"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.
From Interaction to Symbol
A systems view of the evolution of signs and communication
Against the background of jargon-ridden and often obscure semiotic
literature Sadowski's book offers a reader-friendly yet rigorous account of
human communication and its evolution from animal and primate behaviour.
What is specifically human about the way we exchange information with other
people, and to what extent are our facial expressions, body language, and
even emotive elements of speech still indebted to our pre-human ancestors?
Why can the chimpanzees, smart as they are, not interpret animal tracks in
the ground; why did religions often ban representational art; why is
photography perceptually more powerful than painting; how have human
syntactic speech and combinatorial grammar enabled the 'explosion' of
culture; and why do otherwise rational humans often strongly believe in the
objective existence of unempirical, virtual entities such as religious and
philosophic concepts? These and many other fascinating questions are
addressed in the book within the methodological framework of systems theory
and evolutionary psychology.