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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

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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: Object clitics and their omission in child L2 French: The contributions of processing limitations and L1 transfer
Author: Theres Grüter
Institution: University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
Author: Martha Crago
Institution: Dalhousie University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics; Syntax
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
French
Spanish
Abstract: This article explores the widely documented difficulty with object clitics in the acquisition of French. The study investigates the effects of L1 transfer and processing limitations on the production and comprehension of object clitics in child L2 learners of French with different L1 backgrounds (Chinese, Spanish). The Spanish-speaking learners performed better than Chinese-speaking learners on clitic-related tasks, indicating a facilitative effect of transfer when the L1 also has object clitics. Yet no evidence was found for (negative) transfer of null objects from Chinese to French, as learners consistently rejected interpretations requiring referential null objects on a receptive task. The frequency of Chinese-speaking learners’ object omissions in production was negatively correlated with an independent measure of working memory (backward digit span), consistent with the hypothesis that object clitic omission is affected by processing limitations. These findings are discussed within a psycholinguistic model of syntactic encoding during language production.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 15, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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