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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

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: Temporal markers of prosodic boundaries in children's speech production
Author: Jana Dankovicov 
Institution: University College London
Author: Bill Wells
Institution: University of Sheffield
Author: Sue Peppé
Institution: Queen Margaret University
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis; Phonology; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: It is often thought that the ability to use prosodic features accurately is mastered in early childhood. However, research to date has produced conflicting evidence, notably about the development of children's ability to mark prosodic boundaries. This paper investigates (i) whether, by the age of eight, children use temporal boundary features in their speech in a systematic way, and (ii) to what extent adult listeners are able to interpret their production accurately and unambiguously. The material consists of minimal pairs of utterances: one utterance includes a compound noun, in which there is no prosodic boundary after the first noun, e.g. 'coffee-cake and tea', while the other utterance includes simple nouns, separated by a prosodic boundary, e.g. 'coffee, cake and tea'. Ten eight-year-old children took part, and their productions were rated by 23 adult listeners. Two phonetic exponents of prosodic boundaries were analysed: pause duration and phrase-final lengthening. The results suggest that, at the age of 8, there is considerable variability among children in their ability to mark phrase boundaries of the kind analysed in the experiment, with some children failing to differentiate between the members of the minimal pairs reliably. The differences between the children in their use of boundary features were reflected in the adults' perceptual judgements. Both temporal cues to prosodic boundaries significantly affected the perceptual ratings, with pause being a more salient determinant of ratings than phrase-final lengthening.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of the International Phonetic Association Vol. 34, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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