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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: Children's use of phonological information in ambiguity resolution: a view from Mandarin Chinese
Author: Peng Zhou
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.maccs.mq.edu.au/members/profile.html?memberID=222
Institution: Macquarie University
Author: Y. Sun
Institution: University at Buffalo
Author: Stephen Crain
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.maccs.mq.edu.au/members/profile.html?memberID=55
Institution: Macquarie University
Author: Liqun Gao
Institution: Beijing Language and Culture University
Author: Likan Zhan
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.maccs.mq.edu.au/members/profile.html?memberID=560
Institution: Macquarie University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Phonology; Psycholinguistics
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Abstract: How do children develop the mapping between prosody and other levels of linguistic knowledge? This question has received considerable attention in child language research. In the present study two experiments were conducted to investigate four- to five-year-old Mandarin-speaking children's sensitivity to prosody in ambiguity resolution. Experiment 1 used eye-tracking to assess children's use of stress in resolving structural ambiguities. Experiment 2 took advantage of special properties of Mandarin to investigate whether children can use intonational cues to resolve ambiguities involving speech acts. The results of our experiments show that children's use of prosodic information in ambiguity resolution varies depending on the type of ambiguity involved. Children can use prosodic information more effectively to resolve speech act ambiguities than to resolve structural ambiguities. This finding suggests that the mapping between prosody and semantics/pragmatics in young children is better established than the mapping between prosody and syntax.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in Journal of Child Language Vol. 39, Issue 4, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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