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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

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Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

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: Universität Mannheim
Author: Monika S Schmid
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Rijksuniversiteit 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.


This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 34, Issue 2.

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