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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 structure and nature of phonological neighbourhoods in children's early lexicons
Author: Tania S. Zamuner
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.psych.ubc.ca/~tzamuner/
Institution: University of British Columbia
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Phonology
Abstract: This research examines phonological neighbourhoods in the lexicons of children acquiring English. Analyses of neighbourhood densities were done on children's earliest words and on a corpus of spontaneous speech, used to measure neighbours in the target language. Neighbourhood densities were analyzed for words created by changing segments in word-onset position (rhyme neighbours as in pin/bin), vowel position (consonant neighbours as in pin/pan/) and word-offset position (lead neighbours as in pin/pit). Results indicated that neighbours in children's early lexicons are significantly more often distinguished in word-onset position (rhyme neighbours) and significantly less often distinguished in word-offset position (lead neighbours). Moreover, patterns in child language are more extreme than in the target language. Findings are discussed within the PRIMIR framework (Processing Rich Information from Multidimensional Interaction Representations; Werker & Curtin, 2005). It is argued that early perceptual sensitivity aids lexical acquisition, supporting continuity across speech perception and lexical acquisition.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 36, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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