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"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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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.

Book Information


Title: Linguistic Diversity and Language Theories
Edited By: Zygmunt Frajzyngier
Adam Hodges
David S. Rood
URL: http://www.benjamins.com/cgi-bin/t_bookview.cgi?bookid=SLCS%2072
Series Title: Studies in Language Companion Series 72

From the refinement of general methodology, to new insights of synchronic
and diachronic universals, to studies of specific phenomena, this
collection demonstrates the crucial role that language data play in the
evolution of useful, accurate linguistic theories. Issues addressed include
the determination of meaning in typological studies; a refined
understanding of diachronic processes by including intentional, social,
statistical, and level-determined phenomena; the reconsideration of
categories such as sentence, evidential or adposition, and structures such
as compounds or polysynthesis; the tension between formal simplicity and
functional clarity; the inclusion of unusual systems in theoretical
debates; and fresh approaches to Chinese classifiers, possession in Oceanic
languages, and English aspect. This is a careful selection of papers
presented at the International Symposium on Linguistic Diversity and
Language Theories in Boulder, Colorado. The purpose of the Symposium was to
confront fundamental issues in language structure and change with the rich
variation of forms and functions observed across languages.

Table of contents

Zygmunt Frajzyngier and David S. Rood p.vii

What are we typologists doing?
Gilbert Lazard pp.1–23

The canonical approach in typology*
Greville G. Corbett pp.25–49

What is an empirical theory of linguistic meaning a theory of?
Pierre-Yves Raccah pp.51–80

Language processes, theory and description of language change, and building
on the past: Lessons from Songhay
Robert Nicolai pp.81–104

On the part played by human conscious choice in language structure and
language evolution
Claude Hagège pp.105–117

The challenge of polygrammaticalization for linguistic theory: Fractal
grammar and transcategorical functioning
Stéphane Robert pp.119–142

On discourse frequency, grammar, and grammaticalization
Regina Pustet pp.143–168

On the assumption of the sentence as the basic unit of syntactic structure
Marianne Mithun pp.169–183

Adpositions as a non-universal category
Scott DeLancey pp.185–202

Understanding antigemination
Juliette Blévins pp.203–234

What it means to be rare: The variability of person marking
Michael Cysouw pp.235–258

The principle of Functional Transparency in language structure and in
language evolution
Zygmunt Frajzyngier pp.259–283

The importance of discourse analysis for linguistic theory: A Mandarin
Chinese Illustration
Liang Tao pp.285–317

Compounding theories and linguistic diversity
Anders Soegaard pp.319–337

Inalienability and possessum individuation*
František Lichtenberk pp.339–362

Resultativeness in English: A sign-oriented approach
Marina Gorlach pp.363–377

Encoding speaker perspective: Evidentials
Ferdinand de Haan pp.379–397

Distinguishing between referential and grammatical function in
morphological typology
Edward J. Vajda pp.399–422

Index pp.423–430

Publication Year: 2005
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Historical Linguistics
Linguistic Theories
Subject Language(s): Chinese, Mandarin
Songhay, Humburi Senni
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Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 1588115771
ISBN-13: 9781588115775
Pages: xii, 432
Prices: U.S. $ 169
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 902723082X
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xii, 432
Prices: Europe EURO 125.00