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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: Why We Talk
Subtitle: The Evolutionary Origins of Language
Written By: Jean-Louis Dessalles
Translated By: James Grieve
Series Title: Studies in Evolution of Language
Description:

Jean-Louis Dessalles explores the co-evolutionary paths of biology,
culture, and the great human edifice of language, linking the evolution of
the language to the general evolutionary history of humankind. He provides
searchingly original answers to such fundamental paradoxes as to whether we
acquired our greatest gift in order to talk or so as to be able to think,
and as to why human beings should, as experience constantly confirms,
contribute information for the well-being of others at their own expense
and for no apparent gain: which if this is one of language's main functions
appears to make its possession, in Darwinian terms, a disadvantage. Dr.
Dessalles looks for solutions in the early history of human species and
considers the degree to which language evolved as a means of choosing
profitable coalition partners and maximizing individual success within a
competitive social environment.

The author opens with a discussion of the differences between animal and
human communication and the biological foundations of language. He looks at
the physiological preconditions for language evolution and the early
evolution of meaning and communication. He then embarks on an important and
original account of the natural history of conversation. Here he considers
the roles of language in supporting social cohesion and information exchange.

This challenging and original account will appeal to all those interested
in the origins of language and the evolution of human behavior.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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): General Linguistics
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: 0199563462
ISBN-13: 9780199563463
Pages: 400
Prices: U.S. $ 34.95