"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
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.
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.
The Second Language Acquisition of Spanish Gender Agreement
This study examines gender agreement between a complex sentential subject
(containing two nouns) and a predicate adjective in second language
Spanish. The data were collected using a computerized sentence completion
task that measured gender agreement accuracy (correct or incorrect). Seven
binary linguistic variables were analyzed: noun class of the head and
attractor nouns (semantic or non-semantic), head noun morphology (overt or
non-overt), gender of the head and attractor nouns (feminine or masculine),
and noun class and gender congruencies (matched or mismatched). All
possible combinations of the variables were considered.
To date, no study has examined all of these variables in a single
experimental design assessing the second language acquisition of Spanish
gender agreement. Participants were learners at three different levels of
proficiency, and Spanish native speakers. Grammar and vocabulary knowledge
were also examined as independent variables. Findings reveal that noun
class does not affect accuracy of gender agreement. In contrast, both
learners and native speakers are sensitive to the gender and morphology of
the head noun, and gender congruency: participants were more accurate when
the head noun was masculine and overtly marked for gender, and when the two
subject nouns were of the same gender.