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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?

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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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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

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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: Symposium – Accentuating the Positive: Directions in Pronunciation Research
Author: Tracy M Derwing
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Alberta
Author: Murray J. Munro
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.sfu.ca/~mjmunro/Murray_Munro/Home.html
Institution: Simon Fraser University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition
Abstract: 'Held at the Association canadienne de linguistique appliquée/Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics Conference, Ottawa, Canada; 27 May 2009. Over the past few decades perspectives on second language (L2) pronunciation have evolved from pessimistic appraisals of the capabilities of L2 learners and doubts about the value of instruction to a view of pronunciation teaching as an effective and important part of language pedagogy. Earlier research on the teaching of pronunciation dwelt extensively on the identification of learners' errors (mainly consonants and vowels) through comparative analyses. Until recently, little had been established about the effectiveness of pronunciation teaching, and pedagogical techniques were based more on speculation and theoretical notions than on empirically well-justified principles. More recent work addresses a broader range of issues relating not only to L2 phonological acquisition, but to the social implications of speaking with an accent and engaging with interlocutors, both native and non-native speakers of the L2. Among these are the relationship between accent and intelligibility, cognitive processes underlying phonological learning, the evaluation of L2 speech using impressionistic and acoustic techniques, prosodic influences on perception of accented speech, the role of ethnic affiliation and identity in L2 speakers' oral production, and the identification of misguided applications of knowledge about pronunciation by businesses and governments. These lines of work, along with empirical investigations of pronunciation instruction, engender a more sophisticated view of L2 phonological learning and teaching. Though further research remains to be done, important achievements have been made in identifying reasonable, achievable goals in the pronunciation classroom, establishing appropriate instructional foci, and evaluating outcomes. The presenters in this colloquium highlighted the major achievements of recent years and identified some of the important problems that remain.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Language Teaching Vol. 43, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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