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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: The Interactional Instinct
Subtitle: The Evolution and Acquisition of Language
Written By: Namhee Lee
Lisa Mikesell
Anna Dina L. Joaquin
Andrea W. Mates
John H. Schumann
Description:

"The Interactional Instinct" explores the evolution of language from the
theoretical view that language could have emerged without a biologically
instantiated Universal Grammar. In the first part of the book, the authors
speculate that a hominid group with a lexicon of about 600 words could
combine these items to make larger meanings. Combinations that are
successfully produced, comprehended, and learned become part of the
language. Any combination that is incompatible with human mental capacities
is abandoned. The authors argue for the emergence of language structure
through interaction constrained by human psychology and physiology.

In the second part of the book, the authors argue that language acquisition
is based on an "interactional instinct" that emotionally entrains the
infant on caregivers. This relationship provides children with a
motivational and attentional mechanism that ensures their acquisition of
language. In adult second language acquisition, the interactional instinct
is no longer operating, but in some individuals with sufficient aptitude
and motivation, successful second-language acquisition can be achieved.

"The Interactional Instinct" presents a theory of language based on
linguistic, evolutionary, and biological evidence indicating that language
is a culturally inherited artifact that requires no a priori hard wiring of
linguistic knowledge.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
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.

Versions:
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0195384237
ISBN-13: 9780195384239
Pages: 256
Prices: U.S. $ 29.95

 
 
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0195384245
ISBN-13: 9780195384246
Pages: 256
Prices: U.S. $ 99.00