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The Social Origins of Language

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Presents a new theoretical framework for the origins of human language and sets key issues in language evolution in their wider context within biological and cultural evolution


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Preposition Placement in English: A Usage-Based Approach

By Thomas Hoffmann

This is the first study that empirically investigates preposition placement across all clause types. The study compares first-language (British English) and second-language (Kenyan English) data and will therefore appeal to readers interested in world Englishes. Over 100 authentic corpus examples are discussed in the text, which will appeal to those who want to see 'real data'


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Academic Paper


Title: Modeling the contribution of phonotactic cues to the problem of word segmentation
Author: Daniel Blanchard
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://cis.udel.edu/~blanchar/
Institution: University of Delaware
Author: Jeffrey N. Heinz
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.ling.udel.edu/people/jeffrey-heinz
Institution: University of Delaware
Author: Roberta Michnick Golinkoff
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://copland.udel.edu/~roberta/
Institution: University of Delaware
Linguistic Field: Computational Linguistics; Language Acquisition
Abstract: How do infants find the words in the speech stream? Computational models help us understand this feat by revealing the advantages and disadvantages of different strategies that infants might use. Here, we outline a computational model of word segmentation that aims both to incorporate cues proposed by language acquisition researchers and to establish the contributions different cues can make to word segmentation. We present experimental results from modified versions of Venkataraman's () segmentation model that examine the utility of: (1) language-universal phonotactic cues; (2) language-specific phonotactic cues which must be learned while segmenting utterances; and (3) their combination. We show that the language-specific cue improves segmentation performance overall, but the language-universal phonotactic cue does not, and that their combination results in the most improvement. Not only does this suggest that language-specific constraints can be learned simultaneously with speech segmentation, but it is also consistent with experimental research that shows that there are multiple phonotactic cues helpful to segmentation (e.g. Mattys, Jusczyk, Luce & Morgan, ; Mattys & Jusczyk, ). This result also compares favorably to other segmentation models (e.g. Brent, ; Fleck, ; Goldwater, ; Johnson & Goldwater, ; Venkataraman, ) and has implications for how infants learn to segment.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 37, Issue 3, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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