"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.
From Grammar to Science. New Foundations for General Linguistics
Although efforts have been under way for the past two centuries to treat language scientifically, current linguistic theory lacks an adequate scientific foundation and difficulties are caused by long-standing confusions between the logical domain of signs and grammar and the physical domain of sound waves and the people who speak and understand. This book pushes aside the ancient semiotic-grammatical foundations of linguistics and moves it completely into the physical domain where theories and hypotheses can be tested against observations of the physical reality. Here new foundations are laid that are fully consonant with modern science as practiced in physics, chemistry and biology. On these foundations the author builds a structure of testable specific dynamic causal laws of communicative behavior that provides support for treating previously recalcitrant context-dependent semantic, pragmatic, interactive, rhetorical, and literary phenomena. The central role of context in the foundations of the theory provides the insights of scientific lawfulness while still honoring the uniqueness of the individual and the particularity of situations celebrated in the humanities.