"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 presents the first computer program, called KINSHIP, automating the task of componential analysis of kinship vocabularies. KINSHIP accepts as input the kin terms of a language with their attendant kin types and can produce all alternative componential models of a kinship system, including the most parsimonious one, using the minimum number of dimensions and components in a kin term definition. A further simplicity constraint ensures the coordination between kin term definitions. Inspecting previous practices of the method of componential analysis reveals two basic problems in published models: (1) the commonly occurring inconsistency of componential models (violating necessity or sufficiency conditions of kin term definitions), (2) the huge number of alternative componential models. The application of KINSHIP with its simplicity constraints successfully solves both these problems. The utility of the program is illustrated on complete data sets from more than a dozen languages from Indo-European and non-Indo-European origin.