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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: Introduction
Author: Alison Mackey
Institution: Georgetown University
Author: Susan M. Gass
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: https://www.msu.edu/~gass/
Institution: Michigan State University, USA
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Language Acquisition
Abstract: Initially, the exploration of interactions between native speakers (NSs) and nonproficient nonnative speakers (NNSs) of a language was descriptive in nature, and the research largely focused on the ways in which conversations between L2 learners and NSs were structured. In this early descriptive groundwork (e.g., Gass & Varonis, 1985; Long, 1980; Pica, 1987, 1988; Pica, Young, & Doughty, 1987; Varonis & Gass, 1985), the goal was to describe the ways in which conversations with language learners at lower levels of proficiency differed from conversations with fluent speakers. Naturally, such research included a good deal of analysis and investigation into the frequency, functions, and patterns of negotiation routines, including clarification requests, comprehension checks, and confirmation checks, as well as into the possible functions of comprehension as a stepping stone to learning. In one example of such early research, Wagner-Gough and Hatch (1975) reported on the linguistic behavior of a young Chinese speaker learning English who often incorporated information from a preceding utterance to construct his own discourse. They presented this tendency as support for their now famous argument that conversation was used not only to practice the L2 but also as an actual venue to support learning. From this descriptive research evolved investigations into the value and function of particular discourse patterns. For example, Long (1983a, 1983b) attempted to provide an explanatory framework for the descriptive data that were accruing. He proposed that the discourse structure and the interactional modifications that were part of this discourse helped the learner to comprehend what was being said--an essential part of acquisition. In other words, specific aspects of interaction provided learners with opportunities to gain new linguistic information. Many studies throughout the 1980s and early 1990s examined the links between conversation and comprehension.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 28, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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