"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.
Approaches to Bootstrapping: Phonological, lexical, syntactic and neurophysiological aspects of early language acquisition
Volume 1 of Approaches to Bootstrapping focuses on early word learning and syntactic development with special emphasis on the bootstrapping mechanisms by which the child using properties of the speech input enters the native linguistic system. Topics discussed in the area of lexical acquisition are: cues and mechanisms for isolating words in the input; special features of motherese and their role for early word learning; the determination of first word meanings; memory and related processing capacities in early word learning and understanding; and lexical representation and lexical access in early language production.
The papers on syntactic development deal with the acquisition of grammatical prosodic features for learning language specific syntactic regularities.
Volume 2 of Approaches to Bootstrapping focuses on the interaction between the development of prosodic and morphosyntactic knowledge as evidenced in the early speech of Dutch, English, German, Portugese, Spanish, Danish, Islandic, and Swedish children sheding new light on the relation between universal and language specific aspects of language acquisition. Another section of this volume deals with new approaches to language acquisition using ERP- techniques. The papers discuss in detail the relation between the development of language skills and changes in neurophysiological aspects of the brain. The potentials of these techniques for the development of new tools for an early diagnosis of children who are at risque for developmental language disorders are also pointed out. The closing section contains a synopsis of interactionist approaches to language acquisition, a discussion of the genetic and experiential origin of primitive linguistic elements in acquisition, and a discussion of structural and developmental aspects of bird song in comparison to human language.
The two volumes making up Approaches to Bootstrapping present a state-of-the art interdisciplinary and cross-linguistic overview of recent developments in first language acquisition research.