"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 evidence for a model of phonology in which words have both auditory and articulatory representations, with different constraints applying to each type of representation. The main constraints on auditory representations require contrasting sounds to be auditorily distinct from each other, i.e. these constraints implement a preference that contrasts should be easy for listeners to discriminate. This traditional notion is formalized in Optimality Theoretic terms as part of a general theory of the selection of contrasting sounds. The distinctiveness constraints interact with others (such as effort minimization and constraints relating to stress) to derive a variety of phonological phenomena, e.g. allophonic variation to maintain the distinctiveness of a contrast in different contexts, and neutralization in contexts where a contrast would be indistinct. The model is exemplified through the analysis of such patterns, drawn from a wide variety of languages. Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics series.