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: Functional reorganization in the developing lexicon: separable and changing influences of lexical and phonological variables on children's fast-mapping
Author: Cristina Mckean
Institution: Newcastle University
Author: Carolyn Letts
Institution: Newcastle University
Author: David M. Howard
Institution: University of York
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Abstract: Neighbourhood Density (ND) and Phonotactic Probability (PP) influence word learning in children. This influence appears to change over development but the separate developmental trajectories of influence of PP and ND on word learning have not previously been mapped. This study examined the cross-sectional developmental trajectories of influence of PP and ND on fast-mapping in thirty-eight English-speaking children aged 3 ; 01–5 ; 02, in a task varying PP and ND orthogonally. PP and ND exerted separable influences on fast-mapping. Overall, low ND supported better fast-mapping. The influence of PP changed across the developmental trajectory, ‘switching’ from a high to a low PP advantage. A potential explanation for this ‘switch’ is advanced, suggesting that it represents functional reorganization in the developing lexicon, which emerges from changes in the developing lexicon, as phonological knowledge is abstracted from lexical knowledge, over development.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 40, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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