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"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.


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Title: Proto Central Pacific Ergativity
Subtitle: Its reconstruction and development in the Fijian, Rotuman and
Written By: Ritsuko Kikusawa
Series Title: PL 520
Description:

The main objective of this study is to determine the actancy system (ergativity or accusativity) of Proto Central Pacific, and to determine how this system developed in its daughter languages, Fijian and Rotuman, which are accusative, as well as in the Polynesian languages, some of which are ergative. It is shown that an ergative system has to be reconstructed for Proto Central Pacific, based on the presence of two sets of clitic pronouns (Genitive and Nominative) used for the core arguments of transitive constructions. A set of independent pronouns is also reconstructed. These pronominal forms are shown to be reflexes of Proto Malayo-Polynesian reconstructions.
The process by which the ergative parent language changed into some of its accusative daughter languages is illustrated.

The following points in this work may be of particular interest:
1) a description of clear cases where the actancy systems change from ergative to accusative;
2) an illustration of how syntactic, phonological, morphological, and/or lexical changes are synthesised;
3) typological descriptions of three Central Pacific languages, namely Rotuman, Fijian, and Tongan, applying Lexicase Dependency
Grammar;
4) a modification to the currently accepted subgrouping hypothesis for the Central Pacific group.

Publication Year: 2002
Publisher: Pacific Linguistics
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): Typology
Language Family(ies): East Fijian-Polynesian
Polynesian
Rotuman
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Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0858834383
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xxii + 213
Prices: Australia A$53.90 International A$49.00