"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.
Parsing below the Segment in A Constraint-Based Framework
This book proposes a new way of understanding the behavior of consonants and vowels in a broad cross-section of the world's languages. Also introduced is a new model of subsegmental phonology within Optimality Theory that differs from standard Autosegmental Phonology both in its limited use of representational distinctions and in the form of the grammar to which the representations submit. The research focuses particularly on oating features and ghost segments, and demonstrates that the current understanding of segmental representation fails to characterize the full range of subsegmental phenomena found cross-linguistically. Zoll proposes instead an analysis in which the grammar derives the variety of surface phenomena from a single underlying representation. The typology that results from this analysis correctly classies the entire range of behavior associated with subminimal phonological units. This work thus both enlarges the empirical foundation on which an adequate theory of segment structure must be based, and in developing such an account sheds new light on classic problems of subsegmental parsing. The problems dealt with here include classics such as the pattern of liaison consonants in French, as well as more obscure phenomena such as the assignment of tone marking in the African languages Mende and Kukuya. It is the rst book to apply the results of current phonological theory to this area. This book will be of great interest to linguists and to other people who are interested in knowing more about sound patterns in language.