"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.
Crosslinguistic Perspectives on Argument Structure
Crosslinguistic Perspectives on Argument Structure: Implications for
Learnability offers a unique interdisciplinary perspective on argument
structure and its role in language acquisition. Much contemporary work in
linguistics and psychology assumes that argument structure is strongly
constrained by a set of universal principles, and that these principles are
innate, providing children with certain "bootstrapping" strategies that
help them home in on basic aspects of the syntax and lexicon of their
language. Drawing on a broad range of crosslinguistic data, this volume
shows that languages are much more diverse in their argument structure
properties than has been realized. This diversity raises challenges for
many existing proposals about language acquisition, affects the range of
solutions that can be considered plausible, and highlights new acquisition
puzzles that until now have passed unnoticed.
The volume is the outcome of an integrated research project and comprises
chapters by both specialists in first language acquisition and field
linguists working on a variety of lesser-known languages. The research
draws on original fieldwork and on adult data, child data, or both from
seventeen languages from eleven different language families. Some chapters
offer typological perspectives, examining the basic structures of a given
language with language-learnability issues in mind. Other chapters
investigate specific problems of language acquisition in one or more
languages. Taken as a whole, the volume illustrates how detailed work on
crosslinguistic variation is critical to the development of insightful
theories of language acquisition.
Crosslinguistic Perspectives on Argument Structure integrates important
contemporary issues in linguistics and language acquisition. With its rich
crosslinguistic base and the innovative empirical methods it showcases for
studying the role of argument structure in language acquisition, it will be
of great interest to linguists and language acquisition specialists alike,
as well as to upper-level students in linguistics and psychology in the
United States and abroad.