"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 book offers an in-depth analysis of Modern English pronoun case. The
author examines case trends in a wide range of syntactic constructions and
concludes that case variation is confined to strong pronoun contexts. Data
from a survey of 90 speakers provide new insights into the distributional
differences between strong 1sg and non-1sg case forms and reveal systematic
case variation within the speech of individuals as well as across speakers.
The empirical findings suggest that morphological case is best treated as a
PF phenomenon conditioned by semantic, syntactic, and phonological factors.
In order to capture the way in which these linguistic factors interact to
produce the pronoun case patterns exhibited by individual speakers, the
author introduces a novel constraint-based approach to morphological case.
Current case trends are also considered in a wider historical context and
are related to a change in the licensing of structural arguments.
Table of contents
Key to abbreviations xii
1. The history of the English case system 8
2. Formal approaches to case and the three case constraints 26
3. Case and the weak/strong distinction in the English pronoun system 65
4. The empirical survey 78
5. The survey results 101
6. Relative Positional Coding and the Invariant Strong Form constraints 148
7. Modelling the interaction of the constraints 178
8. The distribution of personal pronoun forms in other strong pronoun
9. The distribution of wh-pronoun forms in Modern English 310
10. Speculations and conclusions 370
Name index 398
Subject index 402