"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.
Pragmatics of Conditional Marking: Implicature, Scalarity, and Exclusivity
This study examines the meaning of prototypical conditional-sentence markers like English if and Spanish si from a primarily pragmatic perspective. It argues that the sense of "hypotheticality" often associated with the encoded semantics of such markers is actually a pragmatic conversational implicature that is cancelable in certain discourse contexts. The analysis therefore redraws in radical fashion the semantics-pragmatics boundary as it applies to the meaning of conditional markers.
A number of key implications are presented in detail. First, it is shown that "factual" if-clauses, typically considered anomalous despite their frequent occurrence in many types of discourse, fall out from the predictions made by the pragmatic view of conditional marker meaning. Second, it is demonstrated that the "hypotheticality" implicature interacts with the well-known implicature of conditional perfection, and that this interaction allows one to predict when "biconditional" readings of simple conditionals will and will not arise. More generally, the model of meaning developed in this book permits clear links to be made between conditionality and other conceptual domains, such as adversativity and scalarity. These links are examined in chapters 4 and 5 using declarative-sentence uses of Spanish si as the empirical testing ground.
This book will be of interest to linguists working in semantics and pragmatics, discourse analysis, and Hispanic linguistics. It will also appeal to scholars interested in the interface between communication and cognition.