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"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

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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: Metalinguistic Filters Within the Bilingual Language Faculty: A Study of Young English-Chinese Bilinguals
Paper URL: http://www.springerlink.com/content/y7365t454r5pn08w/
Author: Kenneth Keng Wee Ong
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://nanyang.academia.edu/KennethKengWeeOng
Institution: Nanyang Technological University
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
English
Abstract: This study reports two metalinguistic parameters that constitute the schematic control of lateral inhibitory links between translation equivalents within the bilingual lexico-semantic system of Green's (Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 1:67–81, 1998a, Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 1:100–104, 1998b, The bilingualism reader, Routledge, London, 2007) inhibitory control (IC) model. Building on Green's postulation that the bilingual lexico-semantic system is controlled by a hierarchy of schemas under a supervisory attentional system, the bilingual unconsciously filters activated lemmas during fluent spontaneous codeswitching, such that lemmas that are semantico-syntactically versatile or morphosyntactically transparent are likely to reach a threshold of activation first while other lemmas are inhibited. To investigate the issue, we collected code-paired naturalistic and elicited data with a focus on code-switched determiner phrases from 140 Mandarin-English simultaneous bilinguals who were post-secondary students in Singapore. We found that the semantico-syntactic and morpho-syntactic dissimilarities between Mandarin and English activated both filters. As most Mandarin determiners are economical vis-à-vis their English counterparts, their lemmas were selected frequently while English lemmas were largely inhibited. It was also found that our participants preferred English nouns in filling the lexical category for their interpretable feature of number, a feature that is normally absent in Mandarin nouns.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: Springer
Publication Info: Journal of Psycholinguistic Research Volume 39, Number 3, 243-272
URL: http://www.springerlink.com/content/y7365t454r5pn08w/


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