"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.
Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics 48
This is the second volume of papers on sign-based linguistics to emerge from Columbia School linguistics conferences. One set of articles offers semantic analyses of grammatical features of specific languages: English full-verb inversion; Serbo-Croatian deictic pronouns; English auxiliary do; Italian pronouns egli and lui; the Celtic-influenced use of on (e.g., ‘he played a trick on me’); a monosemic analysis of the English verb break. A second set deals with general theoretical issues: a solution to the problem that noun class markers (e.g. Swahili) pose for sign-based linguistics; the appropriateness of statistical tests of significance in text-based analysis; the word or the morpheme as the locus of paradigmatic inflectional change; the radical consequences of Saussure’s anti-nomenclaturism for syntactic analysis; the future of ‘minimalist linguistics’ in a maximalist world. A third set explains phonotactic patterning in terms of ease of articulation: aspirated and unaspirated stop consonants in Urdu; initial consonant clusters in more than two dozen languages. An introduction highlights the theoretical and analytical points of each article and their relation to the Columbia School framework. The collection is relevant to cognitive semanticists and functionalists as well as those working in the sign-based Jakobsonian and Guillaumist frameworks.
Table of Contents
List of contributors vii•viii Introduction ix•xxi Part I. Theoretical and Methodological Issues (What) do noun class markers mean? Ellen Contini-Morava 3•64 Rethinking the Place of Statistics in Columbia School Analysis Joseph Davis 65•90 The Linguistic Sign in its Paradigmatic Context: Autonomy Revisited Mark J. Elson 91•109 Part II. Sign-Based Linguistic Analyses A Surpassingly Simple Analysis Joseph Davis 113•136 Serbo-Croatian Deixis: Balancing Attention with Difficulty in Processing Radmila J. Gorup 137•155 Do • One Sign, One Meaning? Walter Hirtle 157•169 Data, Comprehensiveness, Monosemy Charles Ruhl 171•189 Phonology As human Behavior: Initial Consonant Clusters Across Languages Yishai Tobin 191•255 Celtic Sense in Saxon Garb Michael P. Wherrity 257•271 Problems of Aspiration in Modern Standard Urdu Abdul Azim 273•307 Part III. Columbia School in the Context of 20th Century Linguistics Cognitive and Semiotic Modes of Explanation in Functional Grammar Alan Huffman 311•337 The Future of a Minimalist Linguistics in a Maximalist World Robert S. Kirsner 339•371 Saussurean Anti-Nomenclaturism in Grammatical Analysis: A Comparative Theoretical Perspective Ricardo Otheguy 373•403 Index of Names 405 Index of Subjects 409