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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: Self-Organization in the Evolution of Speech
Paper URL: http://www.csl.sony.fr/~py/book.htm
Author: Pierre-Yves Oudeyer
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.csl.sony.fr/~py
Institution: Sony Computer Science Laboratory, Paris
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Computational Linguistics; Historical Linguistics; Neurolinguistics; Philosophy of Language
Abstract: Speech is the principal supporting medium of language. In this book Pierre-Yves Oudeyer considers how spoken language first emerged. He presents an original and integrated view of the interactions between self-organization and natural selection, reformulates questions about the origins of speech, and puts forward what at first sight appears to be a startling proposal - that speech can be spontaneously generated by the coupling of evolutionarily simple neural structures connecting perception and production. He explores this hypothesis by constructing a computational system to model the effects of linking auditory and vocal motor neural nets. He shows that a population of agents which used holistic and unarticulated vocalizations at the outset are inexorably led to a state in which their vocalizations have become discrete, combinatorial, and categorized in the same way by all group members. Furthermore, the simple syntactic rules that have emerged to regulate the combinations of sounds exhibit the fundamental properties of modern human speech systems.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: Oxford University Press
Publication Info: Oudeyer, P-Y. (2006) Self-Organization in the Evolution of Speech, Studies in the Evolution of Language, Oxford University Press.
URL: http://www.csl.sony.fr/~py/book.htm


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