"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.
Speech and Sign Perception in Deaf Children with Cochlear Implants
Although a cochlear implant (CI) restores access to sound and speech for
profoundly deaf children, there is substantial inter-individual variation in
outcomes and many children with a CI continue to be delayed in their spoken
language development. This suggests that they may benefit from alternative
modes of communication such as sign language. However, the role of signed
input in the education of children with a CI is much debated. The aim of the
present thesis was two-folded: to explore underlying processes in speech
perception that may help to explain inter-individual variation in outcomes, and
to obtain insight into the effects of signed input on spoken language abilities.
To that end, this thesis investigates speech and sign perception in 5- to 6-
year old children with a CI. More specifically, it examines and interrelates the
use of acoustic and visual cues in phonetic categorization and the
representation of phonetic contrasts in novel words and signs. Additionally,it
investigates the effects of bimodal (i.e., simultaneously spoken and signed)
input on speech perception.The analyses show that children with a CI have
fuzzy boundaries between sound categories and have difficulties to represent
phonetic detail in novel words. Weakly-specified auditory phonological-lexical
representations likely negatively impact speech processing. Importantly,
signing experience did not negatively affect their speech perception and
bimodal input seemed to even facilitate spoken word recognition. Together,
these findings form an argument for bilingualism in a spoken and a signed
language as the ultimate goal in the rehabilitation and education of children
with a CI.