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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: General and specific paraphrases of semantic relations between nouns
Author: Paul Nulty
Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science
Author: Fintan Costello
Institution: University College Dublin
Linguistic Field: Computational Linguistics
Abstract: Many English noun pairs suggest an almost limitless array of semantic interpretation. A fruit bowl might be described as a bowl for fruit, a bowl that contains fruit, a bowl for holding fruit, or even (perhaps in a modern sculpture class), a bowl made out of fruit. These interpretations vary in syntax, semantic denotation, plausibility, and level of semantic detail. For example, a headache pill is usually a pill for preventing headaches, but might, perhaps in the context of a list of side effects, be a pill that can cause headaches (Levi, J. N. 1978. The Syntax and Semantics of Complex Nominals. New York: Academic Press.). In addition to lexical ambiguity, both relational ambiguity and relational vagueness make automatic semantic interpretation of these combinations difficult. While humans parse these possibilities with ease, computational systems are only recently gaining the ability to deal with the complexity of lexical expressions of semantic relations. In this paper, we describe techniques for paraphrasing the semantic relations that can hold between nouns in a noun compound, using a semi-supervised probabilistic method to rank candidate paraphrases of semantic relations, and describing a new method for selecting plausible relational paraphrases at arbitrary levels of semantic specification. These methods are motivated by the observation that existing semantic relation classification schemes often exhibit a highly skewed class distribution, and that lexical paraphrases of semantic relations vary widely in semantic precision.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Natural Language Engineering Vol. 19, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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