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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: Filler-gap dependencies and island constraints in second-language sentence processing
Author: Akira Omaki
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://mind.cog.jhu.edu/~omaki/
Institution: Johns Hopkins University
Author: Barbara Schulz
Institution: University of South Carolina
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: English
Spanish
Abstract: Second-language (L2) sentence processing may differ from processing in a native language in a variety of ways, and it has been argued that one major difference is that L2 learners can only construct shallow representations that lack structural details (e.g., Clahsen & Felser, 2006). The present study challenges this hypothesis by comparing the extent to which advanced L1 Spanish-L2 English learners and English native speakers make use of the relative clause island constraint in constructing filler-gap dependencies. In offline acceptability judgment and online self-paced reading experiments that used stimuli adapted from Traxler and Pickering (1996), both the L2 group and the native-speaker control group demonstrated clear evidence for application of the relative clause island constraint. These findings suggest that advanced L2 learners not only build abstract structural representations but also rapidly constrain the active search for a gap location. These results cast doubt on the proposal that L2 learners are unable to build structural representations with grammatical precision.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Studies in Second Language Acquisition Vol. 33, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site .



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