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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


Title: Semiosis and Catastrophes
Subtitle: René Thom's Semiotic Heritage
Edited By: Wolfgang Wildgen
Per Aage Brandt

The French mathematician René Thom (Fields medal 1958) died in 2002. In
this volume his contributions to biology, semiotics and linguistics are
discussed by a group of scholars who have continued his work and have
shaped the new paradigm of dynamic semiotics and linguistics. Thom's
heritage is full of revolutionary ideas and deep insights which stem from a
rich intuition and a sharp awareness of the current state of the sciences,
including their potentials and risks. The contributions to this volume are
elaborations of papers given at a colloquium at the International Center for
Semiotics and Linguistics of the University of Urbino (Italy), in 2005.
The central concern of this volume is semiogenesis, i.e. the evolution and
differentiation of meaningful («pregnant») forms in the field of symbolic
systems - from bio-communication to language and cultural forms like music,
art, architecture or urban forms. The basic questions are: How are meanings
created and further differentiated? Where do they come from? What kind of
forces drive their unfolding? How can complex cultural forms be understood
based on simple morphodynamic principles?

Applications concern the perception of forms by animals and humans, the
categorization of forms e.g. in a lexicon, and predication or other complex
symbolic behaviors which show up in grammar or in cultural artifacts like the
unfolding of urban centers.

Contents: Wolfgang Wildgen: Introduction - Marc Chaperon: Catastrophes. A
testimony - Svend Østergaard: René Thom: The Recognition of Forms. An
Apologia for Realism - Peer F. Bundgaard/Frederik Stjernfelt: René Thom's
Semiotics and Its Sources - Wolfgang Wildgen: Thom's Theory of « Saillance
» and « Prégnance » and Modern Evolutionary Linguistics - Isabel Marcos:
Urban Universals - Ángel López-García: Catastrophes: What are we talking
about? - Jean Petitot : « Le hiatus entre le logique et le morphologique ».
Prédication et Perception - Per Aage Brandt : René Thom - Prégnances et
catastrophes. Pour une phénoménologie sémio-cognitive.

Wolfgang Wildgen (*1944) received his Ph.D. in Linguistics 1977 and
completed his Habilitation in General Linguistics 1981. In the same year, he
was appointed Professor of General and German Linguistics at the University
of Bremen (emeritus since 2009).

Per Aage Brandt (*1944) holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics (1971). In 1987 he was
appointed Docteur d'Etat of the Université de Sorbonne, Paris, in Semio-
linguistics. In 1975 he became Professor at the University of Aarhus; and
since 2005, he has been Professor of Cognitive Science and Modern
Languages at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland.

Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: Peter Lang AG
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BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Linguistic Theories
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9783034304672
Prices: U.S. $ 51.95
U.K. £ 29.70
Europe EURO 33.00