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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: Definitional and human constraints on structural annotation of English
Author: Geoffrey Sampson
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of South Africa
Author: Anna Babarczy
Institution: Budapest University of Technology & Economics
Linguistic Field: Computational Linguistics; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: The limits on predictability and refinement of English structural annotation are examined by comparing independent annotations, by experienced analysts using the same detailed published guidelines, of a common sample of written texts. Three conclusions emerge. First, while it is not easy to define watertight boundaries between the categories of a comprehensive structural annotation scheme, limits on inter-annotator agreement are in practice set more by the difficulty of conforming to a well-defined scheme than by the difficulty of making a scheme well defined. Secondly, although usage is often structurally ambiguous, commonly the alternative analyses are logical distinctions without a practical difference – which raises questions about the role of grammar in human linguistic behaviour. Finally, one specific area of annotation is strikingly more problematic than any other area examined, though this area (classifying the functions of clause-constituents) seems a particularly significant one for human language use. These findings should be of interest both to computational linguists and to students of language as an aspect of human cognition.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Natural Language Engineering Vol. 14, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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