Featured Linguist!

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: Fillers as signs of distributional learning
Author: Helena Taelman
Institution: University of Antwerp
Author: Gert Durieux
Institution: University of Antwerp
Author: Steven Gillis
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Antwerp
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Abstract: A longitudinal analysis is presented of the fillers of a Dutch-speaking child between 1 ; 10 and 2 ; 7. Our analysis corroborates familiar regularities reported in the literature: most fillers resemble articles in shape and distribution, and are affected by rhythmic and positional constraints. A novel finding is the impact of the lexical environment: particular function words act as ‘anchor’ words that attract occurrences of schwa fillers after them. The child inserts significantly more schwa fillers in these contexts. The anchor words are among the most frequent words preceding articles in the input, indicating a sharp sensitivity to such distributional regularities. Nasal fillers too are affected by distributional learning, but at the phonological level: the child first uses nasals before [h]-initial nouns, and then generalizes this usage to all [h]-initial words. These observations are related to the growing body of evidence for the impact of distributional learning on early language production.

CUP at LINGUIST

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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