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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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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

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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

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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

   
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Title: The Psychological Reality of Grammar
Subtitle: The Theta Principle in Parsing Performance
Written By: Oren Sadeh Leicht
Series Title: LOT Dissertation Series
Description:

This dissertation presents evidence for the psychological reality of a
grammatical principle, the Theta Principle. It adopts a grammar-derived
theory of human natural language processing – the thematic parser.

Parsing phenomena such as garden path effects (The horse raced past the
barn fell) and center-embeddings (The mouse the cat the dog chased bit
died) show that whenever the Theta Principle is locally violated, severe
processing difficulty is experienced.

A unique prediction of the thematic parser is provided, along with
predictions of other prominent parsing models. Experiments were carried out
to establish which prediction was borne out.

The experimental paradigm was Magnitude Estimation, used to measure subtle
differences in grammaticality judgments in offline experiments. However,
the method was validated as a technique suitable for real-time parsing
research. It was found that empirical evidence was compatible only with the
thematic parser.

A grammatical account is suggested for the difficulty of center-embeddings,
in contrast to what has been thought about these constructions in the past
fifty years. The explanation provided relies on the discovery that
center-embeddings are instances of strong islands.

Given that processing difficulty in garden paths and center-embeddings is
regarded as a local violation of the Theta Principle, these seemingly
disparate phenomena are united within a single account.

On the basis of the parallel between processing difficulty and the local
violation of the Theta Principle, it is argued that the Theta Principle is
psychologically real.

Publication Year: 2007
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): Psycholinguistics
Syntax
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
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Versions:
Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9789078328230
Pages: 207
Prices: Europe EURO 21.59