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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"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: Manifestations of Genericity
Written By: Yael Greenberg
Series Title: Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics
Description:

Manifestations of Genericity offers a unified analysis of minimally contrasting generic sentences with indefinite singular (IS) and bare plural (BP) subjects-as in "A bird flies" versus "Birds fly"-within the framework of formal semantics. Beyond the classic distinction between quantificational and kind predication genericity, there is another important distinction in the generic domain, namely the distinction between two types of quantificational, modalized (I-) generalizations: "in virtue of" generalizations, expressed by both IS and BP sentences, and "descriptive" generalizations, expressed by BP sentences alone. Thus, "A bird flies" asserts that the generalization is nonaccidentally true in virtue of some property, associated with the CN subject, whereas "Birds fly" can also merely assert that the generalization is nonaccidentally true, with no implication of an "in virtue of" property.

Where previous theories have either assigned IS and BP sentences identical representations or two completely different (roughly quantificational and predicational) representations, this book treats both sentences as having the same basic quantificational-modalized structure-thus capturing the strong semantic similarities between them. Additionally, this study accounts for semantic differences by arguing that IS and BP sentences express different kinds of modality, and that the modalized Gen operator is restricted by a different accessibility relation in each case.

When combined with independent semantic and pragmatic mechanisms, the difference in accessibility relations makes correct and precise predications as to a wide range of both old and newly observed semantic, pragmatic and distributional differences between IS and BP sentences. In this book, Yael Greenberg discusses and clarifies a number of controversial issues and phenomena in the generic literature, including the existence of "episodic genericity," existential presuppositions, and contextual restrictions of generics.

Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Routledge (Taylor and Francis)
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): Semantics
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Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0415967775
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 240
Prices: U.S. $ 75