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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."

New from Cambridge University Press!


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: Knowing more than one can say: The early regular plural
Author: Jennifer A. Zapf
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Author: Linda B. Smith
Institution: Indiana University Bloomington
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Abstract: This paper reports on partial knowledge in two-year-old children's learning of the regular English plural. In Experiments 1 and 2, children were presented with one kind and its label and then were either presented with two of that same kind (A→AA) or the initial picture next to a very different thing (A→AB). The children in A→AA rarely produced the plural. The children in A→AB supplied the singular form of A but children in A→AA did not. Experiment 3 compared the performance of English-speaking and Japanese-speaking children in A→AA with common and novel nouns. The Japanese-speaking children (learning a language without a mandatory plural) supplied the singular form of A but the English-speaking children did not. The findings indicate young children learning English know there is a plural to be learned they have fully worked out the rules of production or acquired the necessary singular–plural pairs for broad generalization.


This article appears IN Journal of Child Language Vol. 36, Issue 5.

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