"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 addresses how core notions of information structure (topic, focus and contrast) are expressed in syntax. The authors propose that the syntactic effects of information structure come about as a result of mapping rules that are flexible enough to allow topics and foci to be expressed in a variety of positions, but strict enough to capture certain cross-linguistic generalisations about their distribution. In particular, the papers argue that only contrastive topics and contrastive foci undergo movement and that this is because such movement has the function of marking the scope of contrast. Several predications are derived from this proposal: such as that a focus cannot move across a topic – whether the latter is in situ or not. Syntactic and semantic evidence in support of this proposal is presented from a wide range of languages (including Dutch, English, Japanese, Korean and Russian) and theoretical consequences explored. The first chapter not only outlines its theoretical aims, but also provides an introduction to information structure. As a consequence, the book is accessible to advanced students as well as professional linguists.