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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: Grain size in script and teaching: Literacy acquisition in Ge'ez and Latin
Author: Yonas Mesfun Asfaha
Institution: Universiteit van Tilburg
Author: Jeanne Kurvers
Institution: Universiteit van Tilburg
Author: Sjaak Kroon
Institution: Tilburg University
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Psycholinguistics; Writing Systems
Subject Language: Tigrinya
Kunama
Saho
Abstract: The study investigated reading in four African languages that use either syllabic Ge'ez (Tigrinya and Tigre languages) or alphabetic Latin scripts (Kunama and Saho). A sample of 385 Grade 1 children were given letter knowledge, word reading, and spelling tasks to investigate differences at the script and language levels. Results showed that the syllable based Ge'ez script was easier to learn than the phoneme-based Latin despite the bigger number of basic units in Ge'ez. Moreover, the syllable based teaching of alphabetic Saho produced better results than alphabetic teaching of Kunama. These findings are discussed using the psycholinguistic grain size theory. The outcomes confirm the importance of the availability of phonological units in learning to read.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 30, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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