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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

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How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: An event-related potential study of the concreteness effect between Chinese nouns and verbs
Paper URL:
Author: Pei-Shu Tsai
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: National Yang-Ming University
Author: Brenda H.-Y. Yu
Institution: (personal interest - not currently working at a university)
Author: Chia-Ying Lee
Institution: Academia Sinica
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Neurolinguistics
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Abstract: The effect of concreteness has been heavily studied on nouns. However, there are scant reports on the effect for verbs. The present research independently manipulated concreteness and word class of Chinese disyllabic words in tasks that required different depths of semantic processing: a lexical decision task and a semantic relatedness judgment task. The results replicated the concreteness effect for nouns, indicating that concrete nouns elicited larger N400 responses than abstract nouns with a broad distribution over the scalp, irrespective of the task demands. Similar to the findings from English unambiguous verbs, the concreteness effect for Chinese verbs was also robustly observed from fontal to posterior electrodes in both tasks. These results suggest that when Chinese nouns and verbs are typical and unambiguous in both meanings and word classes, the similar topographic distributions of the N400 components reflect the same underlying cause(s) of the concreteness effect for these two word classes.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Brain Research, Volume 1253, 9 February, 2009, Pages 149-160
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