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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: Learning Lexical Indexation
Author: Andries W. Coetzee
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.umich.edu/~coetzee
Institution: University of Michigan
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: Morphological concatenation often triggers phonological processes. For instance, addition of the plural suffix /-ən/ to Dutch nouns causes vowel lengthening in some nouns due to the stress-to-weight principle ([xɑt] vs. [ˈxaː.tən] ‘hole’). These kinds of processes often apply only to a subset of words – not all Dutch nouns undergo this process ([kɑt] vs. [ˈkɑ.tən] ‘cat’). Nouns need to be lexically indexed as either undergoing this process or not. I investigate how phonological grammar and lexical indexation are learned when learners are confronted with data like these. Based on learnability considerations, I hypothesise that learners acquire a grammar with default non-alternation, so that novel items are treated as non-alternating. I report the results of artificial language learning experiments compatible with this hypothesis, and model these results in a version of the Biased Constraint Demotion algorithm (Prince & Tesar ).

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Phonology Vol. 26, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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