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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: Learned attention in adult language acquisition
Author: Nick C. Ellis
Institution: University of Michigan
Author: Nuria Sagarra
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://span-port.rutgers.edu/personnel/30-faculty/452-nuria-sagarra
Institution: Rutgers University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
English
Latin
Russian
Spanish
Abstract: This study investigates associative learning explanations of the limited attainment of adult compared to child language acquisition in terms of learned attention to cues. It replicates and extends Ellis and Sagarra (2010) in demonstrating short- and long-term learned attention in the acquisition of temporal reference in Latin. In Experiment 1, salient adverbs were better learned than less salient verb inflections, early experience of adverbial cues blocked the acquisition of verbal morphology, and, contrariwise—but to a lesser degree—early experience of tense reduced later learning of adverbs. Experiment 2 demonstrated long-term transfer: Native speakers of Chinese (no tense morphology) were less able than native speakers of Spanish or Russian (rich morphology) to acquire inflectional cues from the same language experience where adverbial and verbal cues were equally available. Learned attention to tense morphology in Latin was continuous rather than discrete, ordered with regard to first language: Chinese < English < Russian < Spanish. A meta-analysis of the combined results of Ellis and Sagarra and the current study separates out positive and negative learned attention effects: The average effect size for entrenchment was large (+1.23), whereas that for blocking was moderate (–0.52).

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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