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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: Scalar Implicatures or Focus: An Experimental Approach
Written By: Arjen Zondervan
Description:

This dissertation is about one of the most robust and widespread types of
pragmatic meaning in natural language: scalar implicatures (SIs). A scalar
implicature is the inference that when a speaker uses a linguistic item
that is on a scale with another item, the hearer concludes the sentence
with the stronger scale member does not hold. For instance the inferences
from 'It was okay' to 'It was not excellent' and from 'Some students
passed' to 'Not all students passed' are scalar implicatures. It is widely
acknowledged that these inferences are context-dependent, yet little is
known about the properties of the context that determine their presence or
absence. This thesis aims to contribute to the filling of this gap by
considering the relation between SIs and the contextual property of
information focus. Additionally, it addresses the psychological reality of
the view that the exclusive reading of or, on which A or B means A or B but
not both, comes about by an SI. The thesis addresses these questions
through a set of 11 experiments, both off-line (questionnaires) and on-line
(processing). Next to the relation between SIs and focus, these experiments
consider relevance of the stronger scalar alternative, the processing cost
of SI-calculation, the assumption of speaker expertise and the relation
between SIs and exhaustivity. The results support the prediction that
information focus affects SI-calculation. However, the array of data taken
together raise doubts about the view that the exclusive reading of or is
the result of a scalar implicature. The author discusses and tests
theoretical insights from truth-conditional semantics, logic, pragmatics
and reasoning as well as insights and results from (experimental)
psycholinguistics, so this dissertation should be of interest to scholars
in any of these domains.

Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
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): Pragmatics
Semantics
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Versions:
Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9789460930317
Prices: U.K. £ 31.87