"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.
Exponents and critics of semantic presupposition have almost invariably
based their discussion on the (’Standard’) definition of presupposition
implied by Frege and Strawson. In this study Noel Burton-Roberts argues
convincingly against this definition, that leads it to a three-valued
semantics. He presents a very simple semantic definition which is weaker,
more general and leads to a semantics more easily interpreted as two-valued
with gaps. The author shows that a wide range of intuitive facts that
eluded the Standard definition follow directly from this (’Revised’)
definition itself: facts about the presuppositions of compound sentences
and modal sentences, about presuppositional conflict and about differences
in the logical status of simple sentences suffering from presupposition
failure. The book includes a detailed argument that an ambiguity of natural
language negation, generally assumed to be necessary to the defence of
semantic presupposition, is neither possible nor necessary in a
presuppositional semantics. Noel Burton-Roberts has made an authoritative
contribution to a debate which has involved philosophers and linguists for
many years. His command of the issues, his clarity of exposition and his
theoretical insight may well serve to change the boundaries of that debate.