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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.


Academic Paper


Title: The Role of Learning Environment in the Development of Pragmatic Comprehension
Author: Naoko Taguchi
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
Linguistic Field: Pragmatics
Abstract: This study examines the role of environment in the development of pragmatic comprehension. It tracks two groups of Japanese students of English: 60 students in a college in Japan (English as a foreign language [EFL] learners) and 57 students in a college in the United States (English as a second language [ESL] learners). The learners completed a computerized listening task that measured their ability to comprehend two types of implied meaning: indirect refusals ( = 24) and indirect opinions ( = 24). The task was given to each group twice, before and after the students received approximately 120–130 hr of classroom instruction. Comprehension was analyzed for accuracy (scores) and speed (average time taken to answer each item correctly). Results showed that, in both learner groups, accuracy and comprehension speed improved significantly over time. For the EFL group, the magnitude of effect was much less for speed than for accuracy. In contrast, ESL learners showed significant improvement in comprehension speed, with a sizable effect size, but only marginal improvement in accuracy.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 30, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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