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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 ?

Grad School Challenge Leader: University of Washington

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New from Oxford University Press!


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.

New from Cambridge University Press!


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: Meaning Predictability in Word Formation
Subtitle: Novel, context-free naming units
Written By: Pavol Štekauer
URL: http://www.benjamins.com/cgi-bin/t_bookview.cgi?bookid=SFSL%2054
Series Title: Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics 54

This book aims to contribute to a growing interest amongst psycholinguists
and morphologists in the mechanisms of meaning predictability. It presents
a brand-new model of the meaning-prediction of novel, context-free naming
units, relating the wordformation and wordinterpretation processes. Unlike
previous studies, mostly focussed on N+N compounds, the scope of this book
is much wider. It not only covers all types of complex words, but also
discusses a whole range of predictability-boosting and -reducing
conditions. Two measures are introduced, the Predictability Rate and the
Objectified Predictability Rate, in order to compare the strength of
predictable readings both within a word and relative to the most
predictable readings of other coinages. Four extensive experiments indicate
inter alia the equal predicting capacity of native and non-native speakers,
the close interconnection between linguistic and extra-linguistic factors,
the important role of prototypical semes, and the usual dominance of a
single central reading.

Table of contents

Acknowledgements xi
List of Abbreviations xiii
Introduction xv–xxiii
1. Literature survey 1–42
2. General word formation framework 43–54
3. A theory of predictability 55–98
4. The Experiments 99–240
5. Conclusions 241–263
Notes 265–273
References 275–282
Author Index 283–284
Subject Index 285–288

"This book is an admirable achievement in providing its readers with an
exemplary combination of theoretical and extensive empirical, experimental
research. It definitely represents a model for a modern, cutting-edge,
non-ideological approach to a central area of the semantics and productive
WF of English vocabulary and dynamic lexicology generally, from a
realistic, cognitive and dynamic perspective which can easily be applied to
other languages as well. It is rooted in the best tradition of modern
European and American linguistics in which theoretical hypotheses and
postulates are objectively verified in linguistic reality and its function
as NUs."
Leonhard Lipka, University of Munich

"Stekauer's book is a highly interesting and original contribution to
questions dealing with meaning predictability and word formation. The book
is very well-written and provides an excellent and detailed overview of the
relevant literature. Stekauers' approach will certainly stimulate new
research in the field. The book will attract readers with an interest in
such different fields as morphology, lexical semantics, cognitive
linguistics, psycholinguistics and pragmatics."
Jan Don, University of Amsterdam

Publication Year: 2005
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Morphology
Cognitive Science
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: 1588116336
ISBN-13: 9781588116338
Pages: xxii, 289
Prices: U.S. $ 162
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027215634
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xxii, 289
Prices: Europe EURO 120.00