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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: Reading authentic texts: What counts as cognate?
Author: Laura Winther Balling
Institution: Copenhagen Business School
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science
Subject Language: Danish
Abstract: Most research on cognates has focused on words presented in isolation that are easily defined as cognate between L1 and L2. In contrast, this study investigates what counts as cognate in authentic texts and how such cognates are read. Participants with L1 Danish read news articles in their highly proficient L2, English, while their eye-movements were monitored. The experiment shows a cognate advantage for morphologically simple words, but only when cognateness is defined relative to translation equivalents that are appropriate in the context. For morphologically complex words, a cognate disadvantage is observed which may be due to problems of integrating cognate with non-cognate morphemes. The results show that fast non-selective access to the bilingual lexicon is conditioned by the communicative context. Importantly, a range of variables are statistically controlled in the regression analyses, including word predictability indexed by the conditional probability of each word.


This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 16, Issue 3.

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