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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: Acquiring diglossia: mutual influences of formal and colloquial Arabic on children's grammaticality judgments
Author: Reem Khamis-Dakwar
Institution: Kyoto University
Author: Karen Froud
Institution: Columbia University
Author: Peter Gordon
Institution: Columbia University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: Arabic, Standard
Arabic, South Levantine
Abstract: There are differences and similarities between Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and spoken varieties of Arabic, in all language domains. To obtain preliminary insights into interactions between the acquisition of spoken and standard varieties of a language in a diglossic situation, we employed forced-choice grammaticality judgments to investigate morphosyntactic knowledge of MSA and the local variant of Palestinian Colloquial Arabic (PCA), in 60 Arabic-speaking children aged 6 ; 4 to 12 ; 4, from a school in Nazareth. We used morphosyntactic structures which either differed or were similar between PCA and standard Arabic. Children generally performed better on items presented in PCA than in standard Arabic, with the exception of constructions involving negation. Children performed better on items when the two constructions were similar in both language varieties. We discuss the results with respect to the multiple factors that affect acquisition in a diglossic situation, and relate our findings to the possibility of interference effects of diglossia on learning.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 39, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site .



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