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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: Diminutives in English
Written By: Klaus P. Schneider
Series Title: Linguistische Arbeiten, Vol. 479
Description:

This study investigates the analytic and synthetic diminutives of the English language. It is based on three assumptions. First, diminutives are not an exclusively morphological category. Second, to understand the specific nature of diminutives, both formal and functional aspects must be examined, as well as the interaction between them. And third, diminutives must be studied empirically and in context. Against this background, an integrative approach is developed which combines grammatical and pragmatic perspectives. This approach can be adopted in the analysis of diminutives of any language.

That English has no diminutives is a common myth. The present study shows, however, that English does possess diminutives, and not only analytic but also synthetic diminutive markers. Analytic markers include, first and foremost, little, as well as other adjectives from the same word field, whereas the inventory of synthetic markers comprises suffixes as, for instance, -ie, -ette, -let, -kin, -een, -s, -er, -poo and -pegs. These markers are examined from a grammatical and a pragmatic perspective in an integrative formal-functional framework. The grammatical perspective involves phonological, morphological and semantic features, while the pragmatic perspective involves pragmalinguistic as well as sociopragmatic features on the levels of the speech act and larger interactive units in dialogue. The findings reveal that English diminutive suffixes are, in fact, among the most productive suffixes of the English language. While the suffixes share a number of features, each has developed its own profile, specifically regarding semantic and pragmatic features. In everyday conversation, there is a division of labour between the synthetic and the analytic type of formation concerning the communicative functions of diminutives and their distribution in discourse. The choice of formal device and its function depend crucially on pragmatic factors, notably on the illocution, the interactive status, the realisation strategy, and the politeness value of the utterances in which diminutives are employed, and also on the relationship between the interlocutors.

Publication Year: 2004
Publisher: Max Niemeyer Verlag
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): Morphology
Syntax
Subject Language(s): English
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Versions:
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 3484304790
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 254
Prices: Europe EURO 72.00