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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: The Use of Prosodic Cues in Learning New Words in an Unfamiliar Language
Author: Sahyang Kim
Institution: Hongik University
Author: Mirjam Broersma
Institution: F.C. Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
Author: Taehong Cho
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://tcho.hanyang.ac.kr/Frame_right.htm
Institution: Hanyang University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: Dutch
Korean
Abstract: The artificial language learning paradigm was used to investigate to what extent the use of prosodic features is universally applicable or specifically language driven in learning an unfamiliar language, and how nonnative prosodic patterns can be learned. Listeners of unrelated languages—Dutch (n = 100) and Korean (n = 100)—participated. The words to be learned varied with prosodic cues: no prosody, fundamental frequency (F0) rise in initial and final position, final lengthening, and final lengthening plus F0 rise. Both listener groups performed well above chance level with the final lengthening cue, confirming its crosslinguistic use. As for final F0 rise, however, Dutch listeners did not use it until the second exposure session, whereas Korean listeners used it at initial exposure. Neither group used initial F0 rise. On the basis of these results, F0 and durational cues appear to be universal in the sense that they are used across languages for their universally applicable auditory-perceptual saliency, but how they are used is language specific and constrains the use of available prosodic cues in processing a nonnative language. A discussion on how these findings bear on theories of second language (L2) speech perception and learning is provided.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 34, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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