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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: The role of within-language vocabulary size in children's semantic development: evidence from bilingual children
Author: Margaux Keith
Institution: University of Alberta
Author: Elena Nicoladis
Institution: University of Alberta
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Semantics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This study tested whether bilingual children show a lag in semantic development (the schematic–categorical shift) relative to monolingual children due to smaller vocabularies within a language. Twenty French–English bilingual and twenty English monolingual children (seven to ten years old) participated in a picture-naming task in English. Their errors were coded for schematic or categorical relations. The bilingual children made more schematic errors than monolinguals, a difference that was accounted for statistically by vocabulary score differences. This result suggests that within-language vocabulary size is one important factor in semantic development and may explain why bilingual children sometimes show a lag relative to monolingual children in one of their languages, perhaps the language in which they have received less formal instruction.


This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 40, Issue 4.

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