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"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?

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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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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.

Query Details

Query Subject:   Request for material about deictic localization / local cases
Author:   Matthias Deja
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Psycholinguistics

Query:   Dear LINGUISTs,

I've done a pretty thorough reveiw of the psycholinguistic literature
on lexical ambiguity, but I'm left with a question that doesn't seem
to be addressed directly in any of the empirical studies I've
read. It's this: if an ambiguous word has a strongly dominant sense,
is that sense most likely to be the one actually selected in neutral
contexts? Of course the intuitive answer seems obivously to be ''yes,''
but I haven't found any formal studies affirming this, as most studies
do not explicitly relate dominance bias or strength of activation with
the processes of sense selection.

Two more general questions: have the findings of Tabossi (refs. below)
pretty much spelled an end to a purely modularist view of lexial

And finally, to what extent are connectionist explanations of lexical
processing like Kawamoto's (see below) gaining credence among

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- ----------------

Kawamoto, Alan (1993). `Nonlinear Dynamics in the Resolution of
Lexical Ambiguity: A Parallel Distributed Processing Account,' Journal
of Memory and Language, 32, 474-516.

Tabossi, P. 1988. `Accessing lexical ambiguity in different types of
sentential context.' Journal of Memory and Language 27, 324-340.

Tabossi, P., Colombo, L., & Job, R. 1987. `Accessing lexical
ambiguity: Effects of context and dominance.' Psychological Research
49, 161-167.

Tabossi, P., & Zardon, F. 1993. `Processing ambiguous
words in context.' Journal of Memory and Language 32, 359-372.

- -----------------


David Wharton
Department of Classical Studies
237 McIver Building
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro, NC 27412-5001
email: whartond@uncg.edu tel. (910)334-5214
LL Issue: 8.981
Date posted: 02-Jul-1997


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