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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?

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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.


Academic Paper


Title: The Acquisition of Gender Marking by Young German-Speaking Children: Evidence for learning guided by phonological regularities
Author: Gisela Szagun
Institution: Universität Oldenburg
Author: Barbara Stumper
Institution: Universität Oldenburg
Author: Nina Sondag
Institution: Universität Oldenburg
Author: Melanie Franik
Institution: Universität Oldenburg
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Morphology; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: German
Abstract: The acquisition of noun gender on articles was studied in a sample of 21 young German-speaking children. Longitudinal spontaneous speech data were used. Data analysis is based on 22 two-hourly speech samples per child from 6 children between 1;4 and 3;8 and on 5 two-hourly speech samples per child from 15 children between 1;4 and 2;10. The use of gender marked articles occurred from 1;5. Error frequencies dropped below 10% by 3;0. Definite and indefinite articles were used with similar frequencies and error rates did not differ in the two paradigms. Children's errors were systematic. For monosyllabic nouns and for polysyllabic nouns ending in -el, -en and -er errors were more frequent for nouns which did not conform to the rule that such nouns tend to be masculine. Furthermore, children erred in the direction of the rule overgeneralizing 'der'. Correct gender marking was also associated with adult frequency of noun use. The present data is evidence for the early use of phonological regularities of noun structure in the acquisition of gender marking.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 34, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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