature language system and sometimes this system differs from that of their parents. This is a significant part of language change and understanding acquisition is key to understanding this kind of change in people's internal grammars. We outline an approach to language acquisition that is based on children finding cues and microcues expressed in the input they are exposed to. This enables us to understand historical change in grammars: change in external language sometimes triggers a new internal grammar as cues come to be expressed differently. We bring together work on language variation, acquisition, and change, show how these three areas are mutually dependent, and how empirical work in one area may enrich understanding more generally, opening the way to new kinds of empirical work.

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V2 and SVO languages   by Jacynthe Bouchard , 7-Jul-11
If we accept Ligthfoot's argument that present-day English may be seen a type of V2 language, what would a purely SVO language look like? Is there any SVO language that does not have inversion of some kind? Does anyone have good examples and references?
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