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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: Tree-Adjoining Grammars for Optimality Theory Syntax
Paper URL: http://www.cog.jhu.edu/grad-students/savova/pdf/TAG_7proceedings.pdf
Author: Virginia Savova
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.mit.edu/~savova
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Author: Robert Frank
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://hebb.cog.jhu.edu/faculty/frank/
Institution: Johns Hopkins University
Linguistic Field: Syntax
Subject Language: English
German
Abstract: This paper explores an optimality-theoretic approach to syntax based on Tree-Adjoining Grammars (TAG), where two separate optimizations are responsible for the construction of local pieces of tree structure (elementary trees) and the combination of these pieces of structure. The local optimization takes a non-recursive predicate-argument structure (PA-chunk) as an underlying representation and chooses the best tree structure realizing it. The linking optimization takes as an underlying representation a tree whose nodes are labeled by PA-chunks and chooses among a set of structurally isomorphic TAG derivation trees. We provide formal definitions of the OTAG system and prove equivalence in strong generative capacity between OTAG and TAG. Finally, we apply the mechanics of the formal system to the analysis of cross-serial dependencies in Swiss-German.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Venue: TAG +7, 2004
Publication Info: Proceedings of TAG+7, 2004
URL: http://www.cog.jhu.edu/grad-students/savova/pdf/TAG_7proceedings.pdf


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