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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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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.

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Book Information

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Title: Lexical Diversity and Language Development
Subtitle: Quantification and Assessment
Written By: David D Malvern
Ngoni Chipere
Brian J. Richards
Pilar Durán
URL: http://www.palgrave.com/products//Catalogue.aspx?is=1403902313

'This book represents a major contribution to the study of both lexical
diversity and language development... [and] provides the most comprehensive
and compelling study available to date of vocabulary measurement, including
type-token ratios, number of different words, and word length. The
innovative, empirically validated, and user-friendly measure of lexical
diversity (VOCD - or simply "D") that it proposes is based on deep
understanding of mathematical models combined with rich background in
language acquisition and language assessment. The culmination of fifteen
years of cooperative research between David Malvern, Brian Richards, and
their co-authors at the University of Reading, this study represents the
best of inter-disciplinary research. In style, the book is both erudite and
readable. It should be an invaluable source of reference for scholars and
graduate-level students in general and psycho-linguistics, in first and
second language acquisition, language education, and language pathology.'
Ruth A. Berman, Professor Emeritus, Department of Linguistics, Tel Aviv
'David Malvern and his co-authors have developed a new and very promising
approach to the study of lexical diversity and language development. Their
statistical method is far more sophisticated than anything we have had in
the past. This book will be of great interest to the developmental
psycholinguistic community.'
Professor Jean Berko Gleason, Department of Psychology, Boston University

Various facets of vocabulary richness, including lexical diversity and use
of rare words, have an important role in assessing first and second
language proficiency, diagnosing progress and testing theories of language
development. There are, however, considerable difficulties in quantifying
these variables reliably. This book reviews and evaluates different methods
of measuring how vocabulary is deployed in spontaneous speech and writing,
before introducing alternative approaches which can assess overall lexical
diversity, measure morphological development and compare the development of
different word classes. These practical solutions are validated and
illustrated by their application to a succession of data sets, including
speech and writing, and first and second language. The book also contains a
glossary that throws light on the confusing proliferation of measures used
in language assessment, sample transcripts, and documentation for a new and
more flexible version of the vocd software developed by the authors.

CONTENTS: List of Tables - List of Figures - Acknowledgements - PART I:
MEASURING LEXICAL DIVERSITY - Introduction - Some Approaches to Measuring
Lexical Diversity - A Mathematical Model of Lexical Diversity - PART II:
Child Language 1: The New England Corpus - Early Child Language 2: The
Bristol Corpus - Lexical Diversity and the Investigation of Accommodation
in Foreign Language Proficiency Interviews - A New Measure of Inflectional
Diversity and its Application to English and Spanish Date Sets - PART III:
- Comparing the Diversity of Lexical Categories: The Type/Type Ratio and
Related Measures - Lexical Diversity and Lexical Sophistication in First
Language Writing - PART IV: CONCLUSION - Overview and Conclusions - Notes -
Glossary of Technical Terms and Acronyms - Appendices - Index

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Morphology
Language Acquisition
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1403902313
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 272
Prices: U.K. £ 52.50