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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?

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.


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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


Title: The acquisition of auxiliaries BE and HAVE: an elicitation study
Author: Anna L. Theakston
Institution: University of Manchester
Author: Elena V. Lieven
Institution: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics; Syntax
Abstract: Auxiliary syntax is recognized to be one of the more complex aspects of language that children must acquire. However, there is much disagreement among researchers concerning children's early understanding of auxiliaries, with some researchers advocating a relatively abstract grammar as the basis for auxiliary syntax, while others view the acquisition of auxiliary syntax as the gradual accumulation of linguistic knowledge, initially tied to individual lexical items. To investigate the status of children's early knowledge of auxiliary syntax, two studies were carried out. In study 1, 28 children (M=3;1) were tested for their use of the auxiliaries BE and HAVE in declaratives, while in study 2, 19 children (M=3;3) were tested for their use of these auxiliaries in questions. Although overall error rates were low, there were differences between BE and HAVE in the proportion and types of errors observed in declaratives and questions, and some individual children showed very high error rates. The implications of these findings for different models of auxiliary syntax in children's early utterances are discussed.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 32, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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