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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: Individual differences reveal stages of L2 grammatical acquisition: ERP evidence
Author: Darren Scott Tanner
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Pennsylvania State University
Author: Judith McLaughlin
Institution: University of Washington
Author: Julia Rogers Herschensohn
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Washington
Author: Lee Osterhout
Institution: University of Washington
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Psycholinguistics
Abstract: Here we report findings from a cross-sectional study of morphosyntactic processing in native German speakers and native English speakers enrolled in college-level German courses. Event-related brain potentials were recorded while participants read sentences that were either well-formed or violated German subject–verb agreement. Results showed that grammatical violations elicited large P600 effects in the native Germans and learners enrolled in third-year courses. Grand mean waveforms for learners enrolled in first-year courses showed a biphasic N400–P600 response. However, subsequent correlation analyses revealed that most individuals showed either an N400 or a P600, but not both, and that brain response type was associated with behavioral measures of grammatical sensitivity. These results support models of second language acquisition which implicate qualitative changes in the neural substrates of second language grammar processing associated with learning. Importantly, we show that new insights into L2 learning result when the cross-subject variability is treated as a source of evidence rather than a source of noise.


This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 16, Issue 2.

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