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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: 'Distributions of Cognates in Europe as Based on Levenshtein Distance'
Author: JobSchepens
Institution: 'Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen'
Author: TonDijkstra
Institution: 'Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen'
Author: FrancGrootjen
Institution: 'Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen'
Linguistic Field: 'Computational Linguistics'
Subject Language: 'Dutch'
' English'
' French'
' German'
' Italian'
' Spanish'
Abstract: Researchers on bilingual processing can benefit from computational tools developed in artificial intelligence. We show that a normalized Levenshtein distance function can efficiently and reliably simulate bilingual orthographic similarity ratings. Orthographic similarity distributions of cognates and non-cognates were identified across pairs of six European languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Dutch. Semantic equivalence was determined using the conceptual structure of a translation database. By using a similarity threshold, large numbers of cognates could be selected that nearly completely included the stimulus materials of experimental studies. The identified numbers of form-similar and identical cognates correlated highly with branch lengths of phylogenetic language family trees, supporting the usefulness of the new measure for cross-language comparison. The normalized Levenshtein distance function can be considered as a new formal model of cross-language orthographic similarity.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 15, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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