"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.
The Parameter of Aspect
The Parameter of Aspect presents a unified theory of aspect within Universal Grammar. It provides an unusual combination of syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic approaches to a single domain, and gives detailed linguistic analysis of five languages with very different aspectual systems: English, French, Mandarin Chinese, Navajo and Russian. Extensive discussion of the linguistic evidence is complemented by a formal semantic treatment in the framework of Discourse Representation Theory, with an explicit procedure for computing aspectual meaning from syntactic surface structure. Among the theoretical innovations is a principled account of the interaction between viewpoint (perfective, imperfective) and situation type (state, event); a level of pragmatic analysis at which contrastive and inferred meanings are stated; a default analysis of sentences that are neither perfective nor imperfective in viewpoint.