"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.
This important monograph offers a resolution to the debate in theoretical
linguistics over the role of syntactic head movement in word formation. It
does so by synthesizing the syntactic and lexicalist approaches on the
basis of the empirical data that support each side. In trying to determine
how a morphologically complex word is formed in Universal Grammar,
generative linguists have argued either that a substantial amount of
morphological phenomena result from head movement in overt syntax (the
widely adopted syntactic approach) or that morphological/lexical means are
both necessary and sufficient for a theory of word formation (the
Lexicalist Hypothesis). Li examines both the linguistic facts that are
brought to light for the first time and the existing data in the literature
and shows that each side has an empirical foundation that cannot be negated
by the other. Since neither approach is adequate to explain all the facts
of word formation, he argues, the way to achieve a unified account lies in
synthesizing the empirically advantageous portions of both approaches into
one simple and coherent theory.
Li begins by demonstrating how a theory that combines the essence of the
syntactic and lexicalist approaches can account more accurately for the
various morphological constructions analyzed in the literature by means of
syntactic verb incorporation. He then examines causativization on the
adjectival root, noun incorporation in polysynthetic languages, and the
possibility that the word formation part of the Lexicalist
Hypothesis--which is crucial to his theory--can be derived as a theorem
from a version of the X-bar theory. He concludes by discussing
methodological issues in current linguistic research.
Yafei Li is Professor and Chairman of the Department of Linguistics at the
University of Wisconsin, Madison.