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"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: Quantitative measurement of prosodic strength in Mandarin
Paper URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0167-6393(03)00100-6
Author: Greg Kochanski
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://kochanski.org/gpk
Institution: Oxford University Phonetics Laboratory
Author: Chilin Shih
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/cls/www/shih.html
Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Author: Hongyan Jing
Email: click here to access email
Institution: IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
Linguistic Field: General Linguistics
Abstract: We describe models of Mandarin prosody that allow us to make quantitative measurements of prosodic strengths. These models use Stem-ML, which is a phenomenological model of the muscle dynamics and planning process that controls the tension of the vocal folds, and therefore the pitch of speech. Because Stem-ML describes the interactions between nearby tones, we were able to capture surface tonal variations using a highly constrained model with only one template for each lexical tone category, and a single prosodic strength per word. The model accurately reproduces the intonation of the speaker, capturing 87% of the variance of f0 with these strength parameters. The result reveals alternating metrical patterns in words, and shows that the speaker marks a hierarchy of boundaries by controlling the prosodic strength of words. The strengths we obtain are also correlated with syllable duration, mutual information and part-of-speech.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: Speech Communication
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0167-6393(03)00100-6


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