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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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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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Academic Paper


Title: Morphological Errors in Spanish Second Language Learners and Heritage Speakers
Author: Silvina A Montrul
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.linguistics.illinois.edu/people/montrul
Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Morphology
Subject Language: Spanish
Abstract: Morphological variability and the source of these errors have been intensely debated in SLA. A recurrent finding is that postpuberty second language (L2) learners often omit or use the wrong affix for nominal and verbal inflections in oral production but less so in written tasks. According to the missing surface inflection hypothesis, L2 learners have intact functional projections, but errors stem from problems during production only (a mapping or processing deficit). This article shows that morphological variability is also characteristic of heritage speakers (early bilinguals of ethnic minority languages) who were exposed to the family language naturalistically in early childhood but failed to acquire age-appropriate linguistic competence in the language. However, because errors in heritage speakers are more frequent in written than in oral tasks, the missing surface inflection hypothesis does not apply to them. The discussion considers how morphological errors in the two populations seem to be related to the type of experience.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 33, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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