"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.
Terminology and Lexicography Research and Practice
Based on an empirical study of categorisation and lexicalisation processes in a corpus of scientific publications on the life sciences, Rita Temmerman questions the validity of traditional terminology theory. Her findings are that the traditional approach impedes a pragmatic and realistic description of a large number of categories and terms. Inspired by the cognitive sciences, she develops an alternative. The main principles of this new theory imply: a combined semasiological and onomasiological perspective; only few categories can be clearly delineated; form and content of definitions vary according to category types and user's requirements; synonymy and polysemy are functional in special language and a diachronic approach is unavoidable. This last principle implies the varying importance of historical information in definitions, the non-arbitrariness of lexicalisation and the importance of cognitive models. In a last chapter the author shows how the methods and principles of the alternative approach are applicable in terminography and how this is going to have an impact on software for terminological database construction. This book will be valuable for specialists in terminology theory, practising terminographers and for anybody interested in special language, cognitive models and prototype theory.