"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.
Reciprocals are an increasingly hot topic in linguistic research. This reflects the
intersection of several factors: the semantic and syntactic complexity of
reciprocal constructions, their centrality to some key points of linguistic
theorizing (such as Binding Conditions on anaphors within Government and
Binding Theory), and the centrality of reciprocity to theories of social structure,
human evolution and social cognition. No existing work, however, tackles the
question of exactly what reciprocal constructions mean cross-linguistically. Is
there a single, Platonic ‘reciprocal’ meaning found in all languages, or is there a
cluster of related concepts which are nonetheless impossible to characterize in
any single way? That is the central goal of this volume, and it develops and
explains new techniques for tackling this question. At the same time, it
confronts a more general problem facing semantic typology: how to investigate
a category cross-linguistically without pre-loading the definition of the
phenomenon on the basis of what is found in more familiar languages.