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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?

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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

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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: Japanese and English sentence reading comprehension and writing systems: An fMRI study of first and second language effects on brain activation
Author: Augusto Buchweitz
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.ccbi.cmu.edu
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
Author: Robert A. Mason
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
Author: Mihoko Hasegawa
Institution: RIKEN Brain Science Institute
Author: Marcel A. Just
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Language Acquisition
Subject Language: Japanese
English
Abstract: Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to compare brain activation from native Japanese (L1) readers reading hiragana (syllabic) and kanji (logographic) sentences, and English as a second language (L2). Kanji showed more activation than hiragana in right-hemisphere occipito-temporal lobe areas associated with visuospatial processing; hiragana, in turn, showed more activation than kanji in areas of the brain associated with phonological processing. L1 results underscore the difference in visuospatial and phonological processing demands between the systems. Reading in English as compared to either of the Japanese systems showed more activation in inferior frontal gyrus, medial frontal gyrus, and angular gyrus. The additional activation in English in these areas may have been associated with an increased cognitive demand for phonological processing and verbal working memory. More generally, L2 results suggest more effortful reading comprehension processes associated with phonological rehearsal. The study contributes to the understanding of differential brain responses to different writing systems and to reading comprehension in a second language.

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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