"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.
How many genders does Dutch have? Why do Dutch speakers write het boek -
het ‘the.neuter book - it.neuter’, but say het boek - ie ‘the.neuter book -
Why is it difficult to choose a pronoun for pasta, shampoo and gel? How is
it that music in Dutch can take pronouns from four different genders, and how
can linguistic theory handle such a fact?
These and other questions about pronominalization in modern spoken Dutch
are answered in this book. On the basis of a large sample of corpus data, a
unified theory for Dutch gender agreement is developed. With the help of many
examples, the seemingly erratic pronoun usage in the spoken language is
shown to be systematic and regular, employing semantic distinctions that are
well known from typological research. With a competing semantic and syntactic
system, Dutch gender offers a window on the factors that favour semantic
or syntactic agreement. The Dutch data is compared to facts from other Germanic
languages and from pronominal gender languages elsewhere in the
world. The evidence sheds new light on the relation between gender assignment
and gender agreement. For Dutch itself, the quirky pronoun usage is
shown to be an ingenious solution for a historical problem in the gender