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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: Individual differences in syntactic priming in language acquisition
Author: Evan Kidd
Institution: University of Manchester
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Although the syntactic priming methodology is a promising tool for language acquisition researchers, using the technique with children raises issues that are not problematic in adult research. The current paper reports on an individual differences study that addressed some of these outstanding issues. (a) Does priming purely reflect syntactic knowledge, or are other processes involved? (b) How can we explain individual differences, which are the norm rather than the exception? (c) Do priming effects in developmental populations reflect the same mechanisms thought to be responsible for priming in adults? One hundred twenty-two (N = 122) children aged 4 years, 5 months (4;5)–6;11 (mean = 5;7) completed a syntactic priming task that aimed to prime the English passive construction, in addition to standardized tests of vocabulary, grammar, and nonverbal intelligence. The results confirmed the widely held assumption that syntactic priming reflects the presence of syntactic knowledge, but not in every instance. However, they also suggested that nonlinguistic processes contribute significantly to priming. Priming was in no way related to age. Finally, the children's linguistic knowledge and nonverbal ability determined the manner in which they were primed. The results provide a clearer picture of what it means to be primed in acquisition.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 33, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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