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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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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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Academic Paper


Title: Prosodic patterns in Hebrew child-directed speech
Author: Osnat Segal
Institution: Tel-Aviv University
Author: Bracha Nir
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://hw2.haifa.ac.il/index.php/staff-communication/472-bracha-nir
Institution: University of Haifa
Author: Liat Kishon-Rabin
Institution: Tel-Aviv University
Author: Dorit Diskin Ravid
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.tau.ac.il/education/homepg/dorit-ravid.htm
Institution: Tel-Aviv University
Linguistic Field: Morphology; Phonology
Subject Language: Hebrew
Abstract: The study examines prosodic characteristics of Hebrew speech directed to children between 0 ; 9–3 ; 0 years, based on longitudinal samples of 228,946 tokens (8,075 types). The distribution of prosodic patterns – the number of syllables and stress patterns – is analyzed across three lexical categories, distinguishing not only between open- and closed-class items, but also between these two categories and a third, innovative, class, referred to as between-class items. Results indicate that Hebrew CDS consists mainly of mono- and bisyllabic words, with differences between lexical categories; and that the most common stress pattern is word-final, with parallel distributions found for all categories. Additional analyses showed that verbs take word-final stress, but nouns are both trochaic and iambic. Finally, a developmental analysis indicates a significant increase in the number of iambic words in CDS. These findings have clear implications regarding the use of prosody for word segmentation and assignment of lexical class in infancy.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 36, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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