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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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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

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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: Compositional production in Spanish second language conjugation
Author: Nora Presson
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Author: Nuria Sagarra
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://span-port.rutgers.edu/personnel/30-faculty/452-nuria-sagarra
Institution: Rutgers University
Author: Brian Macwhinney
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
Author: John Kowalski
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: Spanish
Abstract: Dual-route models of second language (L2) morphology (Clahsen & Felser, 2006; Ullman, 2004) argue that adult L2 learners rely on full-form retrieval, and therefore cannot use combination to produce inflected forms. We tested this prediction with learning of Spanish verb conjugations. Beginning (Experiment 1) and intermediate (Experiment 2) learners (total N = 816) completed 80–90 minutes of web-based training, conjugating regular and subregular verbs in present and preterite tense. Tests of generalization items showed that training led to substantial improvement, equally for metalinguistic and analogical feedback. Comparison with an untrained group showed that gains were maintained 18 weeks after training. In contrast with dual-route model predictions, pre-test accuracy and learning gains were strongly predicted by conjugation pattern, showing that full-form retrieval was insufficient to explain learner performance. Results indicate that adult L2 learners apply compositional analysis, and that conjugation patterns are learned on the basis of their relative cue validity.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 16, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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