"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.
What is the role of meaning in linguistic theory? Generative linguists have
severely limited the influence of meaning, claiming that language is not
affected by other cognitive processes and that semantics does not influence
linguistic form. Conversely, cognitivist and functionalist linguists
believe that meaning pervades and motivates all levels of linguistic
structure. This dispute can be resolved conclusively by evidence from
signed languages. Signed languages are full of iconic linguistic items:
words, inflections, and even syntactic constructions with structural
similarities between their physical form and their referents' form. Iconic
items can have concrete meanings and also abstract meanings through
conceptual metaphors. Language from the Body rebuts the generativist
linguistic theories which separate form and meaning and asserts that
iconicity can only be described in a cognitivist framework where meaning
can influence form.
- Serves as a brief introduction to cognitive linguistics
- Written in an accessible style appropriate for non-specialists
- Includes analysis of American Sign Language poem