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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?

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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.


Academic Paper


Title: Children's preference for HAS and LOCATED relations: A word learning bias for noun–noun compounds
Author: Andrea Krott
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Birmingham
Author: Christina L. Gagne
Homepage: http://publish.uwo.ca/~clgagne
Institution: University of Western Ontario
Author: Elena Nicoladis
Institution: University of Alberta
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Abstract: The present study investigates children's bias when interpreting novel noun–noun compounds (e.g. kig donka) that refer to combinations of novel objects (kig and donka). More specifically, it investigates children's understanding of modifier–head relations of the compounds and their preference for HAS or LOCATED relations (e.g. a donka that HAS a kig or a donka that is LOCATED near a kig) rather than a FOR relation (e.g. a donka that is used FOR kigs). In a forced-choice paradigm, two- and three-year-olds preferred interpretations with HAS/LOCATED relations, while five-year-olds and adults showed no preference for either interpretation. We discuss possible explanations for this preference and its relation to another word learning bias that is based on perceptual features of the referent objects, i.e. the shape bias. We argue that children initially focus on a perceptual stability rather than a pure conceptual stability when interpreting the meaning of nouns.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 37, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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