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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Phonological and visual similarity effects in Chinese and English language users: Implications for the use of cognitive resources in short-term memory
Author: Rachel L Cole
Institution: University College London
Author: Susan J. Pickering
Institution: University of Bristol
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Phonology
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Abstract: This study investigated the encoding strategies employed by Chinese and English language users when recalling sequences of pictured objects. The working memory performance of native English participants (n = 14) and Chinese speakers of English as a second language (Chinese ESL; n = 14) was compared using serial recall of visually-presented pictures of familiar objects with three conditions: (i) phonologically and visually distinct, (ii) phonologically similar and visually distinct, and (iii) phonologically distinct and visually similar. Digit span, visual pattern span and articulation rate were also measured. Results indicated that whilst English participants were affected by the phonological but not the visual similarity of items, the performance of Chinese ESL participants was comparable across all three conditions. No significant differences in digit span, visual memory or articulation rate were found between groups. These results are discussed in the light of our understanding of the use of cognitive resources in short-term memory in users of diverse orthographies.


This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 13, Issue 4.

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