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Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule


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Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.


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Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin


Academic Paper


Title: 'Focus identification in child Mandarin'
Author: PengZhou
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: 'http://www.maccs.mq.edu.au/members/profile.html?memberID=222'
Institution: 'Macquarie University'
Author: StephenCrain
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: 'http://www.maccs.mq.edu.au/members/profile.html?memberID=55'
Institution: 'Macquarie University'
Linguistic Field: 'Syntax'
Subject Language: 'Chinese, Mandarin'
Abstract: In this study, we investigated how Mandarin-speaking children and adults interpret focus structures like Zhiyou Yuehan chi-le pingguo ‘Only John ate an apple’ and Shi Yuehan chi-de pingguo ‘It is John who ate an apple’. We found that children tended to associate focus operators zhiyou ‘only’ and shi ‘be’ with the verb phrase (VP), whereas adults uniquely associated them with the subject noun phrase (NP). To account for this difference, we propose that children initially treat focus operators as adverbials, thus ending up associating them with the VP. In order to assess our proposal, we examined children's understanding of zhiyou-constructions with negation, like Zhiyou Yuehan meiyou chi pingguo ‘Only John didn't eat an apple’. It was found that children, like adults, consistently associated the focus operator with the subject NP in this construction. The findings have an important bearing on language learnability, since negation assists children in reaching the adult-like interpretation.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 37, Issue 5, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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