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"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



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Title: Interpreting particles in dead and living languages
Subtitle: A construction grammar approach to the semantics of Dutch ergens and Ancient Greek pou
Written By: Elizabeth Koier
URL: http://www.lotpublications.nl/index3.html
Series Title: LOT Dissertation Series
Description:

Words may have multiple interpretations. For instance, the word table can refer to a piece of furniture or to a page listing the chapters of a book as in table of contents. Generally, native speakers do not perceive this as a problem, because the context provides enough clues as to what is meant. For non-native speakers and students of dead languages, however, the existence of multiple interpretations sometimes does raise problems. This suggests that the context is not the only clue native speakers use to interpret words. In this dissertation, it is studied what types of context Dutch speakers need to interpret the poly-interpretable word ergens ‘somewhere/anywhere’, modal particle. The results of this investigation were used to find out more about the Ancient Greek form που ‘somewhere, anywhere’, modal particle. This thesis shows that the study of contextual cues that allow native speakers to interpret their language provides insights that may be used in the study of dead languages. The modal interpretations of ergens and που turned out to be quite different, but the context of both words clearly showed recurring (albeit different) patterns. Knowledge of the common interpretation of words in specific contexts seems crucial for their interpretation, suggesting that it is not words themselves that carry meaning, but words-in-context.

Publication Year: 2013
Publisher: Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT)
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Semantics
Subject Language(s): Dutch
Greek, Ancient
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Versions:
Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9789460931048
Prices: Europe EURO 27.08