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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: Segmental distribution patterns of English infant- and adult-directed speech
Author: Sue Ann S Lee
Institution: Oklahoma State University
Author: Barbara L. Davis
Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis
Abstract: This study compared segmental distribution patterns for consonants and vowels in English infant-directed speech (IDS) and adult-directed speech (ADS). A previous study of Korean indicated that segmental patterns of IDS differed from ADS patterns (Lee, Davis & MacNeilage, ). The aim of the current study was to determine whether such differences in Korean are universal or language-specific. Results indicate that consonant distribution patterns of English IDS were significantly different from English ADS. Speakers who used IDS produced fewer fricatives, affricates, nasals and liquids, but more stops and glides, than speakers who used ADS. In terms of vowels, IDS speakers produced more high-back vowels /u Ʊ/ and /ɔ/ diphthongs than ADS speakers. These results indicate both general trends and language-specific segmental distribution patterns in IDS. When compared to previous findings on ADS and IDS in Korean, these results for English give support to a more general assertion that segmental distribution patterns in IDS seem to be mediated by linguistic and cultural factors across languages.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 37, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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