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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: Measuring metasyntactic ability among heritage language children
Author: Daphnée Simard
Institution: Université du Québec à Montréal
Author: Veronique Fortier
Institution: Université du Québec à Montréal
Author: Denis Foucambert
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Université du Québec à Montréal
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Abstract: (MSA) refers to the conscious reflection about syntactic aspects of language and the deliberate control of these aspects (Gombert, 1992). It appears from previous studies that heritage-language learners tend to demonstrate lower MSA than their monolingual counterparts (Lesaux & Siegel, 2003). In the present study, we verified whether the same results would be obtained among Portuguese heritage children living in a French-speaking environment when their MSA is measured using two different tasks. The participants were 22 Portuguese heritage children and 22 French monolingual elementary school children (mean age = 10.9 years). Five measurement instruments were used: a reading comprehension task; a language proficiency task; two metasyntactic tasks: a replication task in which the children had to identify and reproduce an error, and a repetition task, in which they had to repeat sentences containing syntactic errors; and a sociodemographic questionnaire. The results showed that when reading comprehension and language proficiency were controlled for, no effect of language background could be observed. However, reading comprehension and language proficiency differently influenced performances on MSA tasks.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 16, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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