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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: A Cue-Based Approach to the Acquisition of Grammatical Gender in Russian
Author: Yulia Rodina
Institution: Center for Advanced Study in Theoretical Linguistics, U Tromsø
Author: Marit Westergaard
Institution: Center for Advanced Study in Theoretical Linguistics, U Tromsø
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Subject Language: Russian
Abstract: This article discusses the acquisition of gender in Russian, focusing on some exceptional subclasses of nouns that display a mismatch between semantics and morphology. Experimental results from twenty-five Russian-speaking monolinguals (age 2 ; 6–4 ; 0) are presented and, within a cue-based approach to language acquisition, we argue that children rely on certain morphosyntactic micro-cues in the course of acquisition of semantic agreement. A discrepancy is observed in the acquisition of semantic agreement across the different noun classes, and this suggests that children are highly sensitive to fine distinctions in syntax and morphology and use detailed input information to make specific inferences concerning the gender of different noun classes. Furthermore, we argue that acquisition data may provide a more accurate account of how gender assignment proceeds in the mind of a speaker than has been traditionally assumed by gender assignment theories.

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This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 39, Issue 5, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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