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The Social Origins of Language

By Daniel Dor

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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Free access to several Brill linguistics journals, such as Journal of Jewish Languages, Language Dynamics and Change, and Brill’s Annual of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics.

Academic Paper

Title: The relation between the working memory skills of sign language interpreters and the quality of their interpretations
Author: Rick Van Dijk
Institution: Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS
Author: Ingrid K. Christoffels
Institution: Lehigh University
Author: Albert Postma
Institution: Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS
Author: Daan Hermans
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Linguistic Field: Psycholinguistics
Subject Language Family: Sign Language
Abstract: In two experiments we investigated the relationship between the working memory skills of sign language interpreters and the quality of their interpretations. In Experiment 1, we found that scores on 3-back tasks with signs and words were not related to the quality of interpreted narratives. In Experiment 2, we found that memory span scores for words and signs under oral articulatory suppression were related to the quality of interpreted narratives. We argue that the insensitivity to articulatory suppression in memory span tasks reflects the interpreters' ability to bind information from multiple sources in episodic memory. This enhanced ability leads to less reliance on the retention of information from the source language in memory during interpreting, and will positively affect the quality of interpretations (Padilla, Bajo & Macizo, 2005). Finally, in contrast to previous studies on the memory spans for signs and words (Hall & Bavelier, 2010), we found that the memory spans scores for spoken words and signs were equally large. We argue that the use of a large set of phonologically complex stimuli in the present study may have stimulated participants to use a speech-based code to store and retain the signs in short-term memory.


This article appears in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 15, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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