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: Learning the lexical aspects of a second language at different proficiencies: A neural computational study
Author: Cristiano Cuppini
Institution: Università di Bologna
Author: Elisa Magosso
Institution: Università di Bologna
Author: Mauro Ursino
Institution: Università di Bologna
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Language Acquisition; Semantics
Abstract: We present an original model designed to study how a second language (L2) is acquired in bilinguals at different proficiencies starting from an existing L1. The model assumes that the conceptual and lexical aspects of languages are stored separately: conceptual aspects in distinct topologically organized Feature Areas, and lexical aspects in a single Lexical Network. Lexical and semantic aspects are then linked together during Hebbian learning phases by presenting L2 lexical items and their L1 translation equivalents. The model hypothesizes the existence of a competitive mechanism to solve conflicts and simulate language switching tasks. Results demonstrate that, at the beginning of training, an L2 lexicon must parasitize its L1 equivalent to access its conceptual meaning. At intermediate proficiency, L2 items may evoke their semantics independently of L1, but with a high risk of interference. At higher proficiency, the L2 representation becomes progressively similar to the L1 representation, according to Green's (2003) convergence hypothesis.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 16, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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