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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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Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

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New from Oxford University Press!


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 <i>is</i> in the Acquisition
Author: Ineke van de Craats
Institution: Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Abstract: This article deals with the interlanguage of adult second language (L2) learners acquiring finiteness. Due to the inaccessibility of bound inflectional morphology, learners use free morphology to mark a syntactic relationship as well as person and number features separately from the thematic verb, expressed by a pattern like the man is go. Results from longitudinally collected production data of Turkish learners of Dutch are reported and present evidence for the claim that (a) verb movement and production of inflectional morphology develop separately in various developmental steps and (b) finite forms in nonfinite contexts (and vice versa) are by-products of this development. Moreover, all is-patterns in different Germanic languages can be explained by the application of minimalist theory of verb movement and recent views on morphology. Is-patterns that correspond neither to the first language nor to the L2—a poverty-of-the-stimulus problem—turn out to be possible in other languages of the world and are constrained by Universal Grammar.


This article appears in Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 31, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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