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Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice

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Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice "prompts thinking about linguistic disadvantage as a form of structural disadvantage that needs to be recognized and taken seriously."


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Language Evolution: The Windows Approach

By Rudolf Botha

Language Evolution: The Windows Approach addresses the question: "How can we unravel the evolution of language, given that there is no direct evidence about it?"


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Academic Paper


Title: From phonetics to phonology: The emergence of first words in Italian
Author: Tamar Keren-Portnoy
Institution: University of York
Author: Marinella Majorano
Institution: Università degli Studi di Verona
Author: Marilyn May Vihman
Institution: University of York
Linguistic Field: Phonetics; Phonology; General Linguistics
Subject Language: Italian
Abstract: This study assesses the extent of phonetic continuity between babble and words in four Italian children followed longitudinally from 0 ; 9 or 0 ; 10 to 2 ; 0 – two with relatively rapid and two with slower lexical growth. Prelinguistic phonetic characteristics, including both (a) consistent use of specific consonants and (b) age of onset and extent of consonant variegation in babble, are found to predict rate of lexical advance and to relate to the form of the early words. In addition, each child's lexical profile is analyzed to test the hypothesis of non-linearity in phonological development. All of the children show the expected pattern of phonological advance: Relatively accurate first word production is followed by lexical expansion, characterized by a decrease in accuracy and an increase of similarity between word forms. We interpret such a profile as reflecting the emergence of word templates, a first step in phonological organization.

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This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 36, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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