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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: Kaleidoscopic Grammar
Subtitle: Investigation into the Nature of Binarism
Written By: Junichi Toyota
Description:

This monograph deals with binary features in the evolution of human
civilisation and cognition, with a particular focus on language. Our life
is surrounded by various pairs of binary features, and this is termed
binarism in this work. Binarism is pervasive, ranging from nature
(biological) to culture (anthropological and archaeological) and without a
doubt, to language. Binarim serves as a good base for further development,
and as a system becomes more complex, binarism is broken and more complex
systems involving third or fourth options emerge.

In the case of language, the earliest human language, as argued here,
consisted only of nouns, however, these nouns had a distinction between
active and inactive nouns. The active nouns referred to action or
productivity, which later turned into verb and inactive nouns stayed as
nouns. It was during this period when language became equipped with a base
to develop further with a distinction between noun and verb. This is the
onset of various changes towards the complexity of modern languages,
essentially, kaleidoscopic grammar. Various changes in language stems from
binarism, and as languages evolve, the pairs such as noun v. verb are
broken and a grammatical system in general becomes more complex. The
importance of binarism is not restricted to language and it is a powerful
tool in evolution at different levels. The pervasiveness of binarism is a
specific feature that should not be overlooked in evolution as a whole.

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Review: Read the review
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: Hardback
ISBN: 1443814466
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 199
Prices: U.K. £ 34.99