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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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Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

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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.

New from Cambridge University Press!


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

Author: Fred R. Eckman
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.uwm.edu/Dept/FLL/faculty/eckman.html
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Author: Gregory K. Iverson
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.uwm.edu/~iverson
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: We present findings of an investigation into the acquisition of the English /s/–/ʃ/ contrast by native speakers of Korean and Japanese. Both of these languages have the phones [s] and [ʃ], and both languages exhibit a pattern—or motivate a rule—whereby /s/ is realized as [ʃ] before the vowel [i] and the glide [j]—that is, high front vocoids. The crucial difference, and the focus of this study, is that in Korean [s] and [ʃ] are allophones of /s/, whereas in Japanese the two sounds arguably instantiate different phonemes. We present production data showing that the differences in the functioning of [s] and [ʃ] in the second language learner’s native language have different consequences for the acquisition patterns and the error types produced in the learning of this contrast.


This article appears in Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 35, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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