"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.
Form and Function of Parasyntactic Presentation Structures.
A Corpus-based Study of Talk Units in Spoken English.
This study investigates prosody-syntax interactions from a functional perspective and based on authentic corpus data. Drawing on Halliday's well-known interpretation of the tone unit as an information unit, Halford's idea of a prosodically and syntactically defined talk unit and Esser's concept of abstract presentation structures, a modified talk unit model is developed. The talk unit is built up of one to many tone unit(s). The focus of both the quantitative and the functional analysis is on the interplay between prosodic status and syntactic status at tone unit boundaries by means of which talk units as parasyntactic units are established. The database is provided by a sample of about 50,000 words mainly taken from the London-Lund Corpus of Spoken English. The findings reveal that speakers have at their disposal and make use of prosody-syntax interactions in order to structure information effectively and to allow for or facilitate turn taking. This volume is not only of interest for corpus linguists, but for functionalists in general and intonationists in particular. In analysing the stylistic and pragmatic potential of talk units and applying corpus linguistic methodology, this study breaks new ground with regard to functional and empirical approaches to spoken English.
List of contents: Acknowledgements Ch. 1: Introduction: setting the aim of the present study in context Ch. 2: Para syntactic elements and configurations in corpus linguistics Ch. 3: Corpus data Ch. 4: uantitative analysis Ch. 5: Functional analysis I: information structure Ch. 6: Functional analysis II: speaker interaction Ch. 7: Summary and prospects for future research References cited Index