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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: Second language assessment and morphosyntactic development
Author: Patti Spinner
Institution: Michigan State University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to begin work toward a grammatical assessment measure that could bridge the gap between theoretical work on grammatical development, on the one hand, and tools such as the Michigan Test (which uses multiple-choice questions on vocabulary and grammar) or the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages scale (which uses holistic descriptions of grammar use), on the other hand. Such a measure would need to be practical to administer with large groups. Two proposals of grammatical development (processability theory, Pienemann, 1998, 2005; and organic grammar, Vainikka & Young-Scholten, 2006) were applied to short samples of spontaneous production data from 48 adult second-language learners of English from mixed first-language backgrounds. The rapid profile scale successfully accounted for the learners’ development but is of somewhat limited use with short samples of data. The organic grammar placement scale may need to be further refined, but it includes important indicators of grammatical development. A preliminary proposal for using a combined measure with a rubric is presented.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 33, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site .



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