"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.
"Bidirectional Optimality Theory" (BiOT) emerged at the turn of the
millennium as a fusion of Radical Pragmatics and Optimality Theoretic
Semantics. It stirred a wealth of new research in the pragmatics‑semantics
interface and heavily influenced e.g. the development of evolutionary and game
theoretic approaches. Optimality Theory holds that linguistic output can be
understood as the optimized products of ranked constraints. At the centre of
BiOT is the insight that this optimisation has to take place both in production
and interpretation, and that the production-interpretation cycle has to lead back
to the original input. BiOT is now generally interpreted as a description of
diachronically stable and cognitively optimal form–meaning pairs. It found
applications beyond the semantics-pragmatics interface in language acquisition,
historical linguistics, phonology, syntax, and typology. This book provides a
state of the art overview of these developments. It collects nine chapters by
leading scientists in the field.