Featured Linguist!

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: Formulaic Language in L1 Acquisition
Author: Colin Bannard
Author: Elena V. Lieven
Institution: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Abstract: The recognition that speech formulas play a role in first language acquisition—that children reuse sequences of words taken directly and seemingly unanalyzed from the input—goes back to the earliest days of the field. Until fairly recently, however, such formulaic language was considered part of an early and soon-superseded stage of development. The last decade has seen the rise of a perspective on language development in which such formulas are central to language acquisition across development. According to this perspective, which is often known as the usage-based theory of language development, acquisition begins when children identify, infer a communicative function for, and start to utilize pieces of language of different sizes (single words and multiword sequences). Generalization, and as a result grammar, is an emergent property resulting from the ongoing coexistence of such sequences in a shared representational space. The growth in popularity of such an account, which represents a radical break from traditional models of grammatical development, has resulted in large part from the appearance of very large corpora of child–caregiver interactions. Such corpora have supported a new understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the learner, as well as allowing new naturalistic analyses of children's productions and the creation of stimuli for experiments, all of which offer considerable support for the usage-based position. This article offers a review of these developments.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Annual Review of Applied Linguistics Vol. 32, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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