"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.
Modern Irish is a VSO language, in common with the other Celtic languages, and the order of elements in the structure of transitive sentences is verb-subject-object. This book provides a characterisation of the nominal, verb, clause and information structure of the Irish language from a functional perspective based on Role and Reference Grammar. Included in this analysis are the layered structure of the noun phrase of Irish and the various NP operators, the layered structure of the clause and the verbal system at the syntax-semantic interface along with a number of verb valence behaviours as mediated by event and argument structure. The book also surveys previous treatments of Irish within a functionalist approach. The verbal noun has a special place within the Irish language and its deployment is particularly productive. The book examines the derivation of the verbal noun and the contexts in which it is used. It also provides an account of light verbs and complex predicates as they occur within Irish and link this to a characterisation of the information structure of Irish. Additionally it provides an analysis of certain linguistically interesting phenomena that are particular to Irish (and the other Celtic languages) including the two verbs of ‘to be’. Within the verbal system the author’s concern is with the relationship between the semantic representation of a verbal predicate in the context of a clause and its syntactic expression through the argument structure of the verb. He suggests that lexical specification is via a logical representation that reflects the aspectual decomposition of the verbal predicate and that this determines, with an actor-undergoer hierarchy, the operation of the mapping into syntax via the linking system.