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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?

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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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Title: A Formal Grammar of Spanish for Phrase-level Analysis
Written By: Maria Paula Santalla del Rio
URL: http://www.usc.es/spubl/lm14.html
Series Title: Lalia, Series Maior, 14

This book describes in detail the formal grammar of Spanish developed, on the one hand, in the frame of the DoRo project (Esprit 22716), a research project in the area of
Information Retrieval, specifically of Document Routing applications. On the other hand, the proposed grammar is conditioned by the analysis and the further automatic development of BDS (Base de Datos Sintácticos-Syntatic
Database:http://www.bds.usc.es), which, developed in the
University of Santiago and especially organized to show data about verb government, contains the manual analysis of
160.000 clauses of current Spanish. Because of the first aim, this is a grammar for the identification of phrases, because of the second one, the grammar aims at identifying phrases to the extent that these do match linguistic sequences that fill syntactic functional slots at clause-level analysis. This duplicity of objectives is accounted for especially in Chapter 4 of the book, where we describe the necessary adjustments (required by either the simpler objective of identifying sequences of phrases or the, more complex, objective of integrating this identification in a clause-level grammar) in the formal description of the structures dealt with in previous chapters.

The formalism used in the description is AGFL (Affix
Grammars over Finite Lattices,http://www.cs.kun.nl/agfl) and the descriptive model underlying the description is based on constitutive and functional principles. After the first chapter of introduction, Chapter 2 is devoted to the verb phrase, intended as any combination of verb forms, auxiliaries or main verbs, and clitic pronouns that can express a combination of voice, impersonality and argument subcategorization (prepositional requirements included) functional in a real context and obtained from the possibilities that for such combinations shows the verb in the lexical level. Chapter 3 is subsequently devoted to the noun phrase, the pronoun phrase, the adverb phrase, the adjective phrase and the extension of the first two of them by means of determiners. It deals as well with nominalizations, clause constituents of clauses (infinitive clauses, that-clauses, etc.) and prepositional phrases.
Chapter 4, as we already pointed out above in this message, deals with the necessary adjustments made in the formal structures described before ir order to integrate the phrase-level grammar in different environments of application, these adjustments concern primarily the treatment of ambiguity in the grammar.

Publication Year: 2002
Publisher: Servicio de Publicacións e Intercambio Científico
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Syntax
Subject Language(s): Spanish
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 8481218510
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 441
Prices: 25.24 Euros (VAT included),24.27 Euros (+ 3.85)