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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"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?

By: Tim William Machan

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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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

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.

Book Information

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Title: A Reference Guide of Diagnostics for the Generative Syntax
Subtitle: Data from English, Hindi, and Japanese
Written By: Koji Arikawa

It is a reference guide of diagnostics that linguists have used to study
human natural language in the generative syntax over the last five decades.
Noam Chomsky, who claims that human natural language is akin to natural
objects such as snowflakes, considers that the law of economy governs
language structure and mechanisms. The "litmus" test used as syntactic
diagnostics is an experiment for examining the principles and mechanisms of
the human brain's computational system, which is self-organized and
self-consistent. In this sense, this book is a reference guide of
natural-language experiments and their results. This handbook of
diagnostics contains the result of "properly designed serious experiments
that are theory-guided (Noam Chomsky)."

The diagnostics are presented in a simple, uniform manner. First, the
diagnostics is presented in the simplest "if X, then Y" statement, which is
easily duplicated by computers to make a heuristic program (Michio Kaku).
The formal features that are relevant to the diagnostics are then provided,
followed by the references. Next, the experiment is presented, beginning
with the tested samples, followed by the purpose of the test. The samples
are test, and the results are simply and clearly stated, followed by a
detailed explanation including the logic of the argument (e.g., reduction
to absurdity) and relevant structures and derivations if necessary. In the
Appendix, I summarized assessments and constructive criticisms of the
experiments, presented with further evidence from other examples,
alternative analyses, problems, and counterexamples for future research. I
separated these assessments and criticisms in the Appendix from the main
text, in which I highlighted the original insights and copyrights of the
proposed diagnostics. Good, solid logic is often hidden in the text, and
not readily visible in the form of simple diagnostics. I turn the good
logic into diagnostics: "If X, then Y."

The book contains about 300 diagnostics that are used in syntactic
analysis. I classify the diagnostics into groups based on their specific
purposes. When you are looking for the diagnostics for such and such, the
first place you go is the "road map for high-ways." There are two main
entrances for high-ways: structure (static) and derivation (dynamic). The
high-way-road map contains 18 high-ways that lead you instantaneously to
your high-way exit, or the new entrance (specific diagnostics) to your
quest. Then you go to the "road map for branch lines" that leads you to
your final destination (the answer to your question). The 18 high-ways are;
Structure: Does it exist? (existence), Is it ...? (identification), What is
it? (nature of position), What is the structure? (internal structure of
constituent), Where is it? (position), Does it exist there? (occupation),
Do they form a unit? (constituency), Is it a functional head? Where is it?
(functional head), How can I define it? (definition), Derivation: Is it a
feature? Where is it? Is it deleted? (features), Does it project?
(projection), Does it move? (move), What is the nature of movement? (nature
of landing site), Is this movement obligatory? (obligatory vs. optional
move), Is this derivation good? (legitimacy), When does it happen?
(timing), Does this feature move? (feature move), Is this copied? (evidence
for copy operation). For example, after you leave the "Do they form a unit"
high-way, you are provided with 22 branch lines (tests) to go, for "What is
the structure" high-way, 24 branch lines (tests), and for "Does it move"
high-way, 43 branch lines (tests).

To order in English, please go to Amazon.co.jp.

Publication Year: 2008
Publisher: Sankeisha
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): Computational Linguistics
Linguistic Theories
Cognitive Science
Subject Language(s): English
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-13: 9784883615780
Pages: 754
Prices: U.S. $ 52.50