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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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Academic Paper


Title: Splitting the notion of 'agent': case-marking in early child Hindi
Author: Bhuvana Narasinham
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.mpi.nl/world/persons/profession/bhuvana.html
Institution: Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Syntax
Abstract: Two construals of agency are evaluated as possible innate biases guiding case-marking in children. A BROAD construal treats agentive arguments of multi-participant and single-participant events as being similar. A NARROWER construal is restricted to agents of multi-participant events. In Hindi, ergative case-marking is associated with agentive participants of multi-participant, perfective actions. Children relying on a broad or narrow construal of agent are predicted to overextend ergative case-marking to agentive participants of transitive imperfective actions and/or intransitive actions. Longitudinal data from three children acquiring Hindi (1;7 to 3;9) reveal no overextension errors, suggesting early sensitivity to distributional patterns in the input.

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This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 32, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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