"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 monograph is one of the first theoretical studies of optatives. Optative constructions express desire without an overt lexical item that means ‘desire’. The author specifically investigates optatives with the syntax of embedded clauses that contain prototypical particles such as ‘only’. He rejects the view that optativity arises compositionally from the standard semantics of embedded clauses and prototypical particles. The following system is proposed: Desirability is due to a generalized scalar exclamation operator EX. Furthermore, clausal properties such as factivity/counterfactuality are encoded in a Mood head, which co-determines morphological mood and complementizer choice. Finally, the prototypical particles that optatives contain are truth-conditionally vacuous presupposition triggers. As a result, these meaning components do not interact directly, but their meanings converge, with the consequence that they prototypically co-occur. This monograph is of interest for formal semanticists, syntacticians, pragmaticists and morphologists, and especially relevant for research on mood and particle semantics.