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The Social Origins of Language

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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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Academic Paper


Title: The Variability of Compound Stress in English: structural, semantic, and analogical factors
Author: Ingo Plag
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.phil-fak.uni-duesseldorf.de/anglistik3/plag/
Institution: Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
Linguistic Field: Phonology; Semantics; Syntax
Subject Language: English
Abstract: It is generally assumed that noun–noun (NN) compounds in English are stressed on the left-hand member (e.g. cóurtroom, wátchmaker). However, there is a considerable amount of variation in stress assignment (e.g. silk tíe, Madison Ávenue, singer-sóngwriter), whose significance and sources are largely unaccounted for in the literature. This article presents an experimental study in which three competing hypotheses concerning NN stress assignment are tested. The stress patterns of novel and existing compounds, as obtained in a reading experiment with native speakers of American English, were acoustically measured and analyzed. The results show that there is indeed a considerable amount of variation in stress assignment, and that all three hypothesized factors, i.e. structure, semantics, and analogy, are relevant, though to different degrees. On a theoretical level, the findings strongly suggest that a categorical approach cannot be upheld and that probability and analogy need to be incorporated into an adequate account of stress assignment in noun-noun constructions. The article also makes a methodological contribution to the debate in showing that experimental studies using pitch measurements can shed new light on the issue of variable compound stress.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in English Language and Linguistics Vol. 10, Issue 1, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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