"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.
To Define and Inform
An Analysis of Information Provided in Dictionaries Used by Learners of English in China and Denmark
"To Inform and Define: An Analysis of Information Provided in Dictionaries
Used by Learners of English in China and Denmark" presents a masterly
synthesis of lexicographical theory in relation to bilingual and learner's
dictionaries and advances a radical argument about how such dictionaries
are used and how they should be improved for the convenience of students.
By tracing the history of the terms 'semantic' and 'pragmatic' in
linguistics and philosophy, Saihong Li shows the weakness of any conceptual
distinction between them. She goes on to demonstrate how inappropriate
these terms are for thinking about the ways in which words are defined and
explained in dictionaries. The theoretical argument is supported by
detailed and comparative empirical research: learners of English as a
second language in both China and Denmark were interviewed about their
experiences as users of standard learner's dictionaries. The results are
presented in tabular form and their interpretation is statistically
informed. This is a path-breaking study. Saihong Li makes an important
contribution to lexicographical theory, and advances a sophisticated
methodology for the comparative study of English-language leaning on an
international scale and in the global marketplace of learner's
dictionaries. Her work will be of great value for language teachers,
lexicographers, and students of interpretation, translation and language
pedagogies. "To Inform and Define" should also attract serious attention
from editors and publishers of learner's dictionaries.