"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.
Within the framework of Chomsky’s Minimalism and Formal Semantics,
this work documents the development of the Mauritian Creole (MC) determiner
system from the mid 18th century to the present. Guillemin proposes that the
loss of the French quantificational determiners, which agglutinated to nouns,
resulted in the occurrence of bare nouns in argument positions. This triggered a
shift in noun denotation, from predicative in French to argumental in MC, and
accounts for the very different determiner systems of the creole and its lexifier.
MC nouns are lexically stored as Kind denoting terms, that share some of the
distributional properties of English bare plurals. New MC determiners are
analyzed as ‘type shifting operators’ that shift Kinds into predicates, and serve
to establish the referential properties of noun phrases. The analysis provides
evidence for the universality of semantic features like Definiteness and
Specificity, and the mapping of their form and function.