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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?

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: Cognitive reference points
Subtitle: Semantics beyond the prototypes in adjectives of space and colour
Written By: Elena Tribushinina
Series Title: LOT Dissertation Series 192
Description:

Psychologists have shown that reference-point reasoning is a ubiquitous
cognitive phenomenon intrinsic to perception, categorisation, spatial
orientation, social, organisational and marketing behaviour of human
beings. Various cognitive tasks involve evoking a salient entity – called
cognitive reference point – for establishing mental contact with less
salient items. It is then reasonable to assume that language use also
involves a lot of reference point reasoning. However, linguistic aspects of
this phenomenon have hardly been investigated. A welcome exception is
Langacker’s reference-point model dealing with grammatical constructions
and metonymy.

This thesis elaborates the reference-point model by applying it to lexical
semantics. The only reference point that has been quite intensely studied
in lexical semantics is a prototype. By focusing on two adjectival groups
(colour and size), the author demonstrates that a whole panoply of
cognitive reference points are used to anchor conceptual specifications of
lexical items, prototypes being only a special case of the reference-point
mechanism. An important finding is that a word may trigger more than one
reference point at a time. For example, dimensional adjectives may be
interpreted vis-à-vis an average value, endpoints of the scale, prototypes
and dimensions of the human body. Contextual variability is claimed to be
related to various combinations of reference points, their relative
salience and patterns of interaction.

The book is of interest to scholars studying the semantics of adjectives and
degree adverbs, as well as to anyone concerned with cognitive linguistics and
cognitive psychology.

Publication Year: 2008
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
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): Psycholinguistics
Semantics
Cognitive Science
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9789078328667
Pages: 479
Prices: Europe EURO 34.49