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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: Constructions and their Acquisition: Islands and the distinctiveness of their occupancy
Paper URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/arcl.7.08ell
Author: Nick C. Ellis
Institution: University of Michigan
Author: Fernando Gonçalves Ferreira-Junior
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://lattes.cnpq.br/4773337313391912
Institution: Instituto Federal de Minas Gerais
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Abstract: This paper presents a psycholinguistic analysis of constructions and their acquisition. It investigates effects upon naturalistic second language acquisition of type/token distributions in the islands comprising the linguistic form of English verb-argument constructions (VACs: VL verb locative, VOL verb object locative, VOO ditransitive) in the ESF corpus (Perdue, 1993).
 Goldberg (2006) argued that Zipfian type/token frequency distribution of verbs in natural language might optimize construction learning by providing one very high frequency exemplar that is also prototypical in meaning. Ellis & Ferreira-Junior (2009) confirmed that in the naturalistic L2A of English, VAC verb type/token distribution in the input is Zipfian and learners first acquire the most frequent, prototypical and generic exemplar (e.g. put in VOL, give in VOO, etc.). This paper further illustrates how acquisition is affected by the frequency and frequency distribution of exemplars within each island of the construction (e.g. [Subj V Obj Oblpath/loc]), by their prototypicality, and, using a variety of psychological and corpus linguistic association metrics, by their contingency of form-function mapping.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: Annual Review of Cognitive Linguistics
Publication Info: MS
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/arcl.7.08ell


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