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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: Diachronic change: Early versus late acquisition
Author: Fred Weerman
Institution: University of Amsterdam
Linguistic Field: Historical Linguistics; Language Acquisition
Abstract: There is a long linguistic tradition in which language change is explained in terms of first language acquisition. In this tradition, children are considered to be the agents of language change, or at least the agents of changes in the underlying grammar. Since the early 1980s, this has been formulated in the (generative) terminology in terms of parameters set by children: whereas an older generation acquires one particular setting of a parameter (during childhood), a next generation of L1 children may set a parameter differently, based on the input of their parents, and this may lead to a different output. For obvious reasons this argumentation had to be built on theoretical rather than empirical work on language acquisition. There are no children acquiring Old English or Middle Dutch, and, in fact, the field of acquisition research was until recently much less developed and very often not focused on the type of facts that happened to play a role in discussions of language change.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 14, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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