"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.
Dependency reversal in noun-attributive constructions
This study is conceived as a contribution to a tyoplogy of attributive contructions, focussing on constructions exhibiting splits of head proporties. The term "dependency reversal in noun-attributive constructions" (DNRA) is used to refer to possessive-like attributive constructions (of the type (that) idiot of a doctor), with the attribute surfacing as the formal head and the semantic head surfacing as the formal possessor. The body of the study presents a discussion of DNRA contructions as attested in six individual languages: Even (resp. other Tungusic languages), Aleut, Hausa, Gude, Chinook and Latin. The variation of the DNRA patterns, in particular along the parameter of the attribute’s upgrading/recategorization, is further considered.
Following the lines of structure-based typologies, an upward taxonomy of DNRA structures is presented to include other cases of constructions involving the attribute’s upgrading and the head (-to-possessor) demotion. In search of DNRA related patterns the discussion is extended to internal relative clauses and constructions with "dominant attributes." Finally factors favouring the rise of DNRA structures are tentatively considered: apart from diachronic factors, underdifferentiation of lexical categories as well as pragmatic salience of the attribute are shown to contribute to DNRA processes.