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"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



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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

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.


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Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

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.


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Title: Bininj Gun-Wok
Subtitle: A pan-dialectal grammar of Mayali, Kunwinjku and Kune(Volumes 1 and 2)
Written By: Nicholas Evans
Description:

The term Bininj Gun-wok was recently coined to cover a large group of related dialects spoken in Western Arnhem Land, Australia, including Kunwinjku, Mayali, Gun-djeihmi, Kune, and others; many of these dialects have not been described before. Bininj Gun-wok, in turn, belongs to the so-called Gunwinjguan family, the largest family of non-Pama-Nyungan languages. It is one of the few Australian languages still being passed on to children, and in fact the number of speakers is increasing.

This detailed pan-dialectal grammar takes care to set the language in its cultural context throughout, with rich ethnographic discussion of the many special kinship-based speech registers and a sizeable text collection with examples of all major dialects. Bininj Gun-wok is a heavily polysynthetic language, with three productive types of noun incorporation, incorporation of one verb into another, two applicatives, reflexive/reciprocal formation, prefixes representing subject and object/indirect object, and a large number of further adverbial-type prefixes. Within the nominal system, it has four genders in some dialects, reducing to simpler systems in others. A major focus of the grammar is the many problems of how meanings are constructed in a polysynthetic language, and how the many elements of the verbal morphology interact with one another in the composition of grammatical structure.

This volume will be of interest to a wide range of readers: morphologists and syntacticians, Australianists, linguistic anthropologists, dialectologists, typologists, and educationists and others working in Western Arnhem Land.

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher: Pacific Linguistics
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Language Documentation
Subject Language(s): Gunwinggu
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Versions:
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0858835304
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xxix + 733 pp
Prices: A$145.00