"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.
Grammar & Complexity
Language at the Interface of Competence and Performance
This book combines ideas about the architecture of grammar and language acquisition, processing, and change to explain why languages show regular patterns when there is so much irregularity in their use and so much complexity when there is such regularity in linguistic phenomena. Peter Culicover argues that the structure of language can be understood and explained in terms of two kinds of complexity: firstly that of the correspondence between form and meaning; secondly in the real-time processes involved in the construction of meanings in linguistic expressions.
Mainstream syntactic theory has focused largely on regularities within and across languages, relegating to the periphery exceptional and idiosyncratic phenomena. But, the author argues, a language's irregular and unique features offer fundamental insights into the nature of language, how it changes, and how it is produced and understood.
Peter Culicover's new book offers a pertinent and original contribution to key current debates in linguistic theory. It will interest scholars and advanced students of linguists of all theoretical persuasions.