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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

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Academic Paper


Title: Processing of contrastiveness by heritage Russian bilinguals
Author: Irina A. Sekerina
Email: click here to access email
Institution: City University of New York
Author: John C Trueswell
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.psych.upenn.edu/~trueswel/
Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: English
Russian
Abstract: Two eye-tracking experiments in the Visual World paradigm compared how monolingual Russian (Experiment 1) and heritage Russian–English bilingual (Experiment 2) listeners process contrastiveness online in Russian. Materials were color adjective–noun phrases embedded into the split-constituent construction Krasnuju položite zvezdočku . . . “Red put star . . .” whose inherent contrastiveness results from integration of multiple sources of information, i.e., word order, prosody and visual context. The results showed that while monolinguals rapidly used word order and visual context (but not contrastive prosody) to compute the contrast set even before the noun appeared in speech, heritage Russian bilinguals were very slow and took notice of multiple sources of information only when the lexical identity of the noun made the task superfluous. These results are similar to slowed processing reported in the literature for L2 learners. It is hypothesized that this slowdown in HL processing is due to cascading effects of covert competition between the two languages that starts at the level of spoken word recognition and culminates at the interfaces and, with time, it may become a major contributing force to heritage language attrition.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 14, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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