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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: Implicational markedness and frequency in constraint-based computational models of phonological learning
Author: Gaja Jarosz
Institution: Yale University
Linguistic Field: Computational Linguistics; Phonology
Abstract: This study examines the interacting roles of implicational markedness and frequency from the joint perspectives of formal linguistic theory, phonological acquisition and computational modeling. The hypothesis that child grammars are rankings of universal constraints, as in Optimality Theory (Prince & Smolensky, 1993/), that learning involves a gradual transition from an unmarked initial state to the target grammar, and that order of acquisition is guided by frequency, along the lines of Levelt, Schiller & Levelt (), is investigated. The study reviews empirical findings on syllable structure acquisition in Dutch, German, French and English, and presents novel findings on Polish. These comparisons reveal that, to the extent allowed by implicational markedness universals, frequency covaries with acquisition order across languages. From the computational perspective, the paper shows that interacting roles of markedness and frequency in a class of constraint-based phonological learning models embody this hypothesis, and their predictions are illustrated via computational simulation.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 37, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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