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Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

By David Crystal

Offers a unique view of the English language and its development, and includes witty commentary and anecdotes along the way.


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The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics

By Asya Pereltsvaig and Martin W. Lewis

This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."


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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