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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: Scope Assignment in Chinese: Why children and adults differ
Author: Peng Zhou
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.maccs.mq.edu.au/members/profile.html?memberID=222
Institution: Macquarie University
Author: Stephen Crain
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.maccs.mq.edu.au/members/profile.html?memberID=55
Institution: Macquarie University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Abstract: In this study, we investigated how Mandarin-speaking children and adults understand the scope relation between the universal quantifier and negation in sentences like Mei-pi ma dou meiyou tiaoguo liba 'Every horse didn't jump over the house' and Bushi mei-pi ma dou tiaoguo-le liba 'Not every horse jumped over fence'. We found that Mandarin-speaking children accepted these two types of sentences in both the surface scope and the inverse scope scenarios, whereas Mandarin-speaking adults only permitted them in the surface scope scenarios. Based on the data, we suggested that Mandarin-speaking children start off with a flexible scope interpretation, which we attributed to their insensitivity to the focus properties of DOU 'all' and SHI 'be' in the relevant sentences.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Proceedings of the Ninth Tokyo Conference on Psycholinguistics. pp. 341-366.


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