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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: Correlations between Dialogue Acts and Learning in Spoken Tutoring Dialogues
Diane Litman
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Author: Kate Forbes-Riley
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Computational Linguistics; Text/Corpus Linguistics
Abstract: We examine correlations between dialogue behaviors and learning in tutoring, using two corpora of spoken tutoring dialogues: a human-human corpus and a human-computer corpus. To formalize the notion of dialogue behavior, we manually annotate our data using a tagset of student and tutor dialogue acts relative to the tutoring domain. A unigram analysis of our annotated data shows that student learning correlates both with the tutor's dialogue acts and with the student's dialogue acts. A bigram analysis shows that student learning also correlates with joint patterns of tutor and student dialogue acts. In particular, our human-computer results show that the presence of student utterances that display reasoning (whether correct or incorrect), as well as the presence of reasoning questions asked by the computer tutor, both positively correlate with learning. Our human-human results show that student introductions of a new concept into the dialogue positively correlates with learning, but student attempts at deeper reasoning (particularly when incorrect), and the human tutor's attempts to direct the dialogue, both negatively correlate with learning. These results suggest that while the use of dialogue act n-grams is a promising method for examining correlations between dialogue behavior and learning, specific findings can differ in human versus computer tutoring, with the latter better motivating adaptive strategies for implementation.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Natural Language Engineering Vol. 12, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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