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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: Variation in the Expression of Possession by Latino Children
Author: Tonya E. Wolford
Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics; Syntax
Subject Language: English
Abstract: As part of a national effort to improve reading levels, spontaneous speech samples were collected from 630 Latino, African American, and white children in grades 2 through 4 in Georgia, California, and Pennsylvania. In this study, data was used from 126 Latinos, and a comparison group of 28 African American and 28 white children to study their use of 3rd person possessive pronouns, periphrastic of possessives, and attributive -s possessives. It was found that Latino children confused his for her and her for his; used more periphrastic of constructions; and omitted the attributive -s marker in noun + -s + noun constructions. Multivariate analyses revealed that beyond Spanish influence, speaker sex, language origin, and grade also affected the expression of possession. Most striking are the differences according to speaker sex, and between Mexican and Puerto Rico origin children, which are considered in light of the closer relationship between Puerto Ricans and African Americans in Philadelphia.


This article appears IN Language Variation and Change Vol. 18, Issue 1.

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