"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
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.
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.
Preschoolers' extension of novel words to animals and artifacts
We examined whether preschoolers' ontological knowledge would influence lexical extension. In Experiment 1, four-year-olds were presented with a novel label for either an object with eyes described as an animal, or the same object without eyes described as a tool. In the animal condition, children extended the label to similar-shaped objects, whereas in the tool condition, children extended the label to similar-function objects. In Experiment 2, when four-year-olds were presented with objects with eyes described as tools, they extended the label on the basis of shared function. These experiments suggest that preschoolers' conceptual knowledge guides their lexical extension.