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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: Perceived foreign accent in first language attrition and second language acquisition: The impact of age of acquisition and bilingualism
Author: Holger Hopp
Institution: Universit├Ąt Mannheim
Author: Monika S Schmid
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Groningen
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics
Abstract: This study investigates constraints on ultimate attainment in second language (L2) pronunciation in a direct comparison of perceived foreign accent of 40 late L2 learners and 40 late first language (L1) attriters of German. Both groups were compared with 20 predominantly monolingual controls. Contrasting participants who acquired the target language from birth (monolinguals, L1 attriters) with late L2 learners, on the one hand, and bilinguals (L1 attriters, L2ers) with monolinguals, on the other hand, allowed us to disentangle the impacts of age of onset and bilingualism in speech production. At the group level, the attriters performed indistinguishably from controls, and both differed from the L2 group. However, 80% of all L2ers scored within the native (attriter) range. Correlational analyses with background factors further found some effects of use and language aptitude. These results show that acquiring a language from birth is not sufficient to guarantee nativelike pronunciation, and late acquisition does not necessarily prevent it. The results are discussed in the light of models on the role of age and cross-linguistic influence in L2 acquisition.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 34, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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