"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.
'Contrast' - the opposition between distinctive sounds in a language - is
one of the most central concepts in linguistics. This book presents a
account of the logic and history of contrast in phonology. It provides
empirical evidence from diverse phonological domains that only contrastive
computed by the phonological component of grammar. It argues that the
contrastive specifications of phonemes are governed by language-particular
feature hierarchies. This approach assigns a key role to abstract cognitive
structures, challenging contemporary approaches that favour phonetic
explanations of phonological phenomena. Tracing the evolution of the
hypothesis that contrastive features play a special role in phonology, it
shows how this insight has been obscured by misunderstandings of the role
contrastive feature hierarchy. Questioning the widely held notion that
contrast should be based on minimal pairs, Elan Dresher argues that the
hierarchy is indispensable to illuminating accounts of phonological patterning.