"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.
Talking at Cross-Purposes: The Dynamics of Miscommunication
Misunderstandings have been examined extensively in studies on cross-cultural (mis-)communication which associate them with participants' differing cultural backgrounds and/or linguistic knowledge. Drawing on a large corpus of misunderstandings from cross- and intra-cultural encounters, this book argues that miscommunication does not relate exclusively to participants' background differences or similarities, but that its creation and development are tightly interwoven with the dynamic manner in which social encounters unfold. Against a backdrop of Pragmatics, Conversation Analysis and Goffman's theory of frames and roles, the volume discusses a large number of misunderstandings and shows that they are associated with the constant identity and activity shifts as well as with the turn-by-turn construction of interpretative context in interaction.
Besides students and researchers of pragmatics, conversation analysis and sociolinguistics, this book will also appeal to all those interested in the process of making, misinterpreting and clarifying meaning in social interaction.