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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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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: The Timing of Island Effects in Nonnative Sentence Processing
Author: Claudia Felser
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Universit├Ąt Potsdam
Author: Ian Cunnings
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Essex
Author: Claire Batterham
Institution: University of Essex
Author: Harald Clahsen
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~harald/
Institution: Universit├Ąt Potsdam
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Using the eye-movement monitoring technique in two reading comprehension experiments, this study investigated the timing of constraints on wh-dependencies (so-called island constraints) in first- and second-language (L1 and L2) sentence processing. The results show that both L1 and L2 speakers of English are sensitive to extraction islands during processing, suggesting that memory storage limitations affect L1 and L2 comprehenders in essentially the same way. Furthermore, these results show that the timing of island effects in L1 compared to L2 sentence comprehension is affected differently by the type of cue (semantic fit versus filled gaps) signaling whether dependency formation is possible at a potential gap site. Even though L1 English speakers showed immediate sensitivity to filled gaps but not to lack of semantic fit, proficient German-speaking learners of English as a L2 showed the opposite sensitivity pattern. This indicates that initial wh-dependency formation in L2 processing is based on semantic feature matching rather than being structurally mediated as in L1 comprehension.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 34, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site .



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