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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

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Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Word Class Distinctions in Second Language Acquisition
Author: Eve Zyzik
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of California
Author: Clara Azevedo
Institution: Michigan State University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Morphology
Abstract: Although the problem of word class has been explored in numerous first language studies, relatively little is known about this process in SLA. The present study measures second language (L2) learners’ knowledge of word class distinctions (e.g., noun vs. adjective) in a variety of syntactic contexts.
English-speaking learners of Spanish from third-semester and third-year courses (N = 240) completed a receptive task that presented contrasting forms belonging to the same word family (e.g., feliz “happy” and felicidad “happiness”). The results indicate that learners from both groups are often unable to distinguish among word classes. In particular, learners have significant difficulty in discriminating between adjectives and nouns. Although ambiguous surface morphology contributes to word class confusions, the results suggest that L2 learners do not always recognize derivational suffixes that clearly mark word class. These difficulties are interpreted as stemming from weak syntactic morphological knowledge as well as incomplete knowledge of L2 distributional regularities.


This article appears IN Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 31, Issue 1.

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