Featured Linguist!

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: Which Is Important for Preschoolers' Production and Repair of Statements: What the Listener Knows or What the Listener Says?
Author: Elizabeth S. Nilsen
Institution: University of Waterloo
Author: Leilani Mangal
Institution: University of Waterloo
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Three- and four-year-olds participated in a referential communication task wherein they requested stickers from a knowledgeable or ignorant adult to complete a card. Following inadequate initial requests children were provided with three different feedback types: goal substitution (i.e. an incorrect sticker was provided), explicit statement of misunderstanding (‘I don't know which one you mean’), and vague feedback (‘Huh?’). Preschoolers' initial statements revealed sensitivity to the listener's perspective: more descriptors were provided when the listener did not have visual access to the card. Although listener's knowledge did not affect children's repair statements following feedback, the feedback type did: goal substitution elicited more repairs that included new descriptors, whereas vague responses elicited more repetition of initial requests than other feedback types. Children's age and verbal skills were related to the specific repair strategies used. Results demonstrate that preschoolers' use of cues from a conversational partner depends on the type of communicative task.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 39, Issue 5, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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