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Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule


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Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.


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Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin


Academic Paper


Title: 'When Russians learn English: How the semantics of causation may change'
Author: PhillipWolff
Institution: 'Emory University'
Author: TatyanaVentura
Institution: 'University of Memphis'
Linguistic Field: 'Cognitive Science; Language Acquisition; Semantics'
Subject Language: 'Russian'
' English'
Abstract: We examined how the semantics of causal expressions in Russian and English might differ and how these differences might lead to changes in the way second language learners understand causal expressions in their first language. According to the dynamics model of causation (Wolff, 2007), expressions of causation based on CAUSE verbs (make, force) differ from expressions based on ENABLE verbs (let, help, allow) primarily in terms of the causee's inherent tendency toward an endstate, that is, the causee's physical or intentional inclination for a particular state of affairs. In Russian, the tendency appears to be based on internally derived forces, whereas in English, the tendency may be based on either internally or externally derived forces. In two experiments, English and Russian monolinguals and bilinguals described animations in which the causee's tendency was systematically varied. When the causee's tendency was ambiguous, English and Russian monolinguals’ descriptions differed, suggesting that the causal expressions differ in meaning across languages. Of primary interest, Russian–English and English–Russian bilinguals’ causal descriptions differed from those of monolingual speakers of their first language, and in the direction of the second language, even though they performed the task in the first language. This L2 → L1 transfer is explained in terms of the memory phenomenon of retrieval-induced reconsolidation.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 12, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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