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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: Word Class Distinctions in Second Language Acquisition
Author: Eve Zyzik
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.msu.edu/~zyzik
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.

CUP at LINGUIST

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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