"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 Graduate Linguistics Student Association (GLSA) at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, announces the publication of a new dissertation:
The dissertation argues that markedness is lenient and relative: a form is marked only if there is another form that is unmarked. No constraints ban structure for the sake of banning structure; there are formal limits on the content of CON. The central consequence of this view is that economy constraints are excluded on principle; economy effects must instead follow from the interaction of independently motivated constraints.
While a range of economy effects is discussed, the empirical focus is on syncope. Case studies investigate syncope in Hopi, Tonkawa, Lillooet, Lushootseed, and Lebanese and Mekkan Arabic. Deleting vowels satisfies a range of markedness constraints; moreover, the same constraints that can be satisfied by syncope can also be satisfied by other processes that may not involve removal of structure. The standard "delete-where-you-can" view of syncope is argued to be inadequate; furthermore, economy constraints can actually be harmful if admitted into the grammar.