"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.
Current Research in the Semantics / Pragmatics Interface
This book presents a study of the connections between vagueness and gradability, and their different manifestations in adjectives (morphological gradability effects) and nouns (typicality effects). It addresses two opposing theoretical approaches from within formal semantics and cognitive psychology. These approaches rest on different, apparently contradictory pieces of data. For example, for psychologists nouns are linked with vague and gradable concepts, while for linguists they rarely are. This difference in approach has created an unfortunate gap between the semantic and psychological studies of the concepts denoted by nouns, as well as adjectives. The volume describes a wide range of relevant facts and theories. Psychological notions such as prototypes and dimensions are addressed with formal rigor and explicitness. Existing formal semantic accounts are examined against empirically established cognitive data. The result is a comprehensive unified approach. The book will be of interest to students and researchers working on the semantics and pragmatics of natural languages and their cognitive basis, the psychology of concepts, and the philosophy of language.