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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?

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

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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:   'Outperforming' Native Speakers
Author:   Nigel Duffield
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Applied Linguistics
Language Acquisition

Query:   I have recently become interested in a phenomenon in SLA, where
intermediate and advanced L2 learners ''outperform'' native speakers in
acceptability judgment tasks (both implicit and explicit tasks). By
''outperform'' I intend instances where L2 learners' judgments agree better
with those of (native-speaker) *theoretical linguists* than do those of
naive native-speakers (the so-called ''control subjects''). I have observed
this pattern of results in various tasks looking at distinct morphological
and syntactic phenomena, and have already made some tentative efforts to
explain it (see for example, Moderne Sprachen 48: 95-117).

I would very much like to know, though, how general this phenomenon is
(hopefully, it's not just an artefact of my own experimental methods!).
Therefore if other colleagues have observed similar odd results in their
own experiments, I would be most grateful if they would let me know. Please
contact me directly, and I will summarise for the List. Thanks very much.

Nigel Duffield
LL Issue: 17.912
Date posted: 24-Mar-2006


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