"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.
This monograph focuses on an interesting typological property shared by
four languages: the ungrammaticality of multiple wh-questions in Irish,
Berber, Italian and Somali. It contains a broad discussion of data related
to the grammar of wh-questions, a comparative analysis of wh-constructions
in the four languages, and a theoretical account for the observed
phenomenon. The analysis is based on the minimalist syntax theory as
developed by Chomsky since 1995. It takes up the standard assumption that
wh-phrases are typical representatives of elements bearing new information,
in theoretical terms referred to as information focus. Most importantly, in
the languages without multiple wh-questions the information focus is
licensed in a unique syntactic position. The basic claim is that languages
with unique focus are languages without multiple wh-questions. The analysis
makes possible the classification of the languages without multiple
wh-questions into the crosslinguistic typology of wh-constructions.
Furthermore, this book is a contribution to the better understanding of
information structure in natural languages, especially of focusing phenomena.