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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: Grammatical processing in language learners
Author: Claudia Felser
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Universität Potsdam
Linguistic Field: Syntax
Abstract: The ability to process the linguistic input in real time is crucial for successfully acquiring a language, and yet little is known about how language learners comprehend or produce language in real time. Against this background, we have conducted a detailed study of grammatical processing in language learners using experimental psycholinguistic techniques and comparing different populations (mature native speakers, child first language [L1] and adult second language [L2] learners) as well as different domains of language (morphology and syntax). This article presents an overview of the results from this project and of other previous studies, with the aim of explaining how grammatical processing in language learners differs from that of mature native speakers. For child L1 processing, we will argue for a continuity hypothesis claiming that the child's parsing mechanism is basically the same as that of mature speakers and does not change over time. Instead, empirical differences between child and mature speaker's processing can be explained by other factors such as the child's limited working memory capacity and by less efficient lexical retrieval. In nonnative (adult L2) language processing, some striking differences to native speakers were observed in the domain of sentence processing. Adult learners are guided by lexical–semantic cues during parsing in the same way as native speakers, but less so by syntactic information. We suggest that the observed L1/L2 differences can be explained by assuming that the syntactic representations adult L2 learners compute during comprehension are shallower and less detailed than those of native speakers.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 27, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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