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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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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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Academic Paper


Title: The influence of sentence context and accented speech on lexical access in second-language auditory word recognition
Author: Evelyne Lagrou
Institution: Ghent University
Author: Robert J. Hartsuiker
Institution: Ghent University
Author: Wouter Duyck
Institution: Ghent University
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science
Subject Language: Dutch
English
Abstract: Until now, research on bilingual auditory word recognition has been scarce, and although most studies agree that lexical access is language-nonselective, there is less consensus with respect to the influence of potentially constraining factors. The present study investigated the influence of three possible constraints. We tested whether language nonselectivity is restricted by (a) a sentence context in a second language (L2), (b) the semantic constraint of the sentence, and (c) the native language of the speaker. Dutch–English bilinguals completed an English auditory lexical decision task on the last word of low- and high-constraining sentences. Sentences were pronounced by a native Dutch speaker with English as the L2, or by a native English speaker with Dutch as the L2. Interlingual homophones (e.g., lief “sweet” – leaf /liːf/) were always recognized more slowly than control words. The semantic constraint of the sentence and the native accent of the speaker modulated, but did not eliminate interlingual homophone effects. These results are discussed within language-nonselective models of lexical access in bilingual auditory word recognition.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 16, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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