Featured Linguist!

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: Utilizing lexical data from a Web-derived corpus to expand productive collocation knowledge
Author: Shaoqun Wu
Institution: University of Waikato
Author: Ian H. Witten
Institution: University of Waikato
Author: Margaret Franken
Institution: University of Waikato
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics
Abstract: Collocations are of great importance for second language learners, and a learner’s knowledge of them plays a key role in producing language fluently (Nation, 2001: 323). In this article we describe and evaluate an innovative system that uses a Web-derived corpus and digital library software to produce a vast concordance and present it in a way that helps students use collocations more effectively in their writing. Instead of live search we use an off-line corpus of short sequences of words, along with their frequencies. They are preprocessed, filtered, and organized into a searchable digital library collection containing 380 million five-word sequences drawn from a vocabulary of 145,000 words. Although the phrases are short, learners can browse more extended contexts because the system automatically locates sample sentences that contain them, either on the Web or in the British National Corpus. Two evaluations were conducted: an expert user tested the system to see if it could generate suitable alternatives for given text fragments, and students used it for a particular exercise. Both suggest that, even within the constraints of a limited study, the system could and did help students improve their writing.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in ReCALL Vol. 22, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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