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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?

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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: The Linguistic Affiliation Constraint and phoneme recognition in diglossic Arabic
Author: Elinor Saiegh-Haddad
Institution: Bar-Ilan University
Author: Iris Levin
Institution: Tel-Aviv University
Author: Nareman Hende
Institution: Tel-Aviv University
Author: Margalit Ziv
Institution: Tel-Aviv University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Phonology; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: Arabic, Standard
Abstract: This study tested the effect of the phoneme's linguistic affiliation (Standard Arabic versus Spoken Arabic) on phoneme recognition among five-year-old Arabic native speaking kindergarteners (N=60). Using a picture selection task of words beginning with the same phoneme, and through careful manipulation of the phonological properties of target phonemes and distractors, the study showed that children's recognition of Standard phonemes was poorer than that of Spoken phonemes. This finding was interpreted as indicating a deficiency in the phonological representations of Standard words. Next, the study tested two hypotheses regarding the specific consequences of under-specified phonological representations: phonological encoding versus phonological processing. These hypotheses were addressed through an analysis of the relative power of distractors. The findings revealed that children's difficulty in accessing Standard Arabic phonemes was due to a difficulty in the phonological encoding of Standard words. We discuss the implications of the findings for language and literacy development in diglossic Arabic.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 38, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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