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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Acquisition of compound words in Chinese–English bilingual children: Decomposition and cross-language activation
Author: Chenxi Cheng
Institution: University of Maryland
Author: Min Wang
Institution: University of Maryland
Author: Charles A Perfetti
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Abstract: This study investigated compound processing and cross-language activation in a group of Chinese–English bilingual children, and they were divided into four groups based on the language proficiency levels in their two languages. A lexical decision task was designed using compound words in both languages. The compound words in one language contained two free constituent morphemes that mapped onto the desired translations in the other language, such as tooth(牙) brush(刷).Two types of compound words were included: transparent (e.g., toothbrush) and opaque (e.g., deadline) words. Results showed that children were more accurate in judging semantically transparent compounds in English. The lexicality of translated compounds in Chinese affected lexical judgment accuracy on English compounds, independent of semantic transparency and language proficiency. Implications for compound processing and bilingual lexicon models are discussed.


This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 32, Issue 3.

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