"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.
Determining that a label is kind-referring: factors that influence children's and adults' novel word extensions
The present studies examined factors that influence children's and adults' interpretation of a novel word. Four factors are hypothesized to emphasize that a label refers to a richly structured category (also known as a ‘kind’): generic language, internal property attributions, familiar kind labels and absence of a target photograph. In Study 1, for college students (N=125), internal property attributions resulted in more taxonomic and fewer shape responses. In Study 2, for four-year-olds (N=126), the presence of generic language and familiar kind labels resulted in more taxonomic choices. Further, the presence of familiar kind labels resulted in fewer shape choices. The results suggest that, when learning new words, children and adults are sensitive to factors that imply kind reference.