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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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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

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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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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: The impact of verb form, sentence position, home language, and second language proficiency on subject–verb agreement in child second language Dutch
Author: Elma Blom
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Universiteit Utrecht
Author: Harald R. Baayen
Institution: Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics
Abstract: It has been argued that children learning a second language (L2) omit agreement inflection because of communication demands. The conclusion of these studies is that L2 children know the morphological and syntactic properties of agreement inflection, but sometimes insert an inflectional default form (i.e., the bare verb) in production. The present study focuses on factors that explain errors with subject–verb agreement in the speech of children learning Dutch as their L2. Analyses of experimentally obtained production data from 4- to 9-year-old L2 children reveal that verb form, sentence position, home language, and L2 proficiency determine accuracy with subject–verb agreement in the L2. Most errors were omissions of inflection, in line with the above hypothesis. However, in more exceptional contexts, the children also substituted verb forms, which is more difficult to reconcile with the claim that L2 children's errors reflect insertion of a default form.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 34, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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