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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: Gender-marked determiners help Dutch learners' word recognition when gender information itself does not
Author: Marieke Van Heugten
Institution: University of Toronto
Author: Elizabeth K. Johnson
Institution: University of Toronto
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: Dutch
English
Abstract: Dutch, unlike English, contains two gender-marked forms of the definite article. Does the presence of multiple definite article forms lead Dutch learners to be delayed relative to English learners in the acquisition of their determiner system? Using the Preferential Looking Procedure, we found that Dutch-learning children aged 1 ; 7 to 2 ; 0 use articles during sentence comprehension in a fashion comparable to similarly aged English learners. That is, Dutch learners' sentence processing was impaired when a nonsense (se) as opposed to real article (de, het) preceded target words, much like English learners' sentence processing is disrupted by the use of a nonsense article. At the same time, however, gender cues did not help Dutch learners recognize target nouns more efficiently, indicating that gender has yet to be acquired. Thus, although Dutch-learning children aged 1 ; 7 to 2 ; 0 have not mastered all aspects of their language's article system, they nonetheless use their partial knowledge of articles during speech processing.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 38, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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