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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: Explaining the disambiguation effect: Don't exclude mutual exclusivity
Author: Vikram K. Jaswal
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.virginia.edu/psychology/people/detail.php?id=209
Institution: University of Virginia
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Abstract: When they see a familiar object and an unfamiliar one, and are asked to select the referent of a novel label, children usually choose the unfamiliar object. We asked whether this ‘disambiguation effect’ reflects an expectation that each object has just one label (mutual exclusivity), or an expectation about the intent of the speaker who uses a novel label. In , when a speaker gazed at or pointed toward the familiar object in a novel–familiar pair, children aged 2 ; 6 (N=64) selected that object in response to a neutral request, but were much less likely to do so in response to a label request. In , when a speaker both gazed at and pointed toward the familiar object, toddlers (N=16) overwhelmingly selected the familiar object in response to a label request. The expectation that each object has just one label can lead children to discount some individual behavioral cues to a speaker's intent, though it can be overridden given a combination of pragmatic cues.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 37, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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