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: Do you have a question for me? How children with Williams syndrome respond to ambiguous referential communication during a joint activity
Author: Daniela Plesa Skwerer
Institution: Boston University School of Medicine
Author: Emily Ammerman
Institution: Boston University
Author: Helen Tager-Flusberg
Institution: Boston University School of Medicine
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Abstract: Research on language in individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) has been fueled by persistent theoretical controversies for two decades. These shifted from initial focus on dissociations between language and cognition functions, to examining the paradox of socio-communicative impairments despite high sociability and relatively proficient expressive language. We investigated possible sources of communicative difficulties in WS in a collaborative referential communication game. Five- to thirteen-year-old children with WS were compared to verbal mental age- and to chronological age-matched typically developing children in their ability to consider different types of information to select a speaker's intended referent from an array of items. Significant group differences in attention deployment to object locations, and in the number and types of clarification requests, indicated the use of less efficient and less mature strategies for reference resolution in WS than expected based on mental age, despite learning effects similar to those of the comparison groups, shown as the game progressed.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 40, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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