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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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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.

Book Information


Title: Universal and Language-Specific Perception of Paralinguistic Intonational Meaning
Written By: Aoju Chen
URL: http://www.lotpublications.nl/index3.html
Series Title: LOT Dissertation Series 102

This thesis presents a collection of studies on the perception of
paralinguistic intonational meanings, which stem from three biological
codes, the Frequency Code, the Effort Code and the Production Code.

On the one hand, these studies shown that listeners, regardless of language
background, perceive paralinguistic sound-meaning relations in unknown
languages in a similar way and as the biological codes predict. This
finding is argued to reflect underlying universality in paralinguistic
intonational meaning.

On the other hand, results bring to light significant differences between
speech communities in interpreting pitch variation in their native
language. First, a speech community may perceive a larger meaning
difference for a given interval of pitch variation than another. Second,
two speech communities may occasionally interpret the relation between
pitch variation and a given meaning in opposite ways. And third, one speech
community may associate pitch variation with a certain meaning where the
other does not. Proposals are made to explain these cross-language differences.

In addition, in the perception of paralinguistic intonational meaning in a
second language, L1 transfer is found to play an important role. At the
same time, L2 learners appear to acquire the paralinguistic interpretations
of the L2 to some extent, and consequently interlanguage behaviour emerges.

The findings call into question theories of intonational meaning that only
advocate universality in the paralinguistic uses of pitch variation. They
lend strong support to a theory that regards the biological codes as a
point of departure and recognises a distinctive language-specific component
in the implementation of these codes.

Presenting interesting data from an exciting perspective, this book takes
positive steps forward in our understanding of the nature of paralinguistic
intonational meaning. It will appeal to prosodic phonologists,
phoneticians, pragmaticians, and psycholinguists working in the field of
second language acquisition.

Publication Year: 2005
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics
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: Electronic
ISBN: 9076864691
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 278
Prices: U.S. $ free
Europe EURO 28.43