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Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

By David Crystal

Offers a unique view of the English language and its development, and includes witty commentary and anecdotes along the way.


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The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics

By Asya Pereltsvaig and Martin W. Lewis

This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."


Academic Paper


Title: Fixed-choice word-association tasks as second-language lexical tests: What native-speaker performance reveals about their potential weaknesses
Author: Vedran Dronjic
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://sites.google.com/site/vedrandronjic/
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
Author: Rena Helms-Park
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~rhelms/rhelms.html
Institution: University of Toronto at Scarborough
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Psycholinguistics; Sociolinguistics
Abstract: Qian and Schedl's Depth of Vocabulary Knowledge Test was administered to 31 native-speaker undergraduates under an “unconstrained” condition, in which the number of responses to headwords was unfixed, whereas a corresponding group (n = 36) completed the test under the original “constrained” condition. Results revealed lower accuracy in the unconstrained condition and in paradigmatic versus syntagmatic responses. Native speakers failed to reach the 90% criterion on most unconstrained and many constrained items. Although certain modifications could improve such a test (e.g., eliminating psycholinguistically anomalous headwords, such as adjectives, or presenting responses to headwords discontinuously), two intransigent problems impede test validity. First, collocates in the mental lexicon differ in tightness and vary across dialects, sociolects, and age groups. Second, it is more serious that second-language Depth of Vocabulary Knowledge Tests are likely spot checks of metalinguistic knowledge rather than depth tests that reflect what learners would actually produce in spontaneous utterances.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 35, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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