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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

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
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.


This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 38, Issue 1.

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