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"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

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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

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.

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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

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.

Book Information


Title: Methods in Historical Pragmatics
Edited By: Susan M. Fitzmaurice
Irma Taavitsainen
URL: http://www.degruyter.com/rs/bookSingle.cfm?id=IS-9783110190410-1&l=E
Series Title: Topics in English Linguistics 52

This volume represents a timely collective review and assessment of what it
is we do when we do English historical pragmatics or historical discourse
analysis. The context for the volume is a critical assessment of the
assumptions and practices defining the body of research conducted on the
history of the English language within what might loosely be regarded as
the framework of historical pragmatics. The aim of the volume is to engage
with matters of approach and method from different perspectives;
accordingly, the contributions offer insights into earlier communicative
practices, registers, and linguistic functions as gleaned from historical

The essays are loosely grouped according to their orientations within the
scope of the study of language and meaning in historical texts, both
literary and non-literary. The structure of the volume thus represents a
critical convergence of traditions of reading texts or analyzing discourse
and this in turn exposes key questions about the methods and the outcomes
of such readings or analysis. The volume contributes to the growing
maturity of historical pragmatic research approaches as it exemplifies and
extends the range of approaches and methods that dominate the research

From the Contents:

Introduction, Susan Fitzmaurice, Irma Taavitsainen; Historical pragmatics:
What it is and how to do it, Irma Taavitsainen, Susan Fitzmaurice; The
development of I mean: Implications for the study of historical pragmatics,
Laurel J. Brinton; Soþlice, forsoothe, truly – communicative principles and
invited inferences in the history of truth-intensifying adverbs in English,
Ursula Lenker; Speech act verbs and speech acts in the history of English,
Irma Taavitsainen, Andreas H. Jucker; Text types and the methodology of
diachronic speech act analysis, Thomas Kohnen; A pragmatics for
interpreting Shakespeare’s Sonnets 1 to 20: Dialogue scripts and Erasmian
intertexts, Lynne Magnusson; Developing a more detailed picture of the
English courtroom (1640–1760): Data and methodological issues facing
historical pragmatics, Dawn Archer; What do you lacke? what is it you buy?
Early Modern English service encounters, Birte Bös; Letters as narrative:
Narrative patterns and episode structure in early letters, 1400 to 1650,
Monika Fludernik

Of Interest To:

Students and Scholars of English Studies and Pragmatics; Teachers of
Historical English; Research Libraries

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Publication Year: 2007
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Historical Linguistics
Subject Language(s): English
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9783110190410
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 313
Prices: Europe EURO 118.00
U.S. $ 159.30