"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.
Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs [TiLSM] 212
This volume explores new interfaces between linguistics and jurisprudence.
Its theoretical and methodological importance lies in showing that many
questions asked within the field of language and law receive satisfactory
answers from formal linguistics.
The book starts with a paper by the two editors in which they explain why
the volume - as a whole and with its individual papers - is an innovation
in the field of language and law. In addition, an overview about the most
important research projects on language and law is given. The first chapter
of the book is on understanding the law. Jurists and laypersons always ask
for the precise meaning of a certain piece of the law. In linguistics, the
discipline investigating 'meaning' is semantics; thus, it is to be expected
that semantics can contribute to a correct understanding of the law.
Chapter 1 also investigates the alleged incomprehensibility of legal
language with the help of psycholinguistics. Chapter 2 is on identifying
the criminal. To find the author of a blackmailer's letter, text / corpus
linguistics is instrumental. If the blackmailer uses the telephone instead
of the letter, speaker identification and phonetics are necessary. The BKA
stores all blackmailing letters in a database, but databases are only one
possibility of organizing legal systems; another possibility is the
application of tools from computational linguistics and artificial
intelligence. These tools can be useful to handle terminology, to retrieve
information, or to model legal theorizing in a formal system. Chapter 3
demonstrates a variety of examples of organizing legal systems. The topic
of chapter 4 is multilingualism and the law. The European legislation is a
product of legal and linguistic diversity, as the member states do not only
differ in languages but also in their legal systems. One paper shows how
Switzerland handles its multilingualism in legal drafting. The input of
translation studies is of course vital in this field of research. An index
for both subjects and persons complements the volume.