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: Words in puddles of sound: modelling psycholinguistic effects in speech segmentation
Author: Padraic Monaghan
Institution: University of York
Author: Morten H Christiansen
Institution: Cornell University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: There are numerous models of how speech segmentation may proceed in infants acquiring their first language. We present a framework for considering the relative merits and limitations of these various approaches. We then present a model of speech segmentation that aims to reveal important sources of information for speech segmentation, and to capture psycholinguistic constraints on children's language perception. The model constructs a lexicon based on information about utterance boundaries and deduces phonotactic constraints from the discovered lexicon. Compared to other models of speech segmentation, our model performs well in terms of accuracy, computational tractability and the number of components of the model. Finally, our model also reflects the psycholinguistic effects of language learning, in terms of the early advantage for segmentation provided by the child's name, and by revealing the overlap in usefulness of information for segmentation and for grammatical categorization of the language.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 37, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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