"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.
How is linguistic theory related to linguistic practice? What do theoretical notions and models tell us about real-life language use? Are there any limits to what such notions and models can reasonably be taken to accomplish? These questions are fundamental to any serious investigation into the phenomena of human communication. The essays in this book show that philosophers and linguists of quite different brands have tended to give undue priority to their own favourite theoretical framework, and have presupposed that the descriptive scheme invoked by that framework constitutes a pattern to which any linguistic practice somehow has to conform. What unites the contributors to this volume is a critical attitude towards such essentialist aspirations. By investigating several concrete examples of this tendency - examples collected from such seemingly disparate areas as structuralism, contemporary analytic philosophy and feminist epistemology - the authors collectively manage to cast doubt on the very attempt to fit the whole of linguistic practice into a general theoretical mould.
Acknowledgments. Introduction. Part I: Historical Perspectives. On the Linguistic Turn in Philosophy; S. Stenlund. Humboldt: Grammatical Form and `Weltansicht'; O. Gundersen. Language as Sign and Use: A Study of Certain Aspects of Saussure's View of Language; M. Gustavsson. Part II: Prejudiced Preconceptions: Notions of Language Within Linguistics and Feminist Epistemology. Expression and Content in Linguistic Theory; S. Ohman. The History of Swedish Grammar and Professor Chomsky; S. Haapamaki. How Ordinary is Ordinary Experience? Language in Feminist Epistemology and Philosophy of Science; S. Rider. Part III: The Practice of Meaning and Truth. Putnam on Truth; F. Stoutland. Meaning, Saying, Truth; M. Gustafsson. Part IV: Themes from Wittgenstein. Wittgenstein, Meursault and the Difficulty of Philosophy; P. Segerdahl. Wittgenstein, Logical Form and Grammatical Remarks; T. Johansson. On Rule-Following; J. Wilhelmi. Are We all Trapped in Nonsense? G. Steingrimsson. On the Need for a Listener and Community Standards; L. Hertzberg. References. Notes on the Contributors. Index.