"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.
This book offers an introduction to the analysis of meaning. Our outstanding
ability to communicate is a distinguishing feature of our species. To
communicate is to convey meaning, but what is meaning? How do words
combine to give us the meanings of sentences? And what makes a
statement ambiguous or nonsensical? These questions and many others are
addressed in Paul Elbourne's fascinating guide. He opens by asking what
kinds of things the meanings of words and sentences could be: are they, for
example, abstract objects or psychological entities? He then looks at how we
understand a sequence of words we have never heard before; he considers to
what extent the meaning of a sentence can be derived from the words it
contains and how to account for the meanings that can't be; and he
examines the roles played by time, place, and the shared and unshared
assumptions of speakers and hearers. He looks at how language interacts
with thought and the intriguing question of whether what language we speak
affects the way we see the world.
Meaning, as might be expected, is far from simple. Paul Elbourne explores
its complex issues in crystal clear language. He draws on approaches
developed in linguistics, philosophy, and psychology - assuming a knowledge
of none of them -in a manner that will appeal to everyone interested in this
essential element of human psychology and culture.