Colorado Research in Linguistics

Volume 17 (2004)

Language Research in the 21st Century

Out of the estimated 6,800 languages in the world today, most linguists agree that nearly 90% will be gone by the end of the 21st century. Change is a constant all researchers can agree upon, and this century will certainly present numerous challenges for linguists. The linguistic landscape is not the only aspect of our discipline that is in flux. The research questions set out by linguists over the past centuries are constantly being approached from new angles and reformulated into new lines of inquiry. Along with the challenges, research in the 21st century will undoubtedly bring increased opportunities for understanding human language, and how it interacts with both culture and cognition in our ever changing world.

In many ways, the research conducted in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Colorado is representative of the diverse and evolving questions being asked by linguists across various sub-fields. Our aim in this working papers journal is to provide a glimpse of the diverse research conducted at CU and to facilitate communication with colleagues in other institutions and departments.

The format we have chosen underscores another change in academic research at the beginning of the 21st century - the way we access and distribute journals. As you have discovered by now, Colorado Research in Linguistics has gone completely paperless and is now strictly an online publication.

The main feature of our journal is original research papers, and this double issue features ten papers ranging in topics that include the examination of case marking in Semitic languages and Old English, the use of a Croatian complementizer, the item-based nature of child syntax, the function of yeah in spoken discourse, the political micro-economy of linguistic interaction, the debate over linguistic reclamation, the use of code-switching in Spanish-language TV commercials, and computational linguistic applications for identifying languages and classifying movie reviews.

Please feel free to contact authors with comments or inquiries about papers, and if you are from a department that would like to be linked from our site, please send us your URL. We hope you enjoy this inaugural issue in our new format!

Linguistically yours,

Adam Hodges, CRIL Managing Editor

Working Papers


Automatic Opinion Polarity Classification of Movie Reviews
Franco Salvetti, Stephen Lewis, and Christoph Reichenbach


A Corpus Study on the Item-based Nature of Early Grammar Acquisition
Adam Hodges, Valerie Krugler, and Deborah Law


Language Identification and Language Specific Letter-to-Sound Rules
Stephen Lewis, Katie McGrath, and Jeffrey Reuppel

Managing Editor

Adam Hodges

Editorial Board

Justin Barker
George Figgs
Cynthia Girand
Tamara Grivicic
Chad Nilep
Gilana Rivkin
Susanne Stadlbauer
Michael Thomas
Weldu Weldeyesus

Faculty Advisor

David Rood

Volumes 1 (1971) through 23 (2012) have been published in print and electronic formats and according to differing style guides, prior to the automated formatting associated with its current publication platform. Accordingly, there may be slight styling issues (e.g. duplicate headings) and variations present in these past works.