"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.
The recent past has seen an increasing interest in iconicity especially among linguists. This collection puts the interdisciplinary study of iconic dimensions (comprising what has been termed 'imagic iconicity',as well as 'diagrammatic iconicity', i.e. iconicity of a more abstract and less semiotic type) on the map, paying special attention to the use of iconicity in literary texts. The studies presented here explore iconicity from two different angles. A first group of authors brings into focus how far the primary code, the code of grammar is influenced by iconic motivation (with contributions on rules involved in discourse; rules in word formation; and phonological rules), and how originally iconic models have become conventionalized. Others go one step further in exploring how, for instance, the presence of iconicity can tell us more about the structure of human cognition, or how the "iconicist desire for symmetry" can be related to the symmetry of the human body. A second group of contributors is more interested in the presence of iconicity as part of the secondary code, i.e. in how speakers and writers remotivate or play with the primary code; how they concretise what has become conventional or how they use form to add to meaning in literary texts, commercial language and in the new electronic use of texts.