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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: The Use of Nouns and Verbs by Japanese Children and Their Caregivers in Book-reading and Toy-playing Contexts
Author: Tamiko Ogura
Institution: Kobe University
Author: Philip S. Dale
Institution: University of New Mexico
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Syntax
Subject Language: Japanese
Abstract: Japanese provides a valuable contrast for crosslinguistic studies of noun and verb dominance in early child language and the effect of input on the early lexicon. In this study, 31 Japanese children between 1;0 and 2;0 and their caregivers were recorded in two contexts: joint book-reading and playing with toys. Context had the largest effect, as nouns were much more frequent in the book context. Noun dominance was constant across development in the book context, but in the toy context there was a shift away as children developed from single words through the presyntactic stage to the syntactic stage. Caregiver language was verb dominant in a number of respects across development in the toy context, and thus was not closely related to child lexical balance. We conclude that in early lexical development, all children have a conceptual disposition to learn nouns. With vocabulary growth and the emergence of grammar, the proportion of verbs increases substantially, and at this stage properties of the input language may influence development.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 33, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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