"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
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.
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.
Grammar, Gesture, and Meaning in American Sign Language
In sign languages of the deaf some signs can meaningfully point toward things or can be meaningfully placed in the space ahead of the signer. This obligatory part of fluent grammatical signing has no parallel in vocally produced languages. This book focuses on American Sign Language to examine the grammatical and conceptual purposes served by these directional signs. It guides the reader through ASL grammar, the different categories of directional signs, the types of spatial representations signs are directed toward, how such spatial conceptions can be represented in mental space theory, and the conceptual purposes served by these signs. The book demonstrates a remarkable integration of grammar and gesture in the service of constructing meaning. These results also suggest that our concept of ‘language’ has been much too narrow and that a more comprehensive look at vocally produced languages will reveal the same integration of gestural, gradient, and symbolic elements.