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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.

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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.

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Title: English Abstract Nouns As Conceptual Shells: From Corpus to Cognition
Written By: Hans Ulrich Schmid
Series Title: Topics in English Linguistics 34

Being somewhat elusive, abstract nouns have never been very popular as objects of linguistic research. English Abstract Nouns as Conceptual Shells fills this long-standing gap in English and general linguistics. Based on a systematic analysis of a very large corpus, it introduces a conceptual and terminological framework for the linguistic description of abstract nouns. The uses and meanings of 670 abstract English nouns are described, among them some of the most frequently used nouns in English like thing, fact, case, point, idea, reason, problem and question. Going beyond mere description, the book then explains the ways in which speakers and writers of English benefit from the use of these nouns. Semantic, pragmatic, rhetorical, textual and cognitive functions of abstract nouns are discussed, always with reference to the empirical observation and statistical analysis of the corpus data. In this way, a link between the corpus method and functional and cognitive theories of language is established. The central theoretical claim of the book is that there is a functional class of abstract nouns which are used by speakers to create conceptual shells for complex pieces of information. The latter are expressed by clauses or even longer passages somewhere else in a text or discourse. As a terminological reflection of this claim, the nouns themselves are referred to as shell nouns and the passages to which they are linked as shell contents. The book includes an appendix giving statistical information on the lexico-grammatical usage of the 670 nouns. From the contents: Part I Foundations: Theory, terminology and methodology Introduction Approaching shell nouns The links between shell nouns and contents The systematic investigation of shell nouns Semantic prerequisites Part II The use of shell nouns Describing shell-noun uses Factual uses Linguistic uses Mental uses Modal uses Eventive uses Circumstantial uses Summary of Part II Part III Functions of shell nouns Introduction to Part III Semantic functions Pragmatic, rhetorical and textual functions Conclusion and outlook Appendix Notes References Index of shell nouns Index of subjects

Publication Year: 2000
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
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Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics
Subject Language(s): English
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 3110167670
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 457 p
Prices: DM 178,- /EUR 91,01 /vS 1299,-