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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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Academic Paper


Title: Integrating articulatory constraints into models of second language phonological acquisition
Author: Laura Marcela Colantoni
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://chass.utoronto.ca/~colanton
Institution: University of Toronto
Author: Jeffrey Steele
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~jsteele/
Institution: University of Toronto
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Linguistic Theories; Phonetics; Phonology; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: Models such as Eckman's markedness differential hypothesis, Flege's speech learning model, and Brown's feature-based theory of perception seek to explain and predict the relative difficulty second language (L2) learners face when acquiring new or similar sounds. In this paper, we test their predictive adequacy as concerns native English speakers’ mastery of French /ʁ/ and Spanish /ɾ/. Based on an acoustic analysis of the learner data, we demonstrate that these three models do not account for the full range of variability nor for the developmental sequences attested, because they do not consider the degree of difficulty involved in the simultaneous mastery of multiple phonetic parameters across prosodic positions. Consequently, models of L2 phonological acquisition must not only integrate findings from markedness theory and speech perception but also incorporate phonetic constraints on production.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 29, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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