"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.
Karen Daley leads the reader into what is perhaps the first discourse study of Vietnamese classifiers to date. After presenting a summary of classifiers and their funciton in languages of the world, she challenges the validity of regarding Vietnamese classifiers as simply fitting the prototypical pattern of phrase-level numeral classifiers. In Vietnamese several of the functions attributed to classifiers imply discourse relations, despite the prevailing assumption that their use is associated with the syntactic relations of phrases.
A coherent pattern of classifier use becomes evident when they are observed in the larger syntactic environment of discourse. Daley uses discourse measurements of overall frequency, referential distance, and referential persistence and compares them with four criteria from a study of classifiers in White Hmong. The results in the present study indicate that the basic function of classifiers in Vietnamese discourse is referential—to mark salience.