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: Syntactic transfer in English-speaking Spanish learners
Author: Laura M. Morett
Institution: University of California
Author: Brian Macwhinney
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: English
Spanish
Abstract: Competition Model studies of second language learners have demonstrated that there is a gradual replacement of first language cues for thematic role assignment by second language cues. The current study introduced two methodological innovations in the investigation of this process. The first was the use of mouse-tracking methodology (Spivey, 2007) to assess the online process of thematic role assignment. The second was the inclusion of both a task with language-specific cues and a task with language-common cues. The results of the language-common cue task indicated that, as English-dominant learners become more balanced between English and Spanish, they rely increasingly on a coalition between the animacy cue and the subject–verb agreement cue. However, the results of the language-specific cue task reveal that learners also rely on the cue of prepositional case marking in Spanish and nominal case marking in English. These results provide evidence of forward transfer, backward transfer, and rapid acquisition of cue-based sentence interpretation strategies in second language learning.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 16, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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