"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.
Definition is a basic activity of language, of particular importance to linguists because of its use of language to describe itself. Beyond this inherent significance as a crucial element of language study, definitions also provide a rich potential source of the information needed for Natural Language Processing systems. This book describes an investigation of the subset of general language used in definition sentences and the development of a taxonomy of definition types, a grammar of definition sentences and parsing software which can extract their functional components. The work is based on definition sentences used in one of the dictionaries from the Cobuild range, and the book includes a brief history of the development of monolingual English dictionaries, an assessment of the concepts of sublanguages and local grammars and a full exploration of the results of the analysis and of the present and future applications of the taxonomy, grammar and parser.
Table of Contents
Brief description ix
1. Language, definitions and dictionaries 1
2. Monolingual English dictionaries 15
3. Grammars, parsers, sublanguages and local grammars 59
4. Methodology 97
5. The definition type taxonomy 135
6. The definition language grammar and its parser 161
7. Evaluation and applications 213
Appendix 1 253
Appendix 2 257
Simon Krek 263