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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: “Corplum is a Core from a Plum”: The Advantage of Bilingual Children in the Analysis of Word Meaning from Verbal Context
Author: Stefka H. Marinova-Todd
Institution: Harvard Graduate School of Education
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition
Abstract: The possible advantage of bilingual children over monolinguals in analyzing word meanings from verbal context was examined. The subjects were 40 third-grade children (20 bilingual and 20 monolingual) recruited from independent schools in the USA. The two groups of participants were compared on their performance on a standardized test of receptive vocabulary and an experimental measure of word meanings, the Word–Context Test. Results revealed that on average, the bilingual children had smaller vocabularies in English. The bilinguals deduced the meaning from context of more words than the monolingual children, although there were no differences between groups on the rate of reaching the target meanings for words on which they were successful, and on the quality of their definitions. Moreover, bilingual children approached the task differently and they showed greater flexibility when analyzing word meanings from verbal context, thus indicating that bilinguals may be more efficient vocabulary learners than monolinguals.


This article appears IN Bilingualism: Language and Cognition Vol. 15, Issue 1.

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