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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 psychoacoustic similarity in Japanese puns: A corpus study
Author: Shigeto Kawahara
Institution: Rutgers University
Author: Kazuko Shinohara
Institution: Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology
Linguistic Field: Phonetics; Phonology; Psycholinguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language: Japanese
Abstract: A growing body of recent work on the phonetics–phonology interface argues that many phonological patterns refer to psychoacoustic similarity – perceived similarity between sounds based on detailed acoustic information. In particular, two corresponding elements in phonology (e.g. inputs and outputs) are required to be as psychoacoustically similar as possible (Steriade 2001a, b, 2003; Fleischhacker 2005; Kawahara 2006; Zuraw 2007). Using a corpus of Japanese imperfect puns, this paper lends further support to this claim. Our corpus-based study shows that when Japanese speakers compose puns, they require two corresponding consonants to be as similar as possible, and the measure of similarity rests on psychoacoustic information. The result supports the hypothesis that speakers possess a rich knowledge of psychoacoustic similarity and deploy that knowledge in shaping verbal art patterns.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Linguistics Vol. 45, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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