"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.
On Subject and Theme. A discourse functional perspective.
The ten papers in this volume focus on Subject and Theme. Theme began its life as a semantic notion in the work of Vilem Mathesius, while Subject has traditionally been seen as just a syntactic entity. More recently two related perspectives on these concepts have attracted linguists' attention: the formal criteria for their recognition and the relations between the two concepts. Using the systemic functional model as their point of departure, the papers in the present volume consider the two notions in a wider context by relating them to the interpersonal and textual metafunctions of language. By contrast with the current linguistic approaches, the primary focus here is neither simply on formal recognition criteria nor on the relation of these elements to each other; instead, the notions of Subject and Theme are examined from the point of view of their function in the economy of discourse, with studies of their significance in English and French, as well as in a range of non-Indo-European languages. Definitions of the concepts are offered on the basis of their discourse functions, which are also important in selecting the formal recognition criteria and in understanding their mutually supportive role vis a vis each other.Most of the papers in the volume are a selection from presentations made at the 19th International Systemic Functional Congress at Macquarie University.Contributions by: Maurice Boxwell; Alice Caffarel; Carmel Cloran; Michael Cummings; Fang Yan, Edward McDonald & Cheng Musheng; Peter Fries; Motoko Hori; William McGregor; Louise Ravelli; Paul Thibault.